Most solicitors will be very familiar with this question – and the answer is not always an easy one to give!
The majority of people can write a letter. The important part is making sure that the recipient understands what the sender wants it to mean.
A good solicitor’s letter ought to be clear, to the point and written with a specific aim in mind. It should be designed to provoke the desired response from the reader – and should take account of the known characteristics of the reader where possible.
With that in mind, the cost of a letter varies considerably.
At Wards, we have all written certain letters which have taken hours to craft. They need to be specifically written to maximise the chances of producing the right outcome, sifting, analysing and noting down the important facts, explaining the legal implications of those facts and calling the reader to certain action.
Other routine letters are the work of a moment’s dictation, so the cost reflects more the time to type, proof read and sign it (and the material cost of posting it), than the years of training, legal knowledge and experience that have gone into the particular wording.
With businesses in mind, we began offering a 7-day debt collection letter service to our clients, and this has proved to be very popular.
We simply receive a copy invoice and send this out to the debtor with a demand letter, and various other legal information. The demand letter has been specifically drafted to provoke a prompt response from the debtor company. Debt collection like this is very cost-effective and these letters start at £50 plus VAT.
Our simple 7-day letter can be used to kick-start the recovery of any size of commercial debt and we have helped clients to improve their cash flow by tens of thousands of pounds using this cheap and simple tool. We are frequently given a stack of overdue invoices to process – which brings fast payment to our clients. The fact that we are a genuine law firm rather than a computerised letter factory seems to go a long way in getting the swift responses our clients need.
On the other side of things, I have sent 12-page letters that have cost several thousand pounds to research and draft, poring through boxes of paperwork and compiling files full of enclosures. Naturally, this sort of letter is only appropriate for the larger size claims. Frankly some of them have been works of art of which I have been justifiably proud – and have produced immediate beneficial results.
If you are interested in receiving help to speed up your cash flow, or indeed need to invest in a more detailed specialised letter written for your business, please get in touch with our business disputes team.