local authority debt recovery

Market leaders in supporting local authorities with all legal and insolvency scenarios.

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Leading specialists

We work with more than 100 local authorities throughout England and Wales and offer solutions for all council-related issues.

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Complete recovery & insolvency service

From initial review, guidance to resolution – we will support you through the complete process.

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You can access all of your accounts and a suite of MI through our secure web portal.

What we can do for you

We are one of the UK’s leading specialists in local authority debt recovery and insolvency support, engaged by more than a hundred councils for our expertise.

We have a proven track record in recovering funds for the benefit of the public purse in a cost-effective way, whilst protecting our clients’ reputations, and having consideration for individuals experiencing vulnerabilities.

With notable experience in every area of council debt recovery we regularly collect:

  • Council tax
  • Business rates
  • Adult social care and sundry debts
  • Commercial/sundry debts
  • Property related debt including service charges, ground rent and maintenance
  • Housing benefit overpayments
  • Tenant arrears
  • Salary/pension overpayment
  • Overpaid business grants

You're in good company

Our local authority services

Carrying out a comprehensive range of pre legal and legal services, we combine experience and pragmatism with the latest in bespoke software and data intelligence for enhanced recovery rates.

Add to that our insolvency expertise and support, unique for a law firm, and our recoveries capability is exceptional. Our clients put complete trust in our expertise.

See our experts
  1. Bespoke training

    We empower local authority staff to work in partnership with us, ultimately creating a more impactful outsourced debt recovery arrangement.

    Our bespoke training which is offered to clients, provides the knowledge and tools to enable councils to feel comfortable and confident in employing a range of appropriate debt recovery actions.

    Training can be carried out virtually or face to face and is created in response to the specific requirements of each client, determined following a detailed initial needs review.

  2. Dedicated ‘helpline’ service and support

    Our complete local authority service is a quality offering and we make sure that we are readily available to help. From the outset, each local authority client is assigned a relationship manager – a senior expert who is always available to answer queries and offer advice.

    Even before we are instructed, this important team member performs a key role in gathering information and in suggesting options and solutions, so that the lion’s share of foundation work is complete, and the client gets the best possible start.

  3. Work shadowing and secondments

    We come to you, you come to us.

    Sharing information and operating in an atmosphere of openness transforms the traditional client/supplier relationship into a powerful partnership.

    Sometimes, we’ll simply have one of our solicitors working with you in-house providing a vital pre-legal admin function to support your staff in their endeavours, and at other times you will be shadowing us at our premises to gain a deeper understanding of our processes and approach.

    We really do act as part of your team.

  4. Creditor services

    Wilkin Chapman is ranked as a UK Top 200 law firm providing creditor services support, through our experienced team of legal and insolvency professionals. We have three licenced appointment taking insolvency practitioners on our team which is highly unusual for a law firm.

    Providing both reactive and proactive insolvency services, we deal with all aspects of legal or insolvency scenarios. Our comprehensive, cost-effective, expert solutions, which include reviewing and revising IVAs, puts our clients in the strongest possible position.

    Find out more
  5. Looking after vulnerable debtors

    We have a long-standing association with the Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG) and team members sit on regional MALG steering committees, as well as contributing to their regular events. This partly demonstrates our commitment to the latest thinking and recommendations on supporting people in difficult circumstances.

    Our commitment far exceeds displaying this official ‘badge’ however. Our integrity and the reputation of our clients is dependent on us implementing specific policies and training.

    We all understand it is imperative to safeguard society’s most vulnerable, and we know from experience that the fair, balanced and empathetic approach which underpins our activities, results in a better outcome for all involved.

  6. Industry champions

    Our expertise in local authority debt recovery is recognised nationally and we are called on regularly to share it. We speak and exhibit at local government and global enforcement events including those run by IRRV, LACEF and MALG and carry out webinars focusing on specific debt types.

    We also host our own residential annual conference for local government employees to update and educate on effective strategies for debt collection.

  7. Regular technical bulletins

    In the spirit of sharing knowledge for mutual benefit, we pay special attention to keeping our clients up-to-date through regular, expert technical bulletins which contain information on new developments, technology, and relevant changes to the law and legislation.

  8. Enforcement agent collaboration

    Our proactive services include working with enforcement agencies on behalf of local councils, using debt cleansing techniques and advanced data analysis to determine which debtors have the potential means to pay, and to prioritise cases. The intention is to increase collections and reduce the number of enforcement agent returns coming back to the council.

  9. Council employee discount scheme

    Local authority employees benefit from a 10 per cent discount on a broad range of high quality legal services provided by Wilkin Chapman. These include family law, conveyancing and property advice, commercial dispute resolution/civil litigation, wills, estates, tax and trusts.

Our approach to local authority debt recovery

Working alongside our clients, we create cost-effective and dynamic partnerships that are hugely successful in returning money to the public purse, and in creating systems and processes for long-term performance improvements. Our clients benefit from complete legal and insolvency support from within one firm.

We employ multiple strategies for dealing with static debt including data ‘cleansing’, bulk debt review and sorting, automatic homeowner identification, bulk solicitor’s letters, and appropriate enforcement action.

Our dedicated, highly knowledgeable team is adept at dealing with niche debt areas, from adult social care to business rates to council tax, and we have full understanding of the complex regulatory landscape and statutory responsibilities.

Our process Get in touch

Quick contact form

Submit an enquiry and one of our team of experts will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss your needs.

Or call the local authority team on 01472 265982

Paul Bowden, Wilkin Chapman LLP
Partner Paul Bowden 01472 265982 Grimsby
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