Media Clinic: How do I pursue an invoice that’s long past its 30-day payment terms?

LAST week, launched among its several new features, a Media Clinic, providing a question for Scotland’s media community to help answer.

One question was posed and one answer was received.

The question was: How do I pursue an invoice that’s long past its 30-day payment terms?

The answer offered – in the spirit of helpfulness and no more – comes from JP Sheridan, solicitor advocate at TLT Solicitors and a member of the Law Society of Scotland’s Obligations Committee, is:

Contact the company with a copy of the invoice, politely but firmly, requesting settlement. Follow up any letters or emails with telephone calls to the relevant accounts department.

Having a direct contact can aid payment delays by ensuring a clear channel of communication. If there is no response, or you are not getting the desired response, you can raise a court action for payment. Subject to your contract, you can often claim interest on the outstanding account, together with costs.

The court fee for raising proceedings varies depending upon the sum outstanding, as does the additional amount of expenses you can recover (over and above the debt, interest and charge for late payment, if appropriate). The Sheriff clerk will be able to confirm to you the appropriate fee.

The Scottish Courts website has guidance notes and forms, which should assist. The court will provide a warrant for service and assign a hearing date for the matter. Service of a court action will more often than not lead to payment. In the event that the debt is disputed, seek advice as you may well require to lead evidence which can be time-consuming and/or complicated, depending upon the circumstances.

Our next Media Clinic question: Leasing an office …What are the common pitfalls to avoid?

Want to suggest an answer? Send it to here, along with your name and job title. The Media Clinic will be appearing next on Friday, August 10.