Recovering Overpayments

  • Overview
  • We have a wide-range of experience in handling overpayment (restitution) claims. The following are just some examples of the types of issues we can assist with:

    • recovering outstanding invoices (disputed and undisputed);
    • recoveries of overpaid wages;
    • recoveries of compensation payments made in error to the wrong party;
    • recovery of overpaid annuity schemes; and
    • advising on repayment of overpaid grant payments.

    We have successfully dealt with recoveries at the pre-action stage as well as by way of formal proceedings. We can act on individual or ad-hoc matters and also run large debt collection / overpayment recoveries schemes for clients on a cost effective basis. In addition to claiming for overpayments and debts, we also have considerable experience handling the enforcement of any settlement sums and judgments. In the current climate, the debtor may be in financial distress or subject to an insolvency procedure. We have considerable experience in advising clients on the best course of action to recover overpayments and debts whilst protecting their interests.

    I have been very satisfied with the way Bevan Brittan has dealt with this matter; and the manner in which it was done meant that the effort required from the Local Authority was minimal.

    Finance Director Local Authority,

    Working with clients

    We have experience in acting for a variety of clients, including those in the finance/insurance, healthcare and regulatory sectors.

    Drawing on our wide experience of this work type, we can help you to quickly analyse options and establish what the best course of action might be, advising on prospects of success, options and recommended strategy. We are always alive to our clients' commercial considerations when seeking to recover overpayments and debts (including public law duties in respect of public entities). We routinely tailor strategies to best fit our clients' specific aims and objectives.

    We also help in assessing the cost effectiveness of pursuing a recovery.

    Recovering your monies

    We have a tried and tested methodology for the handling of such claims which can include all or elements of the following:

    • sending a series of demand letters, delivered with real value for money;
    • should a defendant remains unresponsive, we will advise in relation to pursuing legal proceedings through the Courts together with the risks and associated costs exposure of such action;
    • Court proceedings may not always be commercially viable, however, there will be cases that should be pursued more robustly, including on the fast or multi track.

    Our team is well placed and experienced to assess these situations and advise on the most appropriate commercial approach.

    How we have helped clients

    We have managed matters involving both contractual and unjust enrichment recoveries. We have successfully dealt with recoveries acting for both the claimant and the defendant which have involved recoveries of overpaid wages, recoveries of compensation payments made in error to the wrong party, recovery of overpaid annuity schemes and advising on repayment of overpaid grant payments.

    Group actions regarding overpayments

    We acted on behalf of 51 UK local authorities and 2 higher education institutions in relation to the settlement of 81 claims brought by the insolvent Icelandic bank, Glitnir hf in respect of an alleged overpayment in 2012 as a result of an Icelandic Supreme Court decision in 2014, post-distribution to our clients who were wholesale priority creditors. Our work included preparing detailed briefing notes on the negotiations with the Glitnir winding-up board; advising the clients on their position, verifying the claimed repayment figures, co-ordinating execution of settlement agreements by our clients and liaising with our Icelandic Counsel.

    Volume repayment demands

    We advise a private sector entity on the recovery of overpayments made on Life Assurance Policies following the death of their policyholders. This is on ongoing and cost effective instruction whereby we handle over 50 claims at any one time. Our work includes (a) drafting demand letters; (b) negotiating and advising on a range of repayment plans and settlement offers; and (c) active and regular management and advising the client on escalations.

     

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