Job roles in law firms – claiming for money that is owed (debt recovery)

This article is part of our Job roles in law series which explores some of the legal sector’s practice areas and the associated job roles which may offer a starting point for someone looking to start a career in law.


The work involves acting on behalf of clients to recover money that is owed. The debt can relate to anything from a tradesman not having been paid for services, through to payments due on large commercial contracts of any nature.

What’s involved?

There are many unpaid debts where there is no argument about whether the payment is due, but payment has not been made because the debtor does not have the means to pay. In these circumstances the lawyer acting for the person who is owed the money (the creditor) will bring an action through the courts to get an order for funds to be made available from other assets belonging to the debtor.

In other cases the debt may be disputed, such as a claim for payment for goods or services where there is a disagreement over whether the contract has been delivered or not. These cases are usually handled through the dispute resolution/commercial litigation departments.

What jobs are there for non-qualified staff?

This is a good area of law to get into if you don’t have any legal qualifications. There is a lot of low value work such as for unpaid rent, which is often delegated to unqualified staff. You will create the documentation to raise a claim and ensure that it is followed through the court process in a timely fashion. See how Catherine Rickett got into this area of law.

What job titles will be advertised by recruitment agencies?

Debt recovery claims handler, debt recovery paralegal, debt litigation paralegal.

What CILEx units will support my application for these job roles?

We recommend that you enrol on courses leading to the CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice (Civil Litigation), selecting Contract as the law unit. You will study an introductory unit as well as Contract and Civil Litigation. Have a look at the tables of contents to see what is involved. You will also study two professional skills units.

If you already have a qualifying law degree, you can achieve your CILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma by studying Level 6 Civil Litigation, Level 6 Client Care Skills and one other CILEx Level 6 practice unit of your choice, which we recommend should relate to a law unit studied as part of your degree.

 What have other students achieved?

Catherine Rickett heads the Debt Recovery Team at Roythornes Solicitors, having qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive.

March 11th, 2019|
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