Uday Patel joined Judge & Priestley in 2010 and qualified in 2013. Since then, Uday has been working as Litigation Solicitor and has considerable experience and knowledge of dealing with local authority clients and deals with the recovery of a wide range of debt types.
Q.1. What are your top 3 debt recovery litigation tips for clients ?
Firstly, know what you want and what you are willing to pay to get it. Litigation is expensive, and the only way to keep those costs in check is to know from the very beginning what you are looking for as a successful outcome, and what you are willing to pay (in time and money) to achieve that outcome. Once you have this in mind, it is easier to review progress regularly and see where things are heading, and more importantly to know when to settle, press on or pull the plug.
Secondly, leave your principles behind. Commercial litigation is not, and should never be, about fighting on principle. At the end of the day just remember that it’s business.
Thirdly- and this applies especially to the commercial organisations we act for, see the bigger picture. Don’t get bogged down in one case or matter, understand the position of that one case in the grander scheme of your business, and especially understand that a case lost is a lesson learnt on how not to lose the next one.
Q.2. What do you think is the most undervalued form of enforcement?
Enforcement of charging orders, for example by Order for Sale. Often clients will obtain a charging order, secure that against the Defendant’s property and think this is the end of matters. What they don’t realise is that, depending on the nature of the charge you hold, your security can be very limited and, in any case, sitting on a charge leaves the client at the mercy of the booms and busts of the economy. I think a more proactive approach should be taken, clients should measure the charges they hold against the rise and fall in value of properties, and client’s should look to enforce charges at times when the property market is peaking.
In the right circumstances there is no reason why a charge cannot be enforced at a time that can even be an appropriate or beneficial conclusion for all parties involved, and certainly would not create any negative publicity for the client.
Q.3. If you could invite one famous person to dinner who would it be and why?
Dennis Bergkamp. He’s the reason I became an Arsenal fan and, all these years later, I’m still trying (and failing) to emulate him.
Q.4. Favourite city and why?
London, because I have not been to any other city in the world that has so many people and cultures stuck together in such close proximity, nor any city that celebrates those cultures quite like London does. But if that’s too cliché, then Tokyo because it is the craziest city I have been to, with some of the best food I’ve ever eaten.
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