During March 2010 The Sheriffs Office conducted a survey amongst legal professionals about their use of high court enforcement. The results make for interesting reading.

First, we discovered that solicitors are almost always using high court enforcement because they find it is the most effective solution for the case.

Enforcement is mostly being used by solicitors to collect monies owed. Not many in the profession are yet using high court enforcement for collecting on tribunal awards, repossessing property, evictions or recovering goods using a writ of delivery. We believe that, as awareness spreads that an HCEO can enforce in these areas, more and more will find this an attractive option.

We asked what was important to a solicitor when choosing which HCEO to work with. The top three answers were:

  • Speed of enforcement - essential or important for 86%
  • Efficient administration - essential or important for 84%
  • Collection rates - essential or important for 81%

Our respondents handle quite a few CCJ cases. 61% handle up to 10 cases per month, and 17% up to 50 (although the case load is, not surprisingly, higher in larger firms).

For property cases, 50% of respondents handle up to 10 commercial rent arrears and repossessions cases per month and 47% handle up to 10 for residential cases. 49% handle up to 10 employment cases per month.

Finally, we asked whether the respondents would be more inclined to work with The Sheriffs Office if we either had a charity donation scheme or undertook to carbon offset our emissions relating to case enforcement.

Over half of respondents were in favour of these ideas. As you can see from our website, we already support a number of charities and have recently introduced a carbon offsetting scheme where we are supporting a project run by Carbon Footprint Ltd which is planting trees in Kenya to support local communities in the Great Rift Valley, so as to reduce poverty and provide habitats for wildlife.

Once again, our thanks to everyone who took part in the survey.

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