Robert Surridge, Head of Debt Recovery

Robert Surridge, Head of Debt Recovery, Fieldfisher

I am the head of the firm's debt recovery department. I hold qualifications as both a barrister and a solicitor, and practice as a solicitor.

I specialise in the recovery of business to business debt through a range of processes, from letter collection to enforcement. I pioneered the use of conditional fee agreement, or more familiarly "no win no fee" agreements in the bankruptcy and winding up courts in England, backed by insurance to protect against the possibility of legal fees.

I have particular experience in Plant Hire, Construction, Invoice Factoring and Discounting, Recruitment, Legal Services and Utility debt. I have previously acted for HMRC, two of the big 6 energy companies and one of the larger water boards.

Recently, I acted for a steel stockholding company who had supplied a six figure value of steel to a customer, who had not paid. Working with the invoice factor who had taken the invoice, the stockholder who had supplied the product, and another commercial finance house, we used insolvency proceedings to force the debtor to make a significant interim payment, sufficient to buy out the factor, with an acceptable payment plan for the balance against new orders. The client paid nothing for this service, with the debtor having to cover all costs.

I have published several times in Credit Today, the leading publication of credit professionals, speaking on subjects of interest to the credit profession.

My professional memberships include the Institute of Credit Management.

I speak French to a good level, and in my limited spare time I act as a taxi for my son.