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Hi thank you for your enquiry and your patience. Due to the value of the debt I would not recommend using a solicitor because they will cost you money to draft the letters and to communicate with your friend. If you still want to use a solicitor then you have to do so knowing if it ends up going to court you will not be able to recover the solicitors' costs.
I would suggest that you sent to your friend a letter of claim clearly setting out the basis of your claim and warning them that if they do not settle the whole sum in 14 days you are taking them to court without further notice. If they do not do anything then when the 14 days notice ends you will need to download claim form N1 from online and complete it; draft your particulars of claim (details of claim) to attach to the claim form and if you have any evidence of the loan eg contract or messages you should attach this too. you will also need to download form x50 to check the court issue fee for the value of your claim. You will send the whole claim pack in triplicate to the county court money claims centre whose address is on the claim form n1 and the next steps will be advised to you by the court. I hope this is useful and I would be grateful for your rating at your earliest convenience. All the best.