The UK is the most expensive place in the developed world to enforce a contract

Contract enforcement in the UK is the most expensive in the developed world - as disputes take an average of 437 days to resolve. In Singapore it takes just 150.

The UK ranks as just the 56th best country in the world in which to enforce a contract. The average cost is a staggering 39.9 per cent of a claim, according to the World Bank's Doing Business 2014 report.

That puts the UK behind all other OECD high income states - like the Czech Republic (33 per cent), Chile (28.6 per cent), Spain (18.5 per cent), United States (18.4 per cent), Belgium (17.7 per cent), Portugal (13 per cent), and Slovenia (12.7 per cent).

The World Bank says that "efficient contract enforcement is essential for a business-friendly environment". Costs in OECD high income nations stand at an average of 21 per cent, while in Sub-Saharan African states typical costs stand at 51.6 per cent of a claim.

The UK does better in the World Bank's overall "rankings on the ease of doing business", taking the 10th spot.

The World Bank cites several areas in which the UK is improving, including having minimal capital requirement to start a business and offering land survey information online.