Many years ago in California, USA .. I took a client to small claims court. I knew they could pay, but because I had sold my business (asset sale) and would no longer do work for them, they apparently decided they could get away with it.
On one attempt to collect, the woman who writes the checks made a mistake. "You won't be getting paid until you talk to Mr Xxxxxxxx (department head)".
The problem was, Mr Xxxxxxxx would never get on the telephone.
I wrote that quote down precisely as it had been uttered.
Then I went to the library and did some research. I discovered a law/statute that defined the cases for punative damages.
When I went to small claims court I asked for 3 X damages, using the book keeper's statement as evidence and citing that law. The judge smiled and complimented me on my research work .. and Mr Xxxxxxxxx almost swallowed his tongue. The judge awarded me the treble damages.
The company immediately filed an appeal (more to the story but it's very technical and boring) but in the process they also made an immediate offer to pay the original invoice plus costs.
Do your homework. If you're right, the court is your friend.