Legal Business Blogs

Law Society and SRA launch review to cut practising fee by 4%

The Law Society and The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have launched a consultation on a proposed 4% cut from the practising certificate (PC) fee this year, proposing an individual rate of £278 per solicitor for the year 2017-18.

The 4% cut would equate to £12, and in a statement The Law Society said this was due to ‘efficiencies combined with a higher number of solicitors on the roll and paying the PC fee.’ The individual fee has reduced by £42 over the last two years or 28% since 2014.

Both solicitors and firms pay annual PC fees which include £67.9m towards the cost of regulation, with the SRA the receiving the bulk of the funding at £52.6m, while £2.4m goes to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and £2.8m is provided as contributions to the Legal Services Board.

According to the report, the Law Society anticipates that ‘73% of its expenditure will be met from annual practising fees’ with the rest from other sources including £15.8m from commercial activities and other regulatory fees, costs awarded and from the Solicitors Compensation Fund.

Despite the proposed drop in fees, however, an additional cost this year will also be included partly to cover £300,000 of funding for the new regulatory role created by the Financial Conduct Authority to focus on money laundering activity, in light of the new regulations.

The deadline for solicitors to respond to the consultation is 2 July.

As Legal Business revealed today (27 June), Fieldfisher, Capsticks and Capital Law were appointed to the SRA’s inaugural general counsel (GC) panel. It has a three year initial term, with a possible two year extension.

Fieldfisher will advise on issues of regulatory reform, policy development and governance, while Capsticks will advise on public law including judicial review, public policy and information law requirements.

The team, formed in 2015, provides the SRA with legal advice on public law and regulatory issues, including judicial review, effective decision-making and corporate support to the body.