Spring budget 2024 – Law Society response

We’ve submitted our recommendations to the government on how they can use the spring budget to maximise the economic value of legal services.

The proposals

The UK government is making plans to address inflation and grow the economy. The legal services sector is ready to play its part.

Our view

A strong legal services sector is vital to the economy – worth £60 billion annually.

We are calling on the government to:

  • remove the investment penalty on law firms and partnerships by extending full expensing
  • broaden the National Skills Fund to provide retraining for employees in the legal sector
  • boost support for legal businesses, especially small and medium legal businesses (SMEs), to take on apprentices
  • create a grant scheme to support small and medium-sized law firms with the costs of adopting productivity boosting lawtech, modelled on Singapore’s Tech-celerate for Law scheme
  • expand the NCSC Cyber Essentials Programme so more legal SME firms can access the support it provides
  • provide courts with the funding necessary to carry out repairs, remove reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) and replace lost capacity while repair works take place
  • immediately invest £30m into criminal legal aid rates to make up the shortfall in the recommendations of the government’s independent review of the sector
  • inject £11.3m into early advice for civil legal aid to prevent the system’s collapse while the ongoing review takes place

What this means for solicitors

Our proposed reforms would build on the existing economic strengths of our profession, while allowing for greater productivity and economic potential of SMEs with minimal cost to the government.

By implementing the changes and policies outlined in this submission, legal services, from the high street legal practice to the global law firm, can rapidly be unleashed to help drive innovation and widespread economic growth across all our communities.

Next steps

The chancellor will present his spring budget on 6 March 2024.

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