Solicitors could pay the same practising certificate fees in 2018-19 as they did this year under draft plans presented by the Law Society Group today.
Law Society of England and Wales president Joe Egan said the Law Society and Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) are both making efforts to improve efficiency.
“The proposed £278 fee represents a £32 decrease over the last three years, a reduction of 10 per cent. Since 2014 the fee has gone down by 28 per cent,” he said.
“The practising certificate fee supports the Law Society’s work in areas such as promoting the profession, safeguarding the rule of law and influencing government on key issues.
“Around the world we promote England and Wales as a global legal centre, open new markets and defend human rights. Our efforts underpin a growing legal services sector worth £25.7 billion annually to the economy.
“By making considerable efficiency savings across the Society, along with an increase in the number of solicitors on the roll, we are able to freeze fees while delivering greater value to members.”
Chair of the SRA, Enid Rowlands said: “It’s important that the practising certificate fees offer value for money for the profession, while ensuring that we can protect the public and support the rule of law and the administration of justice. Our drive for efficiency is a key part of keeping costs down and I am pleased that we have again been able to deliver more without increasing the fees.”
The proposed £278 fee includes levies for the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, the Legal Services Board, the Financial Conduct Authority (to focus on money laundering activity), and the Legal Ombudsman.
The fee also covers the costs of the regulation work undertaken by the SRA, but does not cover contributions to the Compensation Fund.
The proposed fee is now open for consultation and the results of the consultation will be considered at the Annual General Meeting on 5 July 2018.
If approved, the fee goes to the oversight regulator, the Legal Services Board, for final approval.
Notes to editors
Under the proposals, solicitors will pay £278 for their individual practising certificate (PC). In addition to the PC fee, solicitors and firms make a contribution to the Compensation Fund. The level of this contribution is set by the SRA.
About the Law Society
The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.
About the Solicitors Regulation Authority
The SRA is the regulator of solicitors and law firms in England and Wales, protecting consumers and supporting the rule of law and the administration of justice. The SRA does this by overseeing all education and training requirements necessary to practise as a solicitor, licensing individuals and firms to practise, setting the standards of the profession and regulating and enforcing compliance against these standards. Further information is available at www.sra.org.uk.
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