Now more than ever, we are very aware that we are spending members’ money to support the profession, firms and individual members through challenging times for the sector and society.
We are now consulting members about a £3 million reduction in our part of the practising fee for 2020-21. This is a 10% decrease.
The Law Society receives less than 30% of the practising fee. The largest portion (over 70%) covers the total costs of the SRA, part of the costs of the Legal Service Board and the Legal Ombudsman, the full cost of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, and certain levies under the Legal Services Act. Although we propose to reduce our portion by £3m, proposed increases elsewhere will result in a flat practising fee overall.
Our planned reduction is part of a package of support which equates to approximately £4m. This is made up of a reduction in the practising certificate fee by the Society, driving down our operating costs by £3m, along with free training programmes and additional free to access webinars and support to help members deal with the challenges they and their firms will be facing. It also includes targeted direct support with accreditation discounts for conveyancing and criminal members particularly suffering at the moment. We have fulfilled our public interest role too, financially supporting charities focused on access to justice.
We will keep this support and assistance under review as the impact on the profession becomes clearer.
Complete a short survey by 10 July 2020 to give your views on on the overall practising fee and the balance between the professional and regulatory split.