Practising certificate fee 2023–2024
Solicitors in England and Wales are required to pay for a practising certificate (PC) each year. The fee is:
- set by the LSB, the oversight regulator for legal services
- collected by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
- paid for either by individual solicitors or by firms on behalf of their solicitors
How much is the 2023–24 practising certificate?
The cost of an individual practising certificate will be £307. This is an increase of £21 compared to the 2022–23 fee.
The SRA will contact you in the usual manner when you need to renew your practising certificate.
Defending the profession and more
Our main source of income is the funds we receive from the practising certificate. This determines what we can plan and undertake for you, the profession and wider society.
We have ambitious plans for the year ahead to deliver more of what you have told us is important to you.
- highlighting the value that solicitors and defending the profession from attacks
- representing members’ voices and the public interest in key policy issues such as criminal legal aid, court reform and anti-money laundering
- protecting access to justice and the rule of law by channelling the expertise and views of members in response to new legislative initiatives and legal developments
- providing new resources to help you tackle the big challenges firms face, such as regulation, compliance and climate change
The three-year strategy sets out our vision, objectives and outcomes. This vision has the full support of our Council, which is elected by solicitors in England and Wales, and our Board.
Find out more
The Law Society will receive 27% (£35.1 million) of the total funds generated by the PC fee in 2023–24.
The £21 increase in the cost of the practising certificate is driven by:
- increasing costs within the Law Society and SRA, as outlined above
- increased levies to external bodies
Before 2022, the cost of an individual practising certificate was either frozen or reduced for many years, most recently during the pandemic when the Law Society reduced the share we receive from the PC fee by £3 million.
Maintaining this level of support to assist members depleted our reserves and continuing to do so was unrealistic.
In 2022, we consulted extensively with over 1,400 solicitors about increasing the level of funding the Law Society receives over a three-year period.
This year, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) also requested an increase in the funds it receives from the PC fee.
The PC fee is collected annually by the SRA.
The income this generates can only be used for certain purposes. These are:
- regulatory activities (the total costs of the SRA)
- non-regulatory activities provided by the Law Society which are “permitted purposes” under the Legal Services Act
- levies required to be paid under the Legal Services Act
- part of the cost of the Legal Services Board (LSB)
- part of the costs of the Legal Ombudsman (LeO)
- full cost of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT)
- part of the cost of the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS)
Source: SRA website, updated 1 September 2023
In 2023–24, the total funds generated by the PC fee will be split between:
- the SRA (£67.6m)
- the Law Society (£35.1m)
- the LeO (£15.14m)
- the LSB (£4.62m)
- the SDT (£4.77m), and
- OPBAS (£700,000)
In 2022, we consulted extensively with solicitors in England and Wales about the proposal to increase the level of funding that the Law Society receives from the PC fee over a three-year period.
More than 1,400 solicitors took part in our largest ever consultation, which was promoted widely on our website, in email newsletters to solicitors, on social media and through a range of other activities.
58% of respondents agreed with our proposal to increase the amount of funding that the Law Society receives from the PC fee in 2023–24 by 7% (equivalent to an additional £6 for an individual practising certificate).
In April 2023, we also consulted more than 900 solicitors on what our priorities should be over the next year. This will inform our 2023–24 annual business plan, which we expect to publish on our website in November 2023.