Cost of practising as a solicitor to rise sharply

Print This Post

8 July 2013

Law Society: £5m provision for end of assigned risks pool

The cost of practising as a solicitor is set to rise at a rate of more than four times inflation, if the Law Society’s council approves figures that will be put before it later this week.

The collection of £116.8m in fees from the profession in 2014 is the sum required by the society to cover the group budget, up £13.2m on this year.

This is made up of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (£30.8m), the Law Society (£15.2m), shared services (£56.2m) – made up predominantly of finance, IT and facilities – and projects (£10.2m).

With the Law Society and SRA’s operational budgets relatively flat, the increase is made up of provision of £5m for liabilities from the last year of the assigned risks pool, a further £5m to “replenish reserves” and £2.5m for SRA IT projects.

Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 14)

Of the £116.8m, 40% is paid by individual solicitors and 60% by firms.

It equates to a practising certificate (PC) fee of £384 for each solicitor, up £40 from last year’s figure of £344 – itself an above-inflation increase from £328 in 2012.

The £40 represents an increase of 11.6%, which is more than four times the consumer price inflation rate of 2.7% recorded in May 2013.

The £384 is still well below the £428 charged to solicitors by the society in 2011. However, in that year the compensation fund levy was just £10.

Despite the extra contribution to pay for the unexpectedly high costs of interventions, the compensation fund charge is set to fall by £36 – from £92 last year – meaning each individual contribution will be £56 in 2014. If this saving is set against the PC fee rise, the total increase is just £4 year on year.

Firms’ practising fees are set to rise by between 10% and 13% – meaning, for example, an extra £1,200 for a firm with a £2m turnover – but their contribution to the compensation fund will fall 57% to £852.

The budget also includes levies to pay for the Legal Services Board, Legal Ombudsman and Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

If the council approves the amounts to be raised, the Legal Services Board will have to rubber stamp the figures next month before the collection period begins in mid-September.

Tags: , ,

One Response to “Cost of practising as a solicitor to rise sharply”

  1. At a time of ever increasing competition, a government cutting access to justice and attacking whole sections of the profession, the best the Law Society can come up with is a series of adverts pushing the solicitor “brand” and a new Quality Scheme for Private Client solicitors.

    Out thought and out fought by the ABI on the issue of portal fees; not only is the Law Society no longer value for money I would question whether, as a representative body, it is fit for purpose.

  2. Michael on July 8th, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Leave a comment

* Denotes required field

All comments will be moderated before posting. Please see our Terms and Conditions

Legal Futures Blog

The LSB’s proposals for legislative reform: let’s be clear

Caroline Wallace LSB

The publication of the Legal Services Board’s vision for legislative reform of legal services regulation on 12 September has generated a healthy level of interest and debate. This can, on the surface, seem a somewhat dry subject. However, it has an impact not just on existing regulated practitioners, but also on providers of legal services more generally, as well as everyone who uses or benefits from an effective legal sector. And, let’s face it, that’s all of us.

October 25th, 2016