The individual practising certificate fee is set to be cut by more than 60% after the Solicitors Regulation Authority board approved a new fees policy last week.
Subject to the policy receiving final approval by the SRA and Law Society Council next month and by the Legal Services Board, the cost of an individual certificate will fall to around £460, down from £1,180 in 2009-2010.
A firm fee calculated on a firm’s banded turnover will also be levied. Compensation fund contributions will be based on an individual fee of around £10 paid by all regulated individuals, plus a flat-rate fee of around £120 for all firms that hold client money.
SRA chief executive Antony Townsend said: “The way the fees are allocated across the profession will change, with firm fees raising 60% of the total costs, and individual fees raising 40% of the total costs.”
He added: “With 60-80% of the regulatory activity focused on private practice firms, this will allocate the costs across the profession more fairly. The fees structure has also been simplified and will be more transparent in terms of what is charged and what it is paying for.”
Provisional adoption of the new fees structure follows consultation with the profession over the past year, including three consultation papers and a series of workshops.
All firms were sent letters earlier this month informing them of their indicative regulatory fees and compensation fund contributions for 2010-2011. But the letters included the caveat that the figures were likely to change as the funding requirement had not yet been determined and the turnover information from the profession was incomplete.