Individual practising fee levels for 2019/20 should remain at the same level, the Board has decided.
Proposed fees were set at an SRA Board meeting and will now be submitted to the Legal Services Board (LSB) for approval. A final decision on an individual fee of £278 is expected in mid-August.
Firm practising fees are calculated on a case-by-case basis.
Practising fees are used to fund our work, and to pay statutory levies to the LSB, the Legal Ombudsman, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and Office for Professional Body Anti-Money laundering Supervision and to fund representation by the Law Society.
Fees are set at a level necessary to meet this total funding requirement.
For 2019/20, this is £102.5 million, of which our component is £54.1m, up from £52.6m. This returns funding levels to those last seen in 2015/16, in part because of the increase in the amount of work to combat money laundering.
Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said: “We have made significant improvements over the years to control and reduce our operating costs. So while our funding requirement has increased slightly this year because of additional work such as tackling money laundering, we have been able to minimise the increase.”
Compensation Fund contributions for the next practising year are set to fall. The individual contribution for 2019/20 will be £60 (reduced from £90), while the firm contribution will be £1,150 (down £530 from £1,680). These figures have also been submitted to the LSB for approval.
One of the main reasons for the fall is a decline in the number and complexity of interventions – where where we close down a firm to protect client interests. However, the overall contribution remains higher than recent years because of the continuing risk of a greater number of high-value claims, for example because of solicitors’ involvement in dubious investments schemes. Further information is available here:
Paul Philip said: “The Compensation Fund provides an essential safety net for those who need it, helping to maintain trust in the profession. With fewer than expected interventions over the last year or so, I am pleased that we have now been able to bring contributions down.”
Firms can see what their specific indicative fees are from using the fees calculator. This can be accessed via this year’s fees policy page:
Fees and Compensation Fund contributions are collected in October as part of the annual renewals process.
Contributor: Solicitors Regulation Authority