The Legal Services Board (LSB) has agreed individual practising fee levels for 2021/22 will fall by £12 to £266 after it approved the proposed fees set by the board of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in July. Required contributions to the compensation fund will also drop significantly.
Practising fees and compensation fund contributions are collected in October as part of the annual renewals process.
Practising fees contribute to statutory levies paid 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 and SRA.
The SRA’s funding requirement for 2021/22 is £56.8m while the total funding requirement for all organisations is £104.3m, a £3.1m increase against last year. However, the continued rise in the number of practising solicitors means that individual fees will be less than last year.
Contributions to the compensation fund will also fall from £50 to £40 and for firms holding client money from £950 to £760.
The fund compensates individuals owed money by a regulated firm and covers risks not covered by professional indemnity insurance, compensates those who have suffered loss due to a solicitor’s dishonesty or failure to account for money they received, and aims to reinforce trust in the profession.
Controversy has surrounded the fund in recent years after the SRA announced it planned to reduce the reduce the maximum grant allowed from the fund from £2 million to £500,000, following a 2018 consultation on the issue. However, the SRA abandoned these plans earlier this year.
SRA chief executive, Paul Philip, said: “This has been the second year of what has been a difficult time for everyone.
“I am pleased to confirm a fall in both practising fees and compensation fund contributions at a time when we know that the long-term implications of the pandemic are uncertain for many businesses.”...