Practising certificate fee set to increase
The Law Society has supported the move
The Legal Services Board (LSB) has today (26 August) approved an increase of £20 to the practising certificate fee (PC fee) for individual solicitors, meaning the cost of an individual practising certificate in 2022 – 2023 will be £286.
Solicitors in England and Wales are required to pay the PC fee each year. It is collected by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and is either paid for by individual solicitors or by firms on behalf of their staff.
Practising fees are used 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, as well as the work of the SRA. The funding requirement for all organisations is £114.7mn, a £10.4mn increase from £104.3mn in 2020/21.
In 2020, the Law Society reduced the amount it received from practising certificate fees, and this was frozen for 2021. The SRA’s share of the 2022 - 2023 PC fees will rise slightly from £145 to £151.
The cost of an individual practising certificate has either been frozen or reduced over the last nine years. The PC fee was £266 in 2021, compared to £428 in 2010.
Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: “We acknowledge the LSB’s sensible decision for a small increase in the PC fee, which will underpin support for the profession and enable the Law Society to serve solicitors in England and Wales better.
“We understand the economic environment businesses and individuals are facing with rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, and our request for a 15% increase for the Law Society’s work was based on a thorough investigation about what our members want.
“Our largest ever member consultation revealed 67% of respondents supported the Law Society’s proposal to increase the amount we receive from the practising fee in 2022-23”.
She said the income received from the PC fee determines what the Society can do to support the profession and wider society.
“We have ambitious plans to deliver more of what our members have told us is important to them”, said Boyce.
“This includes supporting professional excellence through events, e-learning, career development, practice guidance, free helplines, library enquiries and newsletters on a range of practices and topics. We will support our members to build on progress in diversity and inclusion, while remaining resilient and competitive in an ever-changing landscape.
“We will continue to address threats to the rule of law, defend the profession from political attacks and highlight the valuable contribution that solicitors make to society”.
In November, the Law Society will launch its new corporate strategy, which will set out its vision, objectives, and outcomes for the next three years.
Boyce commented: “This vision has the full support of our Council and Board. They have urged us to be ambitious in our plans to maximise the impact and value we provide to our members.
“The extra funding will ensure we’re able to work on the issues facing our members with the necessary resources in the challenging times ahead.”