Practising certificate renewal will run from 1st to 31st October this year, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has confirmed.
The month-long exercise will bring together key information on solicitors and firms, and the collection of periodic fees.
The Legal Services Board (LSB) has agreed practising fees will be unchanged for the coming practising year.
Proposals by the SRA have been accepted, meaning the individual fee will remain at £320. Fees for firms are determined by turnover figures. Compensation Fund contributions also remain unchanged at £548 for firms, and £32 for individuals.
Practising fees are set at a level necessary to meet the total funding requirement set by the Law Society Council. The fees are used to fund the SRA, to pay statutory levies to the Legal Services Board, Legal Ombudsman and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, and to fund representation by the Law Society that meets the ‘permitted purposes’ criteria in the Legal Services Act.
To make sure their renewal runs as smoothly as possible, solicitors and firms with a mySRA account need to ensure their information in the account is up to date before 1st October. Any changes to organisation details, such as name, address or the addition of a new office, should be made in mySRA by 1st September 2015 for approval in good time for the October renewals window.
Firms’ authorised signatories and organisation contacts have been advised of the new renewal window dates.
Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said: “We are committed to making it easier for firms to do business, and keeping SRA costs down can only help. Maintaining Practising fees and Compensation Fund contributions at the current level is, in real terms, a reduction.”
Solicitors and firms can get help with their budget planning for next year by using the Fees Calculator on the SRA website. The calculator and other information on 2015/16 fee determinations can be accessed through the Fees Policy 2015/16 page here: www.sra.org.uk/mysra/fees/fee-policy-2015-2016.page
The SRA will contact solicitors and firms in September to provide further information in preparation for their application.
Information will also be provided via the SRA’s e-newsletter, SRA Update.
Frequently asked questions about practising certificate renewal are available on the SRA website, together with useful videos and user guides.