Solicitors and firms can get help with their budget planning for next year by using the fees calculator on the SRA website.
The regulatory funding requirements for 2014/15, including practising fee levels, will be set by the Law Society Council on Wednesday 9 July. But the SRA has published indicative figures in the calculator to give the profession an idea about what their likely fee levels will be.
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.
In January, the SRA Board agreed that the structure for setting practising fees in 2014/15 should remain unchanged for the third successive year:
A 60/40 Firm/Individual split of Practising Fees
A 50/50 Firm/Individual split of Compensation Fund contributions
Maintaining the Maternity Leave discount on Practising Certificates
Richard Collins, SRA Executive Director, said: "Firms will already be planning ahead for next year’s budget and the fees calculator should be able to play a part in this. While the fees remain subject to approval by the LSB, the SRA Board’s decision to maintain the same fee structure for next year means the calculator can still be a useful guide.
“As a significant proportion of the SRA’s budget is met through practising fees paid by those we regulate, it is important that we are transparent about our budget requirements. If anyone has any comments they want to make on practising fees, they can e-mail them to [email protected]
When the SRA Board draws up the fees structure, it adheres to principles that include being fair to payers, being stable, and taking account of ability to pay. The structure is also based on data that can be verified, and is as simple as possible so that the profession can easily calculate contributions.
A fundamental review of the fees structure is under way, with the aim of implementing some changes in the 2016/17 year.