law society consultation on cutting practicising fee covid-19 response
The annual consultation with solicitors about their Practising Certificate Fee (PC fee) launches today with the Law Society going further than ever before to keep the amount down - cutting its own share by 10%.
The move comes as a response to the challenges solicitors and firms are facing because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Now more than ever, we are very aware that we are spending members’ money to support the profession, firms and individual members through challenging times for the sector and society,” said Law Society president Simon Davis.
“We are now consulting members about a £3 million reduction in our part of the PC fee for 2020-21. This is a 10% decrease.”
The Law Society receives around 30% of the PC fee. The largest portion (around 70%) covers the total costs of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, part of the costs of the Legal Service Board and the Legal Ombudsman, the full cost of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, and certain levies under the Legal Services Act.
Simon Davis added: “Although we propose to reduce our portion by £3 million, proposed increases elsewhere will result in a flat PC fee overall.
“Our planned reduction is part of a package of support which equates to approximately £4 million.”
This is made up of a reduction in the PC fee by the Society, a driving down of operating costs, along with providing free training programmes, additional free-to-access webinars and support to help members deal with the challenges they and their firms will be facing.
It also includes targeted direct support with accreditation discounts for conveyancing and criminal members who are particularly suffering at the moment.
“We have fulfilled our public interest role too, financially supporting charities focused on access to justice,” said Simon Davis.
“We will keep this support and assistance under review as the impact on the profession becomes clearer.”
Solicitors can give their views on the overall practising fee and the balance between the professional and regulatory split here https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/news/stories/law-society-plans-to-reduce-its-part-of-practising-fee/