SRA announces 7% increase in practising fees in response to “period of such high inflation”

updated on 17 May 2023

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The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has stated that solicitors will need to pay an increase of 7% on practising fees to finance a £10 million hike in its annual budget.

In a statement outlining its 2023/24 business plan, the regulator confirmed that the fee will rise by £11 from £151 to £162. However it also noted that between 2017 and 2023, the SRA element of the practising certificate fee had risen by only £3 overall.

The SRA’s total contribution to the profession will increase from £60.5 million to £67.5 million while law firms – who contribute around 60% of the regulator’s total contribution – will continue to pay a percentage of their turnover.

The legal body attributes the fee increases to:

  • high inflation;
  • a need for additional investment to fulfil the SRA’s “strategic ambition”; and
  • demands from policy makers and regulators.

Anna Bradley, chair of the SRA, commented: “Much has changed since 2020 when we developed our current strategy. Yet the direction we set back then has stood up well to the huge changes and challenges we’ve faced, from the pandemic to economic downturn, war in Ukraine to a boom in technology.”

The final practising certificate fee is also made up of elements that fund some of the work of the:

  • Law Society;
  • Legal Services Board (LSB);
  • the Legal Ombudsman;
  • the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal; and
  • the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision.

Following the finalisation of details from each organisation, an overall application will be made to the LSB to approve the final fee amount.

In defence of the rise in the SRA element of the fee, Chief Executive Paul Philip said: “Through a combination of tight budget control and efficiencies, in recent years we’ve been able to absorb inflation and keep any rises to an absolute minimum. There’s a limit, however, to how far we can continue to go on doing more for less or the same, particularly in a period of such high inflation.”

Consultation on the SRA’s business plan and budget will run for six weeks from 10 May until 21 June.