Thursday 05 July 2012 by John Hyde
The Law Society council today approved a practising certificate fee increase of £16 for 2012/13. The fee for each solicitor will rise from £328 to £344. Individual Compensation Fund contributions rise from £60 to £92.
The contribution for firms will increase from £722 to £1,340.
PC fee increases follow last year's 23% drop and have been set to replenish reserves that were used up during 2011/12. The proposals will be submitted to the Legal Services Board for formal approval.
Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson said: 'The funding requirement to meet the budget for 2013 would have been just over £100m, but during the current year, the Law Society group has accessed £10m from reserves, mainly to meet overrun costs on certain IT projects.
'In order to gradually rebuild those reserves, the proposed 2013 net funding requirement has been set at £103.5m. The alternative, to replenish those reserves in one go with a large increase in the PC fee, would have placed an unnecessary burden on the profession.'
Increases in the Compensation Fund contribution, recommended by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, are intended to ensure sufficient funds to cover a predicted increase in claims in the coming year.
The practising fee meets the cost of regulation, much of the Law Society's work as a professional body, and the levies the Law Society has to pay towards the costs of the Legal Services Board, the Legal Ombudsman and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.