Solicitors’ practising fees frozen to support professionals affected by Covid-19

Solicitors’ practising fees will be frozen to support professionals through the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been announced.

The news comes as the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) also reveals major changes to the Compensation Fund, such as excluding claims for unpaid professional fees.

According to the annual review of regulatory fees, the individual contribution will remain at the same level – £278 – for the fourth year in a row, in part to help solicitors affected by Covid-19.

The practising fee is used to fund the regulation of the legal sector and is distributed between the Legal Ombudsman, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision.

Commenting on the announcement, SRA Chief Executive Paul Philip said: “This year has been an uncertain time for everyone and of course it will be some time before the impacts of the pandemic are fully understood.

“That makes our continuing work to control costs all the more important, while still being aware of need to invest in long-term improvements to deliver benefits direct to the profession. Maintaining practising certificate fees at the same level for the fourth year running, while reducing Compensation Fund contributions, can only help the sector.”

The annual review will also see individual contributions to the SRA Compensation Fund fall from £60 to £50, and firm contributions fall from £1,150 to £950.

The reduction comes after the SRA announced significant changes to who can benefit from the fund. Under the proposed new rules, the maximum payment for a single grant is to be reduced from £2 million to £500,000, while costs associated with making an application, litigation, and unpaid fees of barristers and other professional experts will be excluded.

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