The Legal Services Board has called on legal sector regulators to provide more transparency regarding how the practising certificate fee is spent.
The oversight regulator today confirmed it has approved next year’s fee proposals put forward by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Law Society.
The Law Society Group has agreed a 17% reduction in the fee, which means individual fees will fall from £384 to £320. In total, £104.9m will be collected from PC fees – a decrease from £116.8m collected in 2013/14.
In a letter written last week to the chief executives of the SRA and Law Society, LSB chief executive Chris Kenny (pictured) confirmed the board had approved the proposals.
Kenny said the LSB welcomed the reduction and was pleased to see efforts to improve consultation with the profession.
But he urged greater transparency on the overall cost of regulation, its allocation and sources of funding.
Kenny said: ‘I would ask you to consider how you can be more explicit and seek views on how PCF money and other regulatory resources are spent and allocated, rather than the levels alone.’
The LSB in particular wants formal plans from the SRA on its proposed review of fees and changes.
Last month, then-Society president Nicholas Fluck noted that the Law Society Group had consulted solicitors to a greater extent than ever before.
‘Hundreds of solicitors shared their views on the draft proposal for the net funding requirement and practising certificate fee in 2014-15,’ said Fluck. ‘Many respondents asked that we do all we can to minimise the group’s call on the PC fee.’