Solicitors will pay an individual practising fee of £307 in 2023/24, a 7% rise on £286 this year, the Legal Services Board confirmed as it approved funding applications from the SRA and Law Society.

Projected total PC fee income for 2023 is £127.9m (up from £114.7m), based on the assumption of 167,000 individuals paying a fee. PC fees charged to firms will range from £100 for the smallest, to a minimum of £313,379 for firms with a turnover exceeding £150m.

Of the £127.9m to be collected, £67.6m (53%) will go to the SRA and £35.1m (27%) to the Law Society. The remaining £25.2m will be divided between the Legal Ombudsman (£15.14m), Legal Services Board (£4.62m), Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (£4.77m) and the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (£700,000).

SRA The Cube

SRA: The Cube

The LSB reports that the SRA expects staff costs to increase by over £5m (11.5%) in the next financial year. In addition to likely pay rises, headcount for the Investigation and Enforcement function added £1.3m to staff costs this year, while in 2023/24 the SRA intends to increase headcount in its Anti-Money Laundering, Corporate Complaints, Authorisation, Thematic, Research and Analysis and ICT functions.

The LSB requested a a breakdown of ‘other costs’ totalling £6.6m contained in the SRA’s application. These included £1.2m for consultancy, including supporting the Legal Choices website; nearly £1.2m for research; £1,080,000 for marketing, conferences and exhibitions; and £575,000 for staff travel and subsistence. 

At July 2023 the SRA held £18.4m in uncommitted reserves. The Law Society’s total anticipated reserves for 2022/23 come to £58.4m.

Law Society president Lubna Shuja said: ’We welcome the LSB’s sensible decision for a small increase in the PC fee (PCF), which will underpin support for the profession and enable the Law Society to serve solicitors in England and Wales better.

’The income we receive from the PCF determines what we can do to support the profession and wider society. We have ambitious plans to deliver more of what our members have told us is important to them, including addressing threats to the rule of law and defending the profession from political attacks.’