The Legal Services Board has demanded the SRA immediately outlines its plans for next year’s fees after the ‘inadequacy’ of consultation with solicitors this year.
In a letter to SRA chief executive Antony Townsend, his LSB counterpart Chris Kenny (pictured) said the regulator had offered little information on the review of fees and charges for 2013/14.
Total practising certificate fee income will rise from £103.5m in 2013 to £116.8m in 2014. Expenditure on the SRA will rise by £1.3m to £53.7m and on the Law Society by £1.1m to £31.8m.
The LSB and Legal Ombudsman will receive £18.5m next year, having reduced their budget by £900,000 in a year.
In the letter, Kenny says there was not enough information from the SRA on the timetable for reviewing fees and changes.
Kenny said a 12-13% increase in overall contributions was ‘significant’ and should have been subject to more extensive consultation.
‘Once again we find it necessary to comment on the inadequacy of the consultation undertaken with your fee payers on the proposed fee,’ he added.
The LSB is demanding information on future reviews of fees and charges by the end of the month.
The super-regulator says it wants a scope and timetable for the review and an outline of the consultation that will be undertaken.
In spite of misgivings about the fee-setting process, the LSB has approved next year’s levels, although it has urged both the SRA and Law Society to seek savings in future years.
Kenny noted he had written in identical terms to Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson.