The individual practising certificate fee will fall by 17% in 2014/15, subject to Law Society Council approval and a consultation with members that starts today.
The fee proposed is £320, down from £384 this year. The Compensation Fund levy is expected to be £32, which would result in a total fee of £352, a fall of £88 on 2013/14.
Today’s consultation does not encompass the additional entity-based PC fee, which is determined by turnover and is also expected to fall.
The eight-page consultation will seek member comment on the draft 2014/15 budget for the Law Society Group, which comprises the professional body, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Corporate Solutions, the group’s shared services arm.
In 2014/15 the group expects to spend £146.1m, of which Corporate Solutions and the SRA would account for 37% (£54.6m) and 33% (£47.7m) respectively. The professional body based at Chancery Lane is expected to account for 21% (£30.6m), nearly half of would be generated through commercial income and £11.7m from the PC fee.
Group spending is funded from the PC fee (forecast to bring in £104.9m), plus commercial and regulatory income, recoveries and a contribution from reserves. The SRA would take £28.9m from the PC fee, about £2m less than in 2013/14.
Council will consider the member consultation ahead of a meeting on 9 July which will consider whether to recommend the budget for approval to the Legal Services Board. The deadline for responses is 4pm on 7 July.