SRA confirms fees structure for 2012/13
The Law Society Council and Legal Services Board have now ratified the SRA’s approach to fees for the year 2012/13. Although last year’s fee structure will be maintained for the coming year, nevertheless firms will see a rise in the Compensation Fund contribution due to expected higher levels of grant payments and a more cautious approach to the level of reserves held in the fund. The SRA have stated that previous years’ contributions have been at a reduced level, partly due to the utilisation of reserves in the fund.
When the SRA Board draws up the fees structure, it adheres to eight principles. These include being fair to payers, being stable, and taking account of ability to pay.
The structure also has to be based on information that can be verified, and be as simple as possible so that the profession can easily calculate contributions.
The SRA has written to firms and individuals asking them to validate the turnover figure that they have previously submitted to the SRA, by 31 August 2012. This figure will be used to determine the 2012 regulatory fee of sole practitioners, or annual periodic fee for firms that are authorised bodies. There is detailed guidance at www.sra.org.uk/turnover.
The fees for next year are due to be paid in November 2012 when the PC renewals exercise is expected to commence.
A fundamental review of the fees structure is to be undertaken by the SRA during 2013 with any changes subsequently approved to be implemented in 2014/15.
Solicitors wishing to budget for next year’s fees are encouraged to use the fees calculator on the SRA website.