By Hugh Logue, Newswatch Editor
The Law Society Council yesterday approved a reduction in the individual practising certificate fee for next year of more than 23 per cent to reflect the reduced funding requirement for the Law Society Group.
The practising fees meet the costs of regulation, carried out by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, much of the Law Society's work as a professional body, and the levies the Law Society has to pay towards the costs of the Legal Services Board, the Legal Ombudsman and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
The individual practising certificate fee will drop from £428 to £328 to reflect the £94.8m net funding requirement for 2012, compared to the £121.7m funding requirement this year. Fees paid by solicitors firms will fall also by the 23 per cent.
The Council also approved the Solicitors Regulation Authority Board's recommendation to raise contributions to the Compensation Fund by £13.5m for 2011/12. Individual Compensation Fund contributions will be £60 in 2012, while firms will pay £770.
Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson says: "The closure of our defined benefit pension scheme, together with the benefits of the investments made over the last few years in systems and a major cost reduction and efficiency programme, has enabled the Society to make a significant reduction in the PC fee for next year.
"It is our intention to continue to contain the costs of the Law Society in the coming years."