Allocation and collection of fees
A consultation to obtain views from the solicitors' profession, trainees, students and other stakeholders on the SRA Board's proposed principles for the allocation and collection of fees, other than the practising certificate fee, ended on 26 September 2007.
We have analysed and considered stakeholders' responses. A report, submitted to the SRA Board on 6 March 2008, summarises responses to the consultation and recommends a course of action:
- Allocation and collection of fees (other than the PC fee): Responses to consultation and recommendations (DOC 133K)
Background information about the consultation is available below.
The SRA regulates solicitors and their practices in the public interest. The SRA was established by the Law Society to separate the regulation of the profession from the Law Society's representational role.
The vast majority of the SRA's regulatory functions are funded through the practising certificate (PC) fee, collected annually from solicitors to coincide with the renewal of PCs. Currently, however, the SRA collects fees relating to some other activities, particularly in relation to functions concerning education, training and development of students, trainees and solicitors.
This consultation outlines the type of applications (other than PC renewal) for which fees are charged; it seeks views on whether the SRA should continue to collect fees for these applications and on whether fees should be charged for other types of application. We are also seeking views about the basis on which those fees are calculated and about how, in future, the SRA might calculate the fees.
This consultation does not tackle the allocation and collection of income through the PC fee—although, if enacted in its current form, the Legal Services Bill will enable the SRA to consider other methods of allocating and collecting fees to fund its activities. The SRA would consult widely prior to making any decisions about the PC fee.
In coming years, the allocation and processes for collection of fees could change markedly, because of greater flexibility post-legislation and operational efficiencies gained through increased IT capability and streamlining of processes. However, in advance of the realisation of those benefits, the SRA Board wishes to rationalise, as far as possible, the allocation of and processes for collection of fees for "add-on" services.
The SRA is under a duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination and is committed to the promotion of equality and diversity across the profession and the public it serves. A regulatory impact assessment will be completed following consultation. To assist the assessment, as part of the consultation process, the Board is seeking views on whether its proposals may have an adverse impact on any groups.
The consultation focuses on principles governing fee allocation and collection, and not on the amount of each fee to be charged.
The consultation period ended 26 September 2007.
- You can download a copy of the consultation discussion paper to review directly below.