Individual lawyers (e.g. solicitors, barristers, legal executives, patent and trade mark attorneys, costs lawyers and notaries) as well as firms or entities that are regulated by the approved regulators, must pay a practising fee to their approved regulator for the cost of regulation.
An approved regulator may only require the payment of a practising fee if the LSB has approved the level of that fee. The Act makes clear that approved regulators can only use practising fees for one or more of the ‘permitted purposes’ it lists. These include regulation, accreditation, and education and training.
LSB practising fee rules
The LSB’s Practising Fee Rules 2016 set out how it considers such applications. The LSB does not undertake detailed budget analysis. Rather it checks that each approved regulator has consulted widely with those affected about the level of the fee and relies upon transparency to ensure that the practising fees proposed represent fair value.
The LSB’s Guidance to Approved Regulators (ARs) on Practising Certificate Fee (PCF) applications provides approved regulators with the detailed criteria and evidence it requires to consider such an application.
Practising fee applications
The annual practising fee applications submitted by the approved regulators to the LSB for approval are available:
If you have any questions about a specific application (which is either pending approval by the LSB or has already been approved) you should contact the relevant approved regulator. Approved regulators are required to consult prior to submitting an application. The LSB does not consult publically about applications it receives.
For more information about the practising fees process, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
An analysis of the approved regulators’ practising fees
We have produced a breakdown of each approved regulator’s practising fees for 2011/12 summarising the cost of regulation. This information will help the LSB and approved regulators to review and assess how practising fee income is allocated.
The spreadsheets below have been agreed with the relevant approved regulator and show the breakdown of the total practising fees collected for each organisation in 2011/12, explaining how these monies have been allocated to:
- representative costs (for the representative body) – when applicable
- regulatory costs (for the regulatory body)
- Levy running costs for LSB and Legal Ombudsman (LeO)
- the third (and final) instalment of the LSB’s set-up costs – when applicable.
We have taken all the figures used in the spreadsheets from the approved regulators’ PCF applications submitted for the 2011/12 PCF round. It is important to note that to accurately reflect the LSB and LeO Levy costs we used the actual Levy costs for LSB setup, LSB running costs and LeO running costs, rather than the forecasted amount. We have also included a table within each spreadsheet, underneath each chart for the PCF that shows the typical fee.