Costs statement

This statement details our costs for the financial year from 1 November 2016 to 31 October 2017 in line with the Legal Services Boards (LSB) principles of cost transparency1.

Regulated Community

At 31 October 2017 we regulated 149,093 individuals including 143,072 practising solicitors, 2,407 Registered foreign lawyers, 2,938 Exempt European lawyers and 676 Registered European lawyers2.

This was an increase of 2.7% on the previous year.

We also regulate solicitors’ firms. At 31 October 2017 there were 10,420 regulated firms, in line with 10,415 at 31 October 2016.

Income and expenditure

We are funded primarily from practising fee income collected from solicitors and law firms, with additional income from regulatory activities such as authorising firms to offer legal services. We also work to recover costs spent on intervening into law firms, taking disciplinary action and administering a Compensation Fund.

SRA Funding 2015/16 (£m) 2016/17 (£m)3
Practising fee income 54.1 54.3
Other income 3.3 3.3
Recoveries 11.1 14.2
Total Income 68.5 71.8
Expenditure 65.7 67.4
Surplus 2.8 4.4

Practising Certificate fees 2016/17

54% of the practising certificate fees are retained by the SRA, 31% of fees fund the activities of the Law Society and 15% is collected on behalf of the LSB, LeO and SDT.


As at 31 October 2017 the Law Society Group had reserves of £105.8m3. Reserves are held on behalf of the group and are not identified as belonging to the SRA specifically. 

Staff costs

  • Our average number of full time equivalent staff was 587 during 2016/17 (2015/16: 575). This increase resulted from a change in the group structure with some shared functions absorbed into the SRA.
  • Overall staff costs were4 £28.6m in 2016/17 (2015/16: £28.4m)
  • As at 31 October 2017 our Chief Executive’s salary was £239k
  • The Chief Executive’s salary was 7.16 times the median salary of the workforce which was £33,421
  • Salary bands of senior employees (excluding the Chief Executive)
Salary band October 2017
£135k - £140k 2
£140k - £145k 0
£145k - £150k 1
£150k - £155k 1
£155k - £160k 1
£160k - £165k 0
£165k - £170k 0
£170k - £175k 1

Board costs

  • The chair of our Board received emoluments of £90k over the financial year ending 31 October 2017 (2015/16: £90k)
  • The total cost of Board member salary costs and expenses in 2016/17 was £395k (2015/16: £466k)
  1. Annex 1: LSB Cost of Regulation (PDF 15 pages, 442KB)
  2. Regulated community statistics
  3. These figures are prior to the completion of the annual audit and are therefore draft subject to final approval.
  4. This includes salary, pension contributions, NI contributions, other benefits, temporary staff, recruitment and learning and development.