Costs statement

This statement details our costs for the financial year from 1 November 2017 to 31 October 2018 in line with the Legal Services Boards (LSB) principles of cost transparency1 .

Regulated community

At 31 October 2018 we regulated 153,008 individuals including 146,625 practising solicitors, 2,491 Registered foreign lawyers, 3,203 Exempt European lawyers and 689 Registered European lawyers2 .

This was an increase of 2.6% on the previous year.

We also regulate solicitors’ firms. At 31 October 2018 there were 10,407 regulated firms, in line with 10,420 at 31 October 2017.

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 2016/17 (£m)2017/18 (£m)
Practising fee income54.352.8
Other income3.33.4
Total Income71.868.5
Surplus / (Deficit)4.4(7.7)

The increased expenditure and deficit in 2017/18 is as a result of increased investment in modernising our IT as part of a significant ongoing programme of work.

Practising Certificate fees 2017/18

53% of the practising certificate fees are retained by the SRA, 31% of fees fund the activities of the Law Society and 16% is collected on behalf of the LSB, LeO, OPBAS and SDT.


  • As at 31 October 2018 the Law Society Group had reserves of £94.9m3. 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 597 during 2017/18 (2016/17: 587). This increase resulted from a change in the group structure with some shared functions absorbed into the SRA.
  • Overall staff costs4 were £30.4m in 2017/18 (2016/17: £28.6m)
  • As at 31 October 2018 our Chief Executive’s salary was £244k
  • The Chief Executive’s salary was 7.11 times the full time equivalent median salary of the workforce which was £34,371.66
  • Salary bands of senior employees (excluding the Chief Executive)
Salary bandOctober 2018
£135k - £140k2
£140k - £145k0
£145k - £150k0
£150k - £155k1
£155k - £160k1
£160k - £165k1
£165k - £170k0
£170k - £175k0

Board costs

  • The chair of our Board received emoluments of £90k over the financial year ending 31 October 2018 (2016/17: £90k)
  • The total cost of Board member salary costs and expenses in 2017/18 was £447k (2016/17: £395k). The year on year cost increased due to one off costs associated with the recruitment of new board members.
  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.