News release

SRA consults on 2024-25 business plan, budget and fee levels

We have launched a public consultation on our 2024-25 Business Plan and budget, which includes details of proposed practising certificate fees. It also sets out compensation fund contributions for the coming year.

We are consulting on our element of practising certificate fees for 2024/25, proposing it is held at the same level as this year – at £162 per person. And we have set out that contributions to the SRA Compensation Fund from both firms and individuals will need to rise for the first time in five years.

Individual compensation fund contributions for next year will be £90 and £2,220 for firms. This will allow fund reserves, significantly impacted by a substantial increase in the number of interventions and volume of claims over the past 18 months, to be rebuilt over the next two to three years.

The proposed compensation fund contributions have been set taking account of the principles of the fund, in particular maintaining the viability of the fund while making contributions as manageable as possible.

We have taken steps to smooth impacts over several years and keep the rise in contributions to the minimum required to ensure the fund can meet current and future needs. This has included tight budgetary controls of costs, detailed modelling of potential scenarios, and the negotiation of a banking facility in the event of future large interventions.

Paul Philip, Chief Executive of the SRA, said: 'The SRA Compensation Fund plays a critical role in protecting the public and maintaining trust in the profession. We have a duty to ensure the fund is maintained and remains viable. This proposed rise has been driven by an unprecedented level and cost of claims and interventions in the last year. We have done all we can to make sure the contributions don't rise any more than they absolutely have to.'

As part of our ongoing review of consumer protection arrangements, we continue to consider how the compensation fund should operate in the future, and the possible impact of any changes upon both the public, and the firms and individual solicitors who fund it.

Covering the second year of our current Corporate Strategy, our Business Plan sets out our planned work for November 2024 to October 2025.

The plan builds upon the long-term objectives set out in our 2023-2026 Corporate Strategy. These objectives focus on setting and maintaining high professional standards, supporting the development of legal technology and innovation, adopting a risk-based and proactive approach to regulation, and meeting the needs and challenges of users of legal services and the wider sector.

Paul Philip said: 'The Business Plan outlines how we will build on the momentum from work already in-train and continue to respond to the biggest issues and challenges within our sector. This includes our consumer protection review - one of the largest ever projects, it goes to the heart of our purpose in driving confidence and trust in legal services.

'Another key area of work is improving and maintaining the quality and timeliness of our investigation and enforcement work, including delivering our ongoing investigations into cases such as the Post Office Horizon IT scandal and SSB Group.

'The Solicitors Qualifying Examination will enter its fourth year of operation and we will be further exploring its impacts to date while we will continue to consider what more we can do to improve public access to justice and support sector-wide adoption of technology and innovation.'

Consultation on the practising fee and compensation fund contribution runs until midday on 24 June, with the consultation on the business plan open until 2 July 2024. Go to the consultation page for details of how to have your say and respond.

Go to the Business Plan consultation page

Use to link to this page.