News In Focus
Scottish practising certificate fee to be frozen again
Solicitors’ practising certificate fees in Scotland are set to be frozen for the eighth consecutive year.
The Law Society of Scotland’s Council is proposing that the current practising certificate fee of £550 will be maintained for 2017-18. This will be put to the vote at the Society’s AGM on Thursday 25 May.
Chief executive Lorna Jack said the Society was aware of the costs involved in practising as a solicitor and was determined to work to keep the cost of the practising certificate at its current level.
She commented: “Although it is very encouraging to see some firms experiencing growth, and in recent years we have seen the number of practising solicitors gradually rise by about 2% annually, uncertainties around the economy remain and so we recognise that there are firms, particularly those who carry out legal aid work, that are still facing challenging times. The organisations in which our in-house members work face some of the same economic challenges. This coupled with rising costs elsewhere, including the mandatory SLCC levy increase of 12.5%, has put further pressure on hardworking solicitors. That’s why the Law Society Council, made up of both solicitors and non-solicitors, agreed unanimously to freeze the practising certificate fee once again. This will go some way to helping our members who themselves have to manage tight budgets.
“Just as solicitors need to adapt to a changing economic environment, we too need to continue our drive to increase efficiency, to innovate and be enterprising in our approach to make sure we can add value, without imposing any unnecessary additional costs on our members.
“We are working hard to achieve our ambitions as a professional body, which include improving the regulatory aspects of our work as well as providing high quality services and products which our members can use in their work every day. Our strategy is to boost revenue through new and improved services, partnerships or suitable investment – such as our successful conference suite at our new offices at Atria One – to ensure that we have a sustainable funding model that relies less on membership fees.”
The full agenda for the AGM, which will be held in the Society's Edinburgh offices, and other information about the meeting including the new facility for voting in advance, can be found by clicking here.