Newsletter – July 2021
From the CEO
The last few years have shown that it can be hard to predict what’s coming around the corner, but that doesn’t mean we can’t plan for the future. This month, we have been developing our proposed work programme for 2022, and we would love to tell you about our plans.
Our proposals are set out in our draft 2022 Business Plan. Mindful of our commitment to promote good consumer outcomes in all our work, we intend to carry out a number of research projects aimed at better understanding what consumers of Costs Lawyer’s services need and expect. In particular, we want to learn more about the unregulated part of the market for costs advice – to understand whether clients have a different experience when they use regulated as opposed to unregulated advisers – and consider what this means for the nature and scope of regulation in the costs market.
Alongside our Business Plan, we have published our draft budget for 2022. Some of our costs will increase next year; for example, the Legal Services Board has increased its budget by 4.4% and we must pass that increase on to you through the statutory levy. Other costs have come down, as we continue to make efficiency savings and work with new providers who can help us deliver a better service at lower cost. Overall, we are proposing to increase the practising fee in line with projected inflation, to £281.
We are seeking your feedback on our proposals in this year’s practising fee consultation, which is now open. There are more details in the Regulatory News section below.
It is worth explaining that, earlier this year, the Legal Services Board published new Practising Fee Rules which require the legal regulators to provide extra information in their practising fee consultations. This is a good thing, in that it drives transparency and ensures we’re accountable for our decisions. But the downside is that the consultation papers are longer.
To make it as easy as possible to read them, we have separated out some of the information into five Annexes. These include our 2022 Business Plan, 2022 budget, a summary of the activities funded by last year’s practising fee, our 2020 financial accounts and an initial equality impact assessment. We hope you can easily find the information that’s of most interest to you, but if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to let us know.