Experts in the Business Management of SME Law Firms in general, Notaries Public in particular                         

How is your Practising Certificate Fee Spent?

How is your Practising Certificate Fee Spent?

We, at Law Consultancy Services, explore this topic in detail, as we delve into the inner workings of The Faculty Office in  this year’s accredited for Continuing Professional Education programme –  Notaries Now 2021. Here we report how the  New LSB rules on regulators’ fees will increase transparency for lawyers and raise standards Posted on 29th January 2021


The Legal Services Board (LSB) has today published new Rules and Guidance to increase transparency on how legal services regulators spend practising certificate fees (PCF).  Increased transparency will help empower those who pay the PCF to hold their regulator accountable for its expenditure. The proposals are designed to lead to a more meaningful debate on the purpose, benefits, costs, and value of regulation,  improve standards across the sector and promote the regulatory objectives.

Each year individual lawyers and legal firms must pay a PCF to their approved regulator to practise. Regulators can only collect a PCF if the LSB has approved the level of the fee.  The new PCF Rules and Guidance are proportionate and they improve the framework for the practising fee application and approval process.

They also outline the criteria and supporting material that regulators must provide before the LSB approves an application. This includes ensuring regulators have sufficient funds and financial resilience to regulate and operate efficiently and cost-effectively.

The LSB has discussed proposals for updating the PCF Rules with regulators since February 2020. Early input was used to develop new draft rules that the LSB then consulted on publicly. The LSB has considered all the feedback received carefully and amended the new PCF Rules and Guidance, as appropriate.

Change to the new PCF Rules and Guidance include:

  • Regulators must have a reserves policy in place to ensure they are financially resilient.
  • The PCF approval process is now better integrated with the LSB’s performance assessment framework for regulators. When setting the PCF level, regulators must consider specific issues raised through regulatory performance and be transparent about how the fee will be used to address concerns.
  • Regulators are now required to consider the impact of the PCF level on equality, diversity and inclusion and consider the regulatory objectives in discharging their regulatory functions.

Matthew Hill, Chief Executive of the Legal Services Board, said:

“We are grateful to everyone who worked with us to devise the updated PCF Rules and Guidance and to those who shared feedback in our consultation.

“Our process for assessing practising fee applications had not been updated since it was first introduced in 2011. In this time, the LSB’s overall approach to regulation has evolved significantly. We have updated the Rules to support a modern regulatory system that delivers benefits for legal professionals, consumers and the public and promotes the regulatory objectives.

“As we work with regulators to reshape legal services to better meet the needs of society, the changes will help those who pay the PCF hold their regulators to account and have a more meaningful debate on the purpose, value and benefits of regulation. This should, in turn, result in improved standards across the legal services market, which will benefit the thousands of small businesses and consumers who need legal services each year.”

About the PCF

  1. The PCF must be paid by persons authorised to provide legal service (e.g. solicitors, barristers, legal executives, patent and trademark attorneys, costs lawyers and notaries).
  2. The PCF can only be used for specific “permitted purposes” set out in the Legal Services Act 2007 and in LSB Rules. These permitted purposes include, for example, regulatory activities as well as certain non-regulatory activities like the promotion and protection by law of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The consultation ran from 30 July 2020 to 8 October 2020.

Leaders …Take Charge in an Uncertain World

Leaders …Take Charge in an Uncertain World

I heard how, directly from the ‘horse’s mouth’; I belong to a small, author-led, business-focused  book club.  Prior to March 2020, we met face-to-face – now it’s on Zoom.  Still good, but not quite the same!  Below is my take on the book.  If you would like to join our next ‘meeting’ – where we will be joined by  Mary Gregory author of “Ego – get over yourself and lead” contact us via CSNetBookClub and make a diary note of Tuesday 20 April 2021.

“Future Shaper: How Leaders Can Take Charge in an Uncertain World”, by Niamh O’Keeffe

This book leaves no doubt in the mind; leaders are most definitely made. And this book shows you how – not that you would know from the title and chapter one, which considers the macro challenges of leadership in a world of rapid change.

From Chapter two (Empower yourself) onwards, the book morphs into an inspirational  self-help manual describing in detail just how to take charge (think how to make friends and influence people).  Each chapter clearly, succinctly  and cleverly communicates its purpose; it tells you what it is going to tell you, then it tells you, going on to tell you what more you need to know, and finishing off with some ‘key takeaways’.

The book moves through key fundamentals  – “preferred outcomes”, “be persuasive”, “be resilient”, “nurture your team” and “power up your network”. Note the focus on YOU!

Finally, Part 4 literally spells out – using the acronym  F.U.T.U.R.E. (intelligent traits)  S.H.A.P.E.R. (leadership traits) – what you need  to do, and to be, to achieve success in life generally.   Having said that, I recommend that Future Shaper be used as a coaching guide, an HR  instruction manual or  yardstick to evaluate the leadership potential of future hires.

Lisa Preuveneers October 2020