The SLCC has published a Q&A on its budget and the annual general levy, bringing together responses issued over recent weeks in answer to questions from the profession.
Chief Executive Neil Stevenson commented, “All throughout our budget consultation in early 2020, and since our final budget was published in April, we have been listening and responding to questions and challenges from the profession about our budget, our work, and our responsiveness to the situation the profession now faces.”
“Recognising the immediate pressures facing the legal service sector we quickly published a statement on what we can do to support firms.”
“In addition, this year, in recognition of the specific financial challenges facing the sector at this time, we agreed flexibility in the collection of the levy from the Professional Bodies, where they thought that would be helpful, to provide them with flexibility in their collection of levy money from their profession.”
“However, we have a duty to the sector and to the public to ensure complaints continue to be processed as required by statute, and we have to make sure we are able to deliver that duty.”
“We want to take the opportunity to publicly state our response to some of the common issues raised with us – many of which we have already communicated to individual lawyers and representative groups who have contacted us directly – and to explain why we have made the decisions we have. We welcome a continued dialogue on the costs of regulation, how they are most appropriately proportioned, and how they can be reduced. That is the purpose of our annual budget consultation and we welcome all constructive engagement in that.”
“Finally, we think there’s a real opportunity to work collaboratively to reduce the common causes of complaint, because rising complaint numbers is the key driver of cost within the system. We’d encourage anyone with suggestions about how to prevent these issues arising in the first place to get in touch with us as we develop our prevention work, and look to update the guidance we publish for the profession.”
Please do send any views on preventing the common causes of complaints to email@example.com or complete our survey. We will use this to inform our work and will share ideas back with the profession to inform a further dialogue in advance of our next budget and operating plan.