Law Society board initially intended to recommend a modest increase
In an announcement on its site, the peak legal body said that the fee for the year will be kept at $1,040, which is the same amount charged for the last two years.
Prior to the pandemic, the Law Society board intended to recommend a $50 increase to the fee.
The Law Society also considered whether the fee could be reduced. However, it concluded that a cut would have “fundamentally compromised” the body’s ability to “carry out its statutory functions and regulatory obligations.”
The board recommends the practising fee for the next year to the Law Society council, which makes the decision to set the practising certificate fee at a certain amount. The minister of justice then gives final approval.
Funds raised through the fee is exclusively used by the Law Society to meet its regulatory functions.
“In response to the pandemic, the board reversed its decision to increase the fee at its meeting on 8 April 2020 and, after careful consideration and examination of the options available, it decided to recommend there be no change, which was accepted by the council and the minister,” the Law Society said.
Practising fees must be paid by 1 July. The Law Society said that lawyers should consider this information for planning their year.
The Law Society said that its representative membership fee will remain at zero. Last year, there were also no increases made to the practising fee and other levies.