Statutory charge

Statutory charge

There is one important difference between a statutory charge and an equitable charge: a person does not need to sign a statutory charge. Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) has statutory power to impose the charge. If VLA decides to put a statutory charge on the assisted person’s property, then the person cannot choose to refuse.

When may VLA impose a statutory charge?

VLA has power under sections 27 and 47A of the Legal Aid Act 1978 to impose a statutory charge if:

  • VLA has written to tell the person seeking the grant of legal assistance that the grant will be made on condition that the costs are secured by a charge
  • the assisted person has not paid the amount
  • the assisted person has refused to give an equitable charge to VLA to secure the payment of money they already owe VLA.