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.