21 – Abandoning legal assistance

21 – Abandoning legal assistance

Sometimes, an assisted person may decide to continue their case without assistance. This is known as ‘abandoning’ their grant of assistance.

Abandoning a grant of legal assistance when a matter is still going ahead

If an assisted person decides to abandon their grant of legal assistance while the matter is still going ahead, then the person’s assigned lawyer must:

  • report to Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) on the progress of the matter
  • give VLA an account for the work the assigned lawyer has already done.

See also: Finalising grants of legal assistance.

If a change of assigned lawyer is also requested

If the person abandoning a grant of legal assistance is also seeking a change of lawyer, then VLA may not consent to the transfer of the person's file to the new lawyer until the person has paid or secured any legal costs incurred by them up to that time in a way that is acceptable to VLA.

See also: Allocation of work to lawyers and law firms.

Grants cannot be abandoned after a matter has finished

An assisted person cannot abandon a grant of legal assistance at the end of their case:

  • in order to get the other side to pay a greater amount of legal costs
  • for any other reason.