Stage 3 – preparation for trial

Stage 3 – preparation for trial

Under a stage 3 grant, these fees are available (where applicable):

This fee table is effective from 1 January 2017. For fees prior to this, see Archived versions of the Handbook.

Where a lawyer acts as solicitor advocate, the fees payable shall be the fees otherwise payable to counsel, including for conferences. See Fee table 4.3.

Stage 3A – preparation and first day of trial, Family Court

Under a stage 3A grant, fees are available (where applicable) for preparation and first day of trial in the Family Court in Commonwealth family law matters.

Parenting matters only​

Service/proceedings Court Fee
3A.1 – preparation for hearing estimated at one day Family Court $1104
3A.2 – preparation for hearing estimated at more than one day Family Court $1840

Combined parenting and property matters​

Service/proceedings Court Fee
3A.3 – preparation for hearing estimated at one day Family Court $1472
3A.4 – preparation for hearing estimated at more than one day Family Court $2208

All matters​

Service/proceedings Court Fee
Defended daily fee Family Court $1489*
Counsel’s conference (up to 3 hours at $209 per hour) Family Court $627
Take judgment Family Court $209

*In matters appearing in the Less Adversarial Trial stream, if the first day of trial is used as a directions hearing and no evidence is taken, the appropriate appearance fee is $565 and not the defended daily fee of $1489.

Procedural appearances​​

Service/proceedings Court Fee
Inspecting subpoenaed documents** Family Court $368
Appearance at defended subpoena list Family Court $552
Telephone mention Family Court $184
Mention, directions hearing or callover Family Court $368

**The fee to attend court to inspect subpoenaed documents is payable per attendance, not per document. Lawyers are expected to minimise the need for multiple attendances to inspect documents. This is because the inspection of documents is considered to be preparation for trial and should primarily be covered by the 3A lump sum fees.

Entitlements and conditions

  • The stage 3A grant is a broadband grant.
  • The preparation fees cover:
    • taking instructions
    • interviewing witnesses
    • preparing documents
    • briefing counsel
    • correspondence
    • negotiation.

These fees do not cover any court appearances.

  • The fee for taking judgment is available where the appearance is required on a separate day to receive the judgment.
  • If the fee for counsel’s conference is claimed at stage 3A, no additional conference fees are payable at Stage 3C – further preparation and continuation of trial in the Family Court.
  • Where an advice and negotiation grant has been claimed in relation to the matter, the stage 3A grant will be reduced by the amount already paid under the advice and negotiation grant. This applies only where no earlier grant has been reduced by the equivalent of the advice and negotiation grant. Where the 3A grant follows the advice and negotiation grant, lawyers must claim the reduced fee from the ATLAS invoice, not the full fee for that subsequent grant (the invoice preparation item to be claimed is Prep – Adv and Negs Claimed).
  • The distance fee is available for procedural appearances where the lawyer’s office is more than 50 km from court, and the lawyer is required to travel for the court event. The fee covers either the lawyer’s travel or briefing an agent.

Stage 3B​ – procedural hearings, federal family courts

Under a stage 3B grant, fees are available (where applicable) for procedural hearings in the federal family courts.

Procedural appearances​​

Service/proceedings Court Fee
3B.1 – inspecting subpoenaed documents* Federal family courts $368
3B.2 – appearance at defended subpoena list Federal family courts $552
3B.3 – telephone mention Federal family courts $184
3B.4 – mention, directions hearing or callover Federal family courts $368
Distance fee Family courts $184

*The fee to attend court to inspect subpoenaed documents is payable per attendance, not per document. Lawyers are expected to minimise the need for multiple attendances to inspect documents. This is because the inspection of documents is considered to be preparation for trial and should primarily be covered by the 3A lump sum fees.

Entitlements and conditions

  • The stage 3B grant is a broadband grant.
  • A lawyer in receipt of a stage 3 grant will be entitled to any of these grants without an extension of assistance.
  • Appearance at defended subpoena list is only payable where the appearance is required.
  • The distance fee is available where the lawyer’s office is more than 50 km from court and the lawyer is required to travel for the court event. The fee covers either the lawyer’s travel or briefing an agent.

Stage 3C – further preparation and continuation of trial, Family Court

Under a stage 3C grant, fees are available (where applicable) for further preparation and continuation of trial in the Family Court in Commonwealth family law matters.

Service/proceedings Court Fee
3C.1 – preparation for further hearing, estimated at one day Family Court $920
3C.2 – preparation for further hearing, estimated at up to three days Family Court $1267
3C.3 – preparation for further hearing, estimated at four days or more Family Court $2392
Counsel’s fees (defended daily fee) Family Court $1489
Counsel’s conference (up to 3 hours at $209 per hour) Family Court Up to $627
Take judgment Family Court $209

Entitlements an​d conditions

  • The stage 3C grant is a broadband grant.
  • The preparation fees cover:
    • taking instructions
    • interviewing witnesses
    • preparing documents
    • briefing counsel
    • correspondence
    • negotiation.

These fees do not cover any court appearances.

  • If the fee for counsel’s conference is claimed at Stage 3A – preparation and first day of trial, Family Court, no additional conference fees are payable at stage 3C.
  • Where an advice and negotiation grant has been claimed in relation to the matter, the stage 3C grant will be reduced by the amount already paid under the advice and negotiation grant. This applies only where no earlier grant has been reduced by the equivalent of the advice and negotiation grant. Where the stage 3C grant follows the advice and negotiation grant, lawyers must claim the reduced fee from the ATLAS invoice, not the full fee for that subsequent grant (the invoice preparation item to be claimed is Prep – Adv and Negs Claimed).
  • The fee for taking judgment is available where the appearance is required on a separate day to receive the judgment.

Stage 3D – preparation for trial, Federal Circuit Court

Under a stage 3D grant, fees are available (where applicable) for preparation for trial in the Federal Circuit Court in Commonwealth family law matters.

Service/proceedings Court Fee
3D.1 – preparation for hearing, estimated at one day Federal Circuit Court $1472
3D.2 – preparation for hearing, estimated at more than one day Federal Circuit Court $2576

E​ntitlements and conditions

  • The stage 3D grant is a broadband grant.
  • These preparation fees cover:
    • taking instructions
    • interviewing witnesses
    • preparing documents
    • preparing client for family report process
    • subpoenas
    • case management directions
    • preparing and delivering brief to counsel
    • reading family report
    • conference with counsel.

Stage 3E – additional preparation fees

Under a stage 3E grant, fees are available (where applicable) for additional preparation for trial in the federal family courts in Commonwealth family law matters.

Service/proceedings Court Fee
3E – additional preparation Federal family courts $184 per hour

Entitle​ments and conditions

  • In exceptional circumstances, additional preparation fees may be allowed. This would ordinarily only arise where trials are adjourned.
  • When assessing an application for further preparation fees, we will take into account the total preparation allowed for stage 3A, stage 3C and stage 3D.