Stage 1 – first court hearing and FDRS for ICLs

Stage 1 – first court hearing and FDRS for ICLs

Where an independent children’s lawyer (ICL) is in receipt of a stage 1 grant, the following 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.

Stage 1A – preparation and first appearance (ICL)

Under a stage 1A grant, fees are available to an independent children's lawyer (where applicable).

Note: The number of subsequent fees available without an extension differs, depending on whether the proceedings are in the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court.

Service/proceedings Court Fee
Stage 1A – preparation and first appearance (ICL) Federal family courts $1840 (includes $565 appearance fee)
Distance allowance N/A $184

Entitlements and conditions

  • The stage 1A grant is a broadband grant. The grant covers:
    • preparation
    • conference
    • communications
    • court attendance
    • filing and service
    • taking judgement.
  • An ICL in receipt of a stage 1A grant will be entitled to:
    • up to three stage 1B grants without an extension in the Family Court. An extension is required for a stage 1C and 1D grants
    • up to two stage 1B grants without an extension in the Federal Circuit Court. An extension is required for a stage 1C and 1D grant.
  • If counsel is briefed for stage 1A court attendance, counsel’s fees (see Fee table 4.3) are payable out of this fee, subject to the following conditions:
    • Counsel’s fees are not payable where a matter is in the list but not reached
    • Instructing fees are not payable.
  • Where the ICL appears at any of the procedural events, those fees are available without an extension of assistance.
  • A grant for disbursements for assessment reports may be available in certain circumstances. Refer to Table Q.
  • The distance fee is available where the ICL's office is more than 50 km from court and the ICL is required to travel for the court event. The fee covers either the lawyer’s travel or briefing an agent.

Stage 1B – subsequent court hearing (ICL)

Under a stage 1B grant, fees are available to an independent children's lawyer (where applicable):

Service/proceedings Court Fee
Stage 1B – preparation and subsequent appearance Federal family courts $920

Procedural appearances

Service/proceedings Court Fee
Inspecting subpoenaed documents* Federal family courts $368
Appearance at defended subpoena list Federal family courts $552
Telephone mention Federal family courts $184
Mention, directions hearing or callover Federal family courts $368
Distance allowance N/A $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 1B grant is lump sum grant.
  • The distance fee is available where the ICL's office is more than 50 km from court and the ICL is required to travel for the court event. The fee covers either the ICL's travel or briefing an agent.

Stage 1C – interim contest hearing (ICL)

Under a stage 1C grant, fees are available to an independent children's lawyer (where applicable):

Service/proceedings Court Fee
Stage 1C – preparation for an interim contest hearing (ICL) Federal family courts $920

Entitlements and conditions

  • The stage 1C grant is a lump sum grant.
  • The term ‘interim contest hearing’ covers court events where the parties are not in agreement about what arrangements should be in place until the matter can be finally determined, and the court conducts a hearing in order to make interim orders pending final hearing. The interim contest hearing fee is only available when the matter is listed for an interim contest hearing or interim defended hearing.
  • Procedural hearings in the federal family courts, such as callovers, mentions and directions hearings (sometimes referred to as interim hearings), cannot be characterised as an interim contest hearing and do not attract the stage 1C fee. For these court events, fees set out in stage 3B – procedural hearings, federal family courts are available.
  • Where a matter is listed as a procedural hearing and the matter is dealt with as an interim contest hearing, the ICL can apply for an uplift to a stage 1C fee on the day or shortly after the hearing date. The interim orders made on the day must be provided to us in support of the request.
  • If counsel is briefed for stage 1C court attendance, counsel’s fees (see fee table 4.3) are payable in addition to this fee, subject to the following conditions:
    • Counsel’s fees are not payable where a matter is in the list but not reached
    • Instructing fees are not payable.

Stage 1D – litigation intervention FDRS

Under a stage 1D grant, fees are available to an independent children's lawyer (where applicable):

Service/proceedings Forum Fee
1D.1 – preparation for litigation intervention FDRS conference (ICL) FDRS $184
1D.2 – representing client at litigation intervention FDRS conference (ICL) FDRS $740
1D.3 – attendance at litigation intervention FDRS when the conference does not proceed (ICL) FDRS $184
Preparing and filing consent orders Any court $368
Distance allowance N/A $184

Entitlements and conditions

  • The stage 1D grant is a broadband grant. In all matters except international child abduction matters, ICLs can claim for up to two conferences attended, without an extension of assistance. In international child abduction matters, ICLs can claim for up to three conferences attended without an extension of assistance.
  • Where the ICL attends the conference but it is adjourned, the stage 1D.3 fee is payable.
  • The ICL can only claim the consent orders fee where they prepare the consent orders and the orders are filed with the court.