Stage 1 – negotiations/Victoria Legal Aid Family Dispute Resolution Service

Stage 1 – negotiations/Victoria Legal Aid Family Dispute Resolution Service

Where a lawyer is in receipt of an Early Intervention/Dispute Resolution grant, the lawyer may claim:

  • the preparation for Victoria Legal Aid Family Dispute Resolution Service
  • attendance at Victoria Legal Aid Family Dispute Resolution Service
  • preparing and filing of consent orders (if applicable).

This fee schedule is effective from 1 January 2017. For fee schedules prior to this see Archived versions of the Handbook.

(a) Advice and negotiations

A lawyer in receipt of an Advice and Negotiations grant is entitled to the following:

Service/proceedings Non-section 29A panel
lump sum
Section 29A panel
lump sum
Advice and Negotiation $525 $552

Where the dispute does not resolve with advice and negotiations, and proceeds to either a grant for VLA Family Dispute Resolution Service (under this guideline 1) or litigation (under guideline 2) the subsequent grant will be reduced by the amount paid for the advice and negotiation grant (with the exception of recovery order grants which will not be reduced).

Where an Advice and Negotiation grant is utilised, the lawyer’s file must show evidence of meaningful negotiations having taken place for compliance purposes. The lawyer may also claim the fee for preparing and filing consent orders (if applicable).

(b) Preparation for family dispute resolution or advice and negotiations

A lawyer in receipt of an Early Intervention/Dispute Resolution grant is entitled to one of the following:

Service/proceedings Non-section 29A panel
lump sum
Section 29A panel
lump sum
(i) Preparation for Victoria Legal Aid Family Dispute Resolution Service including negotiations (payable only where the conference proceeds) – children only or spousal maintenance only $525 $552
(ii) Advice and negotiations (payable only where the conference does not proceed but the lawyer conducts substantial advice and negotiations) – children only or spousal maintenance only * $525 $552
(iii) Preparation for Victoria Legal Aid Family Dispute Resolution Service including any negotiations leading up to the conference (payable only where the conference proceeds) – children and property $700 $740
(iv) Advice and negotiations (payable only where the conference does not proceed but the lawyer conducts substantial advice and negotiations) – children and property * $700 $740
(v) Preparation where the conference does not proceed and no substantial negotiations take place $175 $184

* Where the matter does not proceed to a Victoria Legal Aid Family Dispute Resolution Service conference for any reason, the lawyer may utilise the advice and negotiations component of the grant to negotiate with the other party. In order to claim the advice and negotiations fee, the lawyer’s file must show evidence of meaningful negotiations having taken place for compliance purposes. The lawyer may also claim the fee for preparing and filing consent orders (if applicable).

(c) Representing client at Victoria Legal Aid Family Dispute Resolution Service conference

Service/proceedings Non-section 29A panel
lump sum
Section 29A panel
lump sum
Representing client at the conference $700 $740

Where a second conference may reasonably be expected to result in a resolution of the dispute a lawyer may proceed to a further conference without an extension of assistance. The preparation for the Victoria Legal Aid Family Dispute Resolution Service fee is not payable a second time.

Where the lawyer’s office is more than 50 kilometres from the court, Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) will pay an additional $175 (non-section 29A panel practitioner) or $184 (section 29A panel practitioner) over the lump sum fixed, which covers either travel or briefing an agent.

(d) Consent orders

Service/proceedings Non-section 29A panel
lump sum
Section 29A panel
lump sum
Preparing and filing consent orders – the fee is only payable where the consent orders are filed with the court $350 $368