Table A2 – Standard fees in State family cases in the Family Division of the Children’s Court

Table A2 – Standard fees in State family cases in the Family Division of the Children’s Court

Table A2 shows the standard fees payable by Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) in State family cases in the Children’s Court (Family Division).

These fees are effective from 1 January 2019. For fees payable prior to this see Archived versions of the Handbook.

These fees cover all necessary work. VLA will not allow claims for additional work, except as provided for as follows:

  • VLA will pay for four interim accommodation hearings without any extensions of aid
  • In the event that the interim accommodation order is continued by consent and without any substantial negotiation having taken place, the directions hearing fee is payable
  • In the event that the application proceeds to an interim contest or defended hearing an extension of assistance is required
  • No additional fee is payable for pre-contest mentions
  • VLA will pay $174 if the court requires the attendance of the parties at a directions hearing
  • Where an interim accommodation order contested hearing does not proceed to hearing or is not resolved by final orders, the fee of $362 is payable
  • VLA will pay a preparation fee for final defended hearing as follows:
    • a fee of $414 if the matter settles at the conciliation conference or final directions hearing
    • a fee of $971 if the matter does not settle at the conciliation conference or directions hearing, and if assistance is granted for final defended hearing.
  • Fees for a second or subsequent day of hearing: where the interim contest or defended hearing continues beyond one full day, VLA will pay an additional fee for every day or part of a day beyond the first day of defended hearing in accord with the fees set out in Table A2
  • Where a matter has been listed for a conciliation conference, VLA will pay the preparation and appearance fees in the table. The appearance fee includes any attendance at the post-conciliation conference mention held on the same day. If the mention is held on another day the post-conciliation conference mention fee is payable
  • Where a solicitor attends a conciliation conference which is adjourned, without hearing, the adjourned conciliation conference fee is payable. This fee includes attendance at the post-conciliation conference mention held on the same day. Where the mention is held on another day the post-conciliation conference mention fee is payable
  • Where a conciliation conference proceeds beyond three hours, an hourly rate of $156 is payable in addition to the attendance fee. This hourly rate is only applicable where the conference itself proceeds beyond three hours, and does not apply to time at court following the conciliation conference
  • Where a second conciliation conference could reasonably be expected to result in a resolution of the dispute, a solicitor may proceed to a further conference without an extension of aid. A second general preparation fee is not payable
  • Where counsel is briefed to attend the conciliation conference, counsel must be briefed at the attendance at conciliation conference fee of $625 which includes a conference between counsel and the client to prepare for the conference and attendance at the post-conciliation conference mention held on the same day
  • In the event that the application proceeds to an interim accommodation order appeal hearing an extension of assistance is required pursuant to Guideline 3
  • Applications for internal reviews of case planning decisions under Guideline 4.1 are new applications for assistance. Applications for external reviews are by way of extension on a pre-existing grant under Guideline 4.1 or a new application where the internal review has been undertaken without a grant of legal assistance.

Stages 1 and 2

Service/proceeding – applications under Guideline 1 and 2

Lump sum fee
Preparation fee other than for extension of existing order $523
Preparation fee for extension of existing order by consent $114
Directions hearing $174
Appearance fee: interim accommodation order $362
Interim contest – day 1 $725
Interim contest – subsequent day $523
Final defended hearing – daily fee $899
Settles at conciliation conference or directions hearing – preparation fee $414
Final defended hearing – preparation fee $971
General preparation for conciliation conference
(Note: includes taking initial instructions, briefing counsel)
$233
Attendance at conciliation conference
(Note: Includes solicitor or counsel’s conference with client and appearance at post-conciliation conference mention)
$625

Adjourned conciliation conference
(Note: Includes solicitor or counsel's conference with client and attendance at conciliation conference that is adjourned, without hearing, and appearance at post-conciliation conference mention)

$348
Post-conciliation conference mention heard on a different day to the conciliation conference $174

Practitioners can claim these fees using ATLAS.

Stage 3

Service/proceeding – applications under Guideline 3

Lump Sum fee
Preparation $1560
Conference $284
Appearance fee – day 1 $2098
Appearance fee – subsequent days $1901
Mention fee $355
Appear at judgement (where required) $427

Practitioners can claim these fees using ATLAS. Applications under Guideline 3 are made via an extension of the substantive Child Protection grant in ATLAS.

Stage 4

Service/proceeding – applications under Guideline 4

Lump sum fee
4(a) Internal case plan review – Preparation fee $523
4(b) External case plan review – Preparation fee $523
4(b) External case plan review – Appearance fee – day 1 $725
4(b) External case plan review – Appearance fee – subsequent day $523

Practitioners can claim these fees using ATLAS. Applications under Guideline 4.1 are submitted as a new application on ATLAS. Applications under Guideline 4.2 can be submitted as either a new application or an extension on a grant under Guideline 4.1 on ATLAS.

No travel fee is payable for internal case plan reviews as these matters are paper based. Travel is payable in the circumstances and at the rate set out below for external case plan reviews.

Stage 5

Service/proceeding – application under Guideline 5

Lump sum fee
Preparation fee $523
Directions Hearing $174
Appearance fee: interim accommodation order $362
Interim contest – day 1 $725
Interim contest – subsequent day $523
Final defended hearing – daily fee $899
Settles at conciliation conference or directions hearing – preparation fee $414
Final defended hearing – preparation fee $971
General preparation for conciliation conference
(Note: includes taking initial instructions, briefing counsel)
$233
Attendance at conciliation conference
(Note: Includes solicitor or counsel's conference with client and appearance at post-concilation conference mention)
$625

Adjourned Conciliation Conference

(Note: Includes solicitor or counsel's conference with client and attendance at conciliation conference that is adjourned, without hearing, and appearance at post-conciliation conference mention)

$348
Post-conciliation conference mention heard on a date later than the conciliation conference $174

Lump sum fees for appeals in the County Court

Stage 6

Service/proceeding – application under Guideline 6

Hours Fee payable
Solicitor preparation 5.5 $902
Mention 1.25 $260
Daily appearance n/a $942
Appear at judgement (if on a separate day) n/a $311

Practitioner can claim these fees using ATLAS.

Lump sum fees for judicial review and appeal in the Supreme Court

Stage 6 and 7

Service/proceeding – application under Guideline 6 and 7

Lump Sum fee
Preparation $1560
Conference $284
Appearance fee – day 1 $2098
Appearance fee – subsequent days $1901
Mention fee $355
Appear at judgement (if on a separate day) $427
Application for leave to appeal (if heard on separate day to interlocutory appeal/review of trial judge's decision to refuse certification) $1309
Solicitor's preparation $520
Counsel's preparation and submissions $564
Interlocutory Appeal before the Court of Appeal $1964
Appearance fee – subsequent day $1309
Appear at judgement (if on a separate day to appeal) $427

Practitioners can claim these fee using ATLAS.

Travel

Where an advocate appears in the hearing of a state family case in the Children’s Court (Family Division) which is more than 40 kilometres from the advocate’s usual place of business, a travelling fee may be paid.

This fee is calculated at the rate of 76 cents per kilometre for each kilometre of the return trip in excess of 80 kilometres, and is paid as a disbursement. VLA will pay $162 for every necessary overnight stay in the circuit town.