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 2017. 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 $168 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 $348 is payable
  • VLA will pay a preparation fee for final defended hearing as follows:
    • a fee of $398 if the matter settles at the conciliation conference or final directions hearing
    • a fee of $934 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

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.

In the event that a solicitor attends upon a conciliation conference which is adjourned without hearing the directions hearing fee is payable.

Where a conciliation conference proceeds beyond three hours, an hourly rate of $150 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 the solicitor is required to attend a post-conference mention at the conclusion of the conciliation conference, the directions hearing fee is payable. Where counsel is briefed to attend the conciliation conference, counsel must be briefed at the fee of $601 which includes a conference between counsel and the client to prepare for the conference.

  • 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 $503
Preparation fee for extension of existing order by consent $110
Directions hearing $168
Appearance fee: interim accommodation order $348
Interim contest – day 1 $697
Interim contest – subsequent day $503
Final defended hearing – daily fee $865
Settles at conciliation conference or directions hearing – preparation fee $398
Final defended hearing – preparation fee $934
General preparation for conciliation conference
(Note: includes taking initial instructions, briefing counsel)
$225
Attendance at conciliation conference
(Note: Includes preparation for conference and solicitor or counsel’s conference with client on the day of the conciliation conference or prior to conciliation conference)
$601

Practitioners can claim these fees using ATLAS.

Stage 3

Service/proceeding - Applications under Guideline 3                      

Lump Sum fee
Preparation $1,500
Conference $ 274
Appearance fee - day 1 $2,017
Appearance fee - subsequent days $1,828
Mention fee $ 342
Appear at judgement (where required) $  411

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 $503
4(b) External case plan review  
Preparation fee $503
Appearance fee - day 1 $697
Appearance fee - subsequent day $503

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 $503
Directions Hearing $168
Appearance fee: interim accommodation order $348
Interim contest - day 1 $697
Interim contest - subsequent day $503
Final defended hearing - daily fee $865
Settles at conciliation conference or directions hearing - preparation fee $398
Final defended hearing - preparation fee $934
General preparation for conciliation conference
(Note: includes taking initial instructions, briefing counsel)
$225
Attendance at conciliation conference
(Note: includes preparation for conference and solicitor or counsel's conference with client on the day of the conciliation conference or prior to conciliation conference)
$601

Travel

Where an advocate appears in the hearing of a State family cases 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 74 cents per kilometre for each kilometre of the return trip in excess of 80 kilometres, and is paid as a disbursement.  VLA will pay $156 for every necessary overnight stay in the circuit town.