Compliance reviews – consequences for an assisted person

Compliance reviews – consequences for an assisted person

If a compliance officer finds that a lawyer has breached Victoria Legal Aid's (VLA's) requirements and the lawyer does not comply with any requirements to remedy the breach, then VLA may end a grant of legal assistance. However, most compliance reviews are carried out on case files which are already finalised, so it is usually not possible to end the grant for that matter. (That is, the grant has already been spent.)

In rare cases, if the matter is ongoing, VLA could temporarily end a grant of legal assistance as a result of a compliance review, until either:

  • the lawyer remedies the breach
  • the decision to give the relevant notice for breach is reversed or varied on a reconsideration or review.

It is more usual for a lawyer to have to repay VLA an amount of money which VLA has provided as a grant of legal assistance. This would happen by way of a restitution notice.

Where a restitution notice has been issued and a practitioner has to refund monies spent to VLA, they are then not entitled to charge the assisted person.