Fee entitlements and conditions under the Family Violence and Cross-Examination of Parties Scheme

Fee entitlements and conditions under the Family Violence and Cross-Examination of Parties Scheme

That where a lawyer is in receipt of funding under the Family Violence and Cross-Examination of Parties Scheme, that the following entitlements and conditions apply to the grant.

Stage 2G – interim contested hearing

  • The preparation fees cover:
    • taking instructions
    • interviewing witnesses
    • preparing documents
    • briefing counsel
    • correspondence
    • negotiation.
  • An interim contested hearing is any matter where the court allocates a specific fixture to hear the matter on a contested basis, but which is not the final hearing, ie any interim matter which could not be dealt with in the Registrars Duty List at a hearing, because the matter was particularly complex.
  • 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 2G fee. These court events are not covered by the Scheme.
  • Where a matter is listed as a procedural hearing and the matter is dealt with as an interim contest hearing where personal cross examination occurred, the lawyer can apply for an uplift to a stage 2G.2 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.
  • Conference fees are not payable under a stage 2G grant.
  • Circuit fees in accordance with Fee Table 4.3 can be provided where appropriate.

Stage 2H – litigation intervention FDRS

  • The preparation fees cover:
    • taking instructions
    • preparing for the conference
    • preparing documents
    • correspondence
    • negotiation.
  • Lawyers can claim one FDRS conference attended. If further conferences are required, a lawyer must submit an extension of assistance through Atlas for a further conference. Generally, no further preparation fees are payable with any further conferences.
  • The lawyer can only claim the consent order fee where they prepare the consent orders and the orders are filed with the court.
  • The distance fee is available where the lawyer’s office is more than 50 km from an FDRS venue booked for an in-person conference, and the lawyer is required to travel for the conference. The fee covers either the lawyer’s travel or briefing an agent.

Note: FDRS is not available in child support or child maintenance matters.

Stage 3A – preparation and first day of trial, Family Court

  • The preparation fees cover:
    • taking instructions
    • interviewing witnesses
    • preparing evidence analysis, merits assessment and case strategy
    • preparing documents
    • briefing counsel
    • correspondence
    • negotiation.
  • If the fee for counsel’s conference is claimed at stage 3A, no additional conference fees are payable at Stage 3C – further preparation and continuation of trial in the Family Court.
  • The preparation fees include $570 ($190 per hour) to cover the work for a lawyer or counsel undertaking evidence analysis and merits assessment and developing a case strategy. The fee is payable where such an assessment has been undertaken by the lawyer or counsel and where evidence is on the file that the assessment has been conducted prior to final hearing. More information is available at Additional information relating to litigation grants.
  • The distance fee is available for procedural hearings where the lawyer’s office is more than 50 km from court, and the lawyer is required to travel for the court event. The fee covers either the lawyer’s travel or briefing an agent.
  • In matters appearing in the Less Adversarial Trial stream, if the first day of trial is used as a directions hearing and no evidence is taken, the appropriate appearance fee is $587 and not the defended daily fee of $1548.

Stage 3C – further preparation and continuation of trial, Family Court

  • The preparation fees cover:
    • taking instructions
    • interviewing witnesses
    • preparing documents
    • briefing counsel
    • correspondence
    • negotiation.
  • If the fee for counsel’s conference is claimed at Stage 3A – preparation and first day of trial, Family Court, no additional conference fees are payable at stage 3C.
  • The distance fee is available for procedural hearings where the lawyer’s office is more than 50 km from court, and the lawyer is required to travel for the court event. The fee covers either the lawyer’s travel or briefing an agent.

Stage 3D – preparation for trial, Federal Circuit Court

  • These preparation fees cover:
    • taking instructions
    • interviewing witnesses
    • preparing evidence analysis, merits assessment and case strategy
    • preparing documents
    • preparing client for family report process
    • subpoenas
    • case management directions
    • preparing and delivering brief to counsel
    • reading family report
    • conference with counsel.

Stage 3E – additional preparation fees

  • In exceptional circumstances, additional preparation fees may be allowed. This would ordinarily only arise where trials are adjourned.
  • When assessing an application for further preparation fees, we will take into account the total preparation allowed for stage 3A, stage 3C and stage 3D.

Stage 4 – trial costs in the federal family courts

  • Counsel’s fees are not payable where matter is in the list but not reached.
  • Circuit fees (where applicable) are also payable as set out in fee table 4.3 – counsel costs and daily circuit fees.
  • Instructing fees are not available for lawyers when counsel is briefed to appear in family law matters.

Stage 5 – Appeal to a single judge or appeal to the full court

  • Counsel’s fees are not payable where matter is in the list but not reached.
  • Circuit fees (where applicable) are also payable (see fee table 4.3 – counsel costs and daily circuit fees).
  • Instructing fees are not available for lawyers when counsel is briefed to appear in family law matters.

Daily Circuit fees

  • Circuit fees generally include travel, accommodation and compensation for being out of the office.