All new, ie initial grants of aid and extensions of existing assignments approved on and after the 1 December 2014 will be made in accordance with the following scale.
See also the Explanatory Notes.
A legal practitioner who undertakes legal aid civil law assignments must be a member of the Legal Services Commission General Panel of practitioners.
Please see Legal Practitioner Panels on the Legal Services Commission website at http://www.lsc.sa.gov.au/cb_pages/practitioners.php
Matters finalised before the lump sum allowance of fees is exhausted.
If a matter concludes before the number of hours allowed for initial preparation, subsequent extension or complex extension have been exhausted, the Commission would expect the practitioner to forward an account for less than the maximum fees allowed.
The following practices apply in certifying solicitors' accounts for payment:
For postage or for local telephone calls, or
For general office expenses or "petties" or
For correspondence with or attendances on the Legal Services Commission or
For the cost of transcript (except in special circumstances where prior authority has been obtained) or
For travelling time, mileage, or waiting time.
Payment for authorised work only
Practitioners are asked to read the terms of assignment letters and commitment certificates/tax invoices carefully. Further authorisation must be sought before the authorised costs can be exceeded, or if work outside the terms of assignment is required.
Practitioners will not be paid for work undertaken without authorisation.
Applications for extensions to be in writing
Extension of existing assignments should be sought in writing except in emergencies, as the large volume of files in the Commission makes the handling of telephone requests extremely difficult. However, in urgent cases, telephone extensions will be given.
Ordinarily reading time is included in the lump sum fees, and additional fees will only be allowed by the Commission, where the case is pre-certified as complex or special, and an allowance made, prior to the incurring of such fees.
The fee for a contested application includes all attendances upon client and preparatory work including preparation of brief. Please note that where commitment has been raised previously in the matter for an uncontested application, the amount for this item which will appear on the certificate aggregates with the previous certificate to the full lump sum fee for contested matters .
The fee for a pre-trial conference includes all attendances to take instructions and all attendances at Court.
Counsel's proportion - fee on brief and first day
The fee on brief includes all preparation, reading, conferences and first day in court.
Counsel's proportion - subsequent days (refreshers)
The fee for refresher includes any reading or conferences during the hearing and time spent in court.
Half day hearing - counsel's proportion
The fee on brief includes all preparation, reading, conferences and half day in court.