Family Law Cost Scale

(operative from 1 December 2014)

All new i.e. initial grants of aid and extensions of existing assignments approved on or after 1 December will be made in accordance with the following scale.

See also the Explanatory Notes below

ITEM

WORK TYPE

DESCRIPTION

FEE

1

Solicitor

Early intervention FDR conference and file consent orders, if appropriate

$840

2

Solicitor

Early intervention FDR review conference

$672

3

Solicitor

Solicitor’s work not specifically covered by any other Item, eg. Advise and Report, to be charged at $168 per hour

$168

4

Divorce

Apply/Respond to an Application for Divorce - child under 18

$672

5

Divorce

Apply/respond to an Application for Divorce  – no child under 18

$504

6

Nullity

Apply/Respond to an Application for Nullity of Marriage

$672

7

Form 1

Apply/respond to an Application up to and including final directions hearing

$1,176

8

Application for Final Orders

Up to final directions and conclusion of interim application

$2,016

9

Form 2 Initial

Apply/respond to initiating application

$1,848

10

Form 2 Subsequent

Apply/respond to further application

$1,008

11

Form 18 cont.

Apply/respond to contravention application

$840

12

Form 18

Counsel Fee

$1,152

13

Solicitor additional hours

Attendance subsequent to interim order but prior to trial preparation

$840

14

Funding Conference Practitioner

Prepare for and conduct of conference at counsel rates

$768

15

Court ordered conference

Prepare for and conduct of conference at counsel rates

$768

16

Solicitor prepare matter for trial

Comply with directions and prepare matter for trial

$2,520

17

Solicitor prepare matter for complex trial

To be paid at scale fee for work carried out with the prior approval of the Commission but in any event not to exceed 30 hours prepare for trial designated as complex

$5,040

18

Solicitors attendances during and after trial

1 hour per day

$168

19

Solicitors attendance to take judgment and explain orders

Maximum 1 hour

$168

20

Solicitor prepare matter for appeal

Maximum 10 hours

$1,680

21

Counsel prepare and attend on Appeal

Maximum 10 hours

$1,920

22

Independent child representative

Initial preparation including reading, filing notice of acting and advising parties of appointment – maximum 2 hours

$336

23

Independent child representative

Subsequent solicitor’s work not specifically covered by a stage  -per hour

$168

24

Form 1

Prepare/respond to an application for child or spousal maintenance or vary same to referral to trial

$1,848

25

Form 1(parentage)

Prepare/respond to child support parentage application

$1,008

26

Form 1(departure)

Prepare/respond to child support departure application

$1,848

27

AAT

Prepare/respond to child support or application to AAT

$1,848

28

Short Trial

Preparation for short trial

$840

29

Short Trial

Attendance by Counsel

$1,152

30

Counsel 1

All preparation for trial/ appeal (4 hours) and first day of trial/appeal (6 hours)

$1,920

31

Counsel for complex trial

All preparation for trial/appeal (8 hours) and first day of trial/appeal (6 hours)

$2,688

32

Counsel 2

All attendances at subsequent days of trial including conferences - maximum 6 hours per day

$1,152

33

Counsel 3

Resumption of trial after a significant time lapse. All preparation - maximum 2 hours

$384

34

Solicitor

Resumption of trial after a significant lapse. All preparation 2 hours

$336

35

Counsel

Counsel work not specifically covered by stages 1, 2 or 3 to be charged at $188 per hr

$192

36

Reading time

Reading time not specifically covered by any other item – to be charged at $106 p/hr

$108

37

Division 12A Children's Cases

Undertake intake process, preparation for hearing, and report after first day 

$336

38

Division 12A Children's Cases

Attend first day of hearing

$768

39

Division 12A Children's Cases

Solicitor's work all further preparation and attendance in the trial list at $164 per hour

$168

40

Division 12A Children's Cases

Counsel's attendance at subsequent hearing at $188 per hours

$192



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EXPLANATORY NOTES

1 Matters finalised before a defined stage is reached

  • If a matter settles by agreement before the end of the stage allocated, practitioners are entitled to claim for the whole of the stage. If a matter concludes by some interruption e.g. a party withdrawing, or reconciling, or at such an early stage that it would be unreasonable to submit an account for the full amount, the Commission would expect the practitioner to forward an account at less than the maximum fee allowed under that stage of matter.

2 Counsel fees

  • The maximum fee is normally applicable irrespective of whether counsel has been briefed. Specified counsel fees at the prescribed rate will only be paid if prior authorisation to brief counsel is obtained. Such approvals will depend on the complexity of the matter rather than the counsel briefed. Chamber applications would except in special circumstances be deemed not fit for counsel even if a barrister was to be briefed.

3 Country Practitioners

  • In accordance with the letter of the former Director dated the 4th June 1998, country practitioners should advise the Commission if a further allowance is necessary for agents' attendance in the Family Court.

4 Accounting procedures

The following practices apply in certifying solicitors' accounts for payment:

Photocopying, if required and approved, will normally be paid at the maximum rate of 4 cents per page.

(a) No disbursement allowance will be made

  • 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 or mileage

(b) Payment will only be paid on original accounts, including the accounts for disbursements attached to a solicitor's account.

(c) Accounts for disbursements should be forwarded by the solicitor and not sent directly to the Commission by counsel. Payment will be made to the solicitor. This includes the payment of counsel fees, and in particular, Commonwealth and State Government transcript fees.

5 Payment for authorised work only

  • Practitioners are asked to read the terms of assignment letters and commitment certificates 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.

6 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.

7 Expert Witnesses

Family Law Cost Scale

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