2 2 INDEX DESCRIPTION PAGE General Notes 3 General Notes on Payments to Counsel 4 Criminal Law Scale of Costs for Payments to Counsel 6 Civil Law Scale of Costs for Payments to Counsel 9 Family Law Scale of Costs for Payments to Counsel 11 General Notes on Payments to Solicitors 12 Criminal Law Scale of Costs for Payments to Solicitors 14 Civil Law Scale of Costs for Payments to Solicitors 17 Duty Lawyer Service 18 Family Law Scale of Costs for Payments to Solicitors 19
3 3 SCALES OF COSTS PAYABLE TO PRIVATE LEGAL PRACTITIONERS Notes 1. These Scales are determined pursuant to s31c Legal Aid Act "Commission" includes where the meaning is appropriate "Review Committee" and the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, his or her delegate or nominee, but will generally mean the Commission carrying on business as Legal Aid ACT. 3. These Scales should be read subject to the obligations and rights of the Commission under the Legal Aid Act 1977, subject to the Terms and Conditions of Referral of Legal Assistance and to the Guidelines and Determinations of the Commission. 4. Date of Effect Unless otherwise stated these Scales apply to grants, or extensions to grants of legal assistance made on and after 1 October 2011.
4 4 SCALES OF PAYMENTS TO COUNSEL GENERAL NOTES These General Notes form part of each Scale. All items are exclusive of GST. 1. Brief fees (a) (b) (c) (d) Include payment of all preparation including normal reading, pre-arraignment conferences and preparation (in criminal matters) and a preliminary conference and the first day of trial. In matters of exceptional complexity a further reading fee may be approved. In these Scales chamber work includes advising, conferences, views and similar work. No separate allowance in the nature of care, skill and attention shall be paid. In an exceptional case as determined by the Commission being a case where two or more junior counsel are engaged, the senior of those counsel may, in the discretion of the Chief Executive Officer be allowed a fee not exceeding a fee allowable to a senior counsel. 2. Additional Days/Refreshers (a) (b) Additional days after the first day includes all conferences, preparation and day in Court. Additional half day includes all conferences, preparation and half day in Court. Note: Where the hearing concludes early, the fee will be calculated and paid up to and including the date of conclusion. 3. Senior counsel or equivalent In exceptional circumstances permission may be granted to brief Senior Counsel or equivalent. The fee allowable will be that allowed for junior counsel plus 50%. 4. Non-Resident Counsel Non-resident counsel may not be briefed except with the prior permission of the Chief Executive Officer
5 5 5. Travel and Accommodation for Counsel Reasonable expenses necessarily incurred and where necessary airfares at economy class and standard rate nonluxury accommodation will be paid in addition to any other fee prescribed. No other fee by way of loading will be permitted. Receipts must be produced. 6. Counsel's Accounts When counsel is briefed at an hourly rate the account should include details of the time spent on the matter. 7. Marking of Briefs Counsel is requested not to accept unmarked briefs. It is essential that the fee payable and the fact that the matter is a Legal Aid matter be established when the brief is handed to Counsel. 8. Matters in which Counsel may not be briefed (a) (b) (c) Criminal matters in Magistrates (including Childrens) Court and Sentence Administration Board unless in the opinion of the Chief Executive Officer, the proceedings (whether committal or summary) are extraordinarily complex and involve a serious charge. Family law and civil matters in the ACT Magistrates (including Childrens) Court, the Federal Magistrates Court and the Family Court unless in the opinion of the Chief Executive Officer the proceedings are of such complexity or otherwise involve an issue of such substance that counsel should be briefed. Generally, in all jurisdictions, in mentions and like appearances unless the briefing of counsel would procure a saving of costs or prior approval has been obtained from the Chief Executive Officer.
6 6 THE CRIMINAL LAW SCALE OF COSTS FOR COUNSEL 1. MAGISTRATES (INCLUDING CHILDRENS AND CORONERS) COURT (a) Application for evidence to be taken at Committal Hearing 480 (b) Committal proceedings and matters determined summarily Fee on brief includes all preparation, reading, conferences and first day in court 1,200 (c) Additional day after the first day of hearing 1,200 (d) Additional half day 720 (e) (f) (g) Plea of Guilty, breach of recognizance, and similar Fee on brief includes all preparation, reading, conferences and court appearances Bail applications fee on brief: (i) Opposed application (ii) Unopposed application Necessary mentions, unopposed applications taking reserved judgments, Case Status Enquiries and similar SUPREME COURT (a) Trials and conviction appeals (i) Fee on brief includes: (i) Preparation, reading and conferences (ii) Pre-arraignment conferences and preparation (iii) First day of trial including pre-trial hearing in sexual and violent offences 1,920 (b) Additional day after the first day of trial 1,200
7 7 (c) Additional half day 720 (d) Pleas and severity appeals Fee on brief includes all preparation, reading, conferences and court appearances 1,200 (e) (f) (g) Breach of Orders Fee on brief includes all preparation, reading, conferences and court appearances Bail applications fee on brief: (i) Opposed application (ii) Unopposed application Applications not otherwise provided for Fee on brief includes all preparation, reading, conferences and court appearances (i) Opposed application (ii) Unopposed application (h) Necessary mentions and taking reserved judgments 240 (i) Docket Case Management & Documentation (Complex Trial) Includes all reading, attendances, advising, conferences and preparation of defence documents under the Docket System in preparation for Complex Trial HIGH COURT AND ACT COURT OF APPEAL (a) Appeals (including any application for leave to appeal) Fee on brief includes all preparation, reading, conferences and court appearances 2,880 (b) Necessary mentions and taking reserved judgments 240 (c) Interlocutory applications fee on brief:
8 8 (i) Defended (ii) Undefended 1, CHAMBER WORK per hour or pro rata SENTENCE ADMINISTRATION BOARD Fee on brief includes all preparation, reading, conferences and appearances 720 NOTE: - 1. CO-ACCUSED For each legally assisted person after the first, a brief fee not exceeding one-third of the brief fee prescribed for the first legally assisted person shall be paid. 2. MATTERS UNEXPECTEDLY NOT REACHED Costs of the day to be paid at full additional day rate. 3. MATTERS WHERE CLIENT CHANGES TO GUILTY PLEA ON DATE OF TRIAL Fee on brief for the trial day only plus half additional day for sentencing.
9 9 THE CIVIL LAW SCALE OF COSTS FOR COUNSEL 1. FEDERAL MAGISTRATES COURT AND ACT MAGISTRATES COURT (a) Fee on brief includes all preparation, reading, conferences and first day in court 1,440 (b) Additional days 1,200 (c) Additional half day SUPREME COURT OF THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY A. SINGLE JUDGE (or where appropriate, Master or Registrar) (a) (b) (c) Causes (including hearings, civil trials, appearances before a commissioner, an examination de bene esse, assessments and like proceedings) (i) Fee on brief inclusive reading, preparation, conferences and first day hearing (ii) Additional day (iii) Additional half day Matters not covered by paragraph (a) above including but not limited to interlocutory applications, ex parte applications for injunctions or similar orders. Fee on brief inclusive reading, preparation, conferences and all Court appearances Appeals from another Court or tribunal. Fee on brief inclusive reading, preparation, conferences and all Court appearances 1,920 1, ,200 1,680 (d) Chamber work per hour or pro rata 240 (e) Necessary mentions and taking reserved judgment 240
10 10 3. HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA AND ACT COURT OF APPEAL (a) Appeals, (including any applications for leave to appeal) Fee on brief includes all preparation, reading, conferences and court appearances 2,880 (b) Necessary mentions and taking reserved judgment AAT AND ACAT Fee on brief includes all preparation, reading, conferences and first day of hearing 1, MENTAL HEALTH TRIBUNAL APPLICATIONS Fee on brief includes all preparation, reading, conferences and appearances 720
11 11 THE FAMILY LAW SCALE OF COSTS FOR COUNSEL FAMILY COURT AND FEDERAL MAGISTRATES COURTS AND ACT CHILDRENS COURT (a) (b) Appeals before the Full Family Court Fee on brief includes all preparation, reading, conferences and appearances 1,920 Short defended hearings Fee on brief includes all preparation, reading, conferences and appearances 960 (c) Defended hearings/less Adversarial Trial Fee on brief includes all preparation, reading, conferences and first day hearing 1,920 (d) Additional day after the first day 1,200 (e) Additional half day 720 (f) Mentions and other appearances in Court or before the Registrar where authorised by the Chief Executive Officer (including undefended applications) 240 (g) Chamber work per hour basis 240 (h) Taking reserved judgement 240 Counsel shall not be briefed by an Independent Children s Lawyer unless the matter raises complex issues of fact or law or there are other exceptional circumstances.
12 12 SCALES OF PAYMENTS TO SOLICITORS GENERAL NOTES 1. Lump Sum Grants (a) (b) (c) Lump Sum grants have been set on a stage of matter basis on most matters. Under such circumstances, solicitors are not paid on an hourly basis and will not be paid for actual time spent. Where no lump sum has been set, solicitors will be paid on a pro rata basis for actual time spent. There is no right of appeal against the decision to grant aid by way of lump sum grants. There can be no appeal against the amount of the lump sum grant or refusal to increase that lump sum grant. 2. Reading/Preparation/Conferences/Appearances The lump sum grant covers all preparation, conferences, reading time and appearances for the stage. Payments of additional fees outside the fee scale will only be approved in exceptional circumstances. 3. Solicitor appearing as Counsel Uninstructed Wherever a solicitor appears uninstructed as Counsel a higher rate shall be paid as appears in the Scale of Costs below. 4. Witness Expenses Witnesses called because of their professional, scientific or other special skills or knowledge shall require the prior approval of the Chief Executive Officer at a negotiated fee. 5. Witnesses Generally If remunerated in their occupation by wages, salary or fees, the amount lost by the witness by the attendance at Court, not to exceed $300 per day, provided that the Chief Executive Officer shall have a discretion to allow a higher fee in appropriate circumstances. Documentary evidence will be required.
13 13 6. Clerks Where a clerk performs payable work including instructing counsel, payment will be at $50 per hour. 7. Photocopying/facsimiles These Scales include payment for regularly anticipated photocopying and facsimiles. Extra necessary photocopying is payable at 75c per page copied. In similar circumstances facsimiles are payable at 75c per page sent. Bulk photocopying shall be paid at commercial printers rates. 8. Co-accused in criminal matters Where a solicitor appears for more than one legally assisted person an amount not exceeding one third of the amount prescribed for the first legally assisted person shall be paid. 9. More than one charge in legally assisted criminal matters Where a grant of legal assistance covers a number of charges or counts the payments itemised in these Scales whether for counsel or solicitor may be paid for separate charges or counts only if in the opinion of the Chief Executive Officer it is reasonable that they be the subject of separate preparation and conduct. 10. Matters capable of summary determination committed to the Supreme Court In the absence of reasonable justification the Commission shall pay the amount prescribed for the Magistrates Court. 11. Retained Agents (a) Prior to retaining solicitors as agents, the Commission requires that the practitioner be satisfied that those solicitors accept the Commission s Terms and Conditions of Referral and will accept payment pursuant to the Commission s relevant scale. (b) The grant for agent must be paid out of the assigned practitioner s lump sum fee for any Court attendances.
14 14 THE CRIMINAL LAW SCALE OF COSTS FOR SOLICITORS MAGISTRATES/CHILDRENS COURT 1 a. Initial conference, preparation, reading, court attendances, representation to DPP, up to entry of plea b. Where there is an existing current grant and subsequent grant issued for other or new charges or breach of orders up to entry of plea 2. a. Plea of Guilty includes all preparation, reading, conference and court attendances subsequent to entering of plea b. Defended hearing and full committal hearing includes all preparation, reading, conference and 1 day in court a. Committal Guilty plea (Hand up Brief) 120 b. Committal Not Guilty (Hand up Brief) a. Subsequent half day in court 360 b. Subsequent full day in court a. Applications including for evidence to be taken or mental health at ACAT include all preparation and appearances 6. a. Mentions (after first 3 appearances in court post entry of plea) /taking Reserved Judgement a. Opposed Bail Application 240 b. Unopposed Bail Application a. Exceptional preparation, reading and conferences, pro rata on hourly basis 120
15 15 SUPREME COURT 1. Pleas and appeals including all preparation, reading, conferences and appearances a. Solicitor appearing uninstructed as Counsel 1,080 b. Solicitor instructing Counsel Applications/Motions and Breach of Orders applications including all preparation, reading, conferences and appearances a. Solicitor appearing uninstructed as Counsel 720 b. Solicitor instructing Counsel Trials including pre-trial hearing in sexual and violent offences, special hearings Including all preparation, reading, conferences, all interlocutory appearances and first day in Court (a) (i) Solicitor appearing uninstructed as Counsel 1,800 (ii) Additional day uninstructed as Counsel 900 (iii) Additional half day uninstructed as Counsel 540 (iv) Docket Case Management & Documentation (Complex Trial) Solicitor appearing uninstructed as Counsel Includes all reading, attendances, advising, conferences and preparation of documents under the Docket System in preparation for Complex Trial 360 (b) (i) Solicitor instructing Counsel 1,200 S (ii) Additional day instructing Counsel in Court 600 (iii) Additional half day instructing Counsel Bail applications (a) (i) Opposed uninstructed as Counsel 480
16 16 (ii) Unopposed uninstructed as Counsel 180 (b) (i) Opposed instructing Counsel 240 (ii) Unopposed instructing Counsel a. Exceptional preparation, reading and conferences Necessary mentions and taking judgement a. Solicitor appearing uninstructed as Counsel 180 b. Solicitor instructing Counsel 120 HIGH COURT AND ACT COURT OF APPEAL 1. Appeals including leave applications, all conferences, reading time and all Court appearances a. Solicitor appearing as Counsel 2,160 b. Solicitor instructing Counsel 1, Necessary mentions and taking reserved judgments 120 SENTENCE ADMINISTRATION BOARD AND TRIBUNALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR 1. All preparation, conferences, reading and appearances 480
17 17 CIVIL SCALE OF COSTS FOR SOLICITORS IN ALL COURTS 1. Investigate and report Brief Counsel and initiate proceedings Negotiations and other preparatory work at $150 p/h. (max 10 hours) 1, Interlocutory Application including all preparation, conferences and Court appearances uninstructed Instructing Counsel $120 per hour Max. 6 hours per day 720 ACT MAGISTRATES AND CHILDREN S COURT 1. Matters under the Domestic Violence and Protection Orders Act a. DV1A/DV1R all preparation and attendance at Registrar s Conference 420 b. DV2A/DV2R all preparation, negotiations and Consent Orders after Registrar s Conference 420 c. DV3A/DV3R all preparation and attending at Final Hearing Care Proceedings a. Initial instruction and first court attendance 450 b. Case Management Conference including preparation, taking instructions and appearances c. (i) Hearing at $150 per hour, Max. 5 hours per day (ii) Half day 3. Victims of Crime Compensation Includes all preparation, conferences and appearances (as fixed by legislation) ,123 MENTAL HEALTH APPLICATION ACAT Includes all preparation, conferences, all tribunal attendances 240
18 18 DUTY LAWYER SERVICE 1. Domestic Violence a. Contested bail application b. Uncontested bail application/subsequent other bail applications on same day Mental Health Legal advice (family /DV where authorised prior) 130
19 19 FAMILY LAW SCALE OF COSTS FOR SOLICITORS Stage 1 take instructions, advising and reporting including considering FDR or initiating proceedings 320 (i) Stage 1(a): FDR early intervention stage Representing assisted person at FDR session including all preparation for FDR 640 (ii) Preparing consent orders, if appropriate 160 Stage 1(b): FDR litigation intervention (at any stage) (i) Representing assisted person at FDR session including all preparation for FDR 640 (ii) Preparing consent orders, if appropriate 160 Stage 2(a): Initiating court proceedings up to conclusion of directions hearings in the Family Court after initial instructions Taking further instructions, communication, preparation of documents, filing and service of documents and court attendance 800 Stage 2(ab): Initiating applications to the Federal Magistrates Court after taking initial instructions (i) Affidavit, communication, negotiating, filing and service of documents 800 (ii) All Court attendances for interim orders 640 Stage 2(b): Initiating court proceedings up to conclusion of directions hearing/s including application for interim relief in the Family Court after taking initial instructions This is for legal assistance for an Application for Initiating Proceedings and an Application for Interim Relief filed at the same time (i) Further instructions for initiating court proceedings and for preparation 800
20 20 of affidavits, documents, filing and serving (ii) Court attendance and negotiations 640 Stage 2(c): Interim or summary hearing as a discrete event in the Family Court/Federal Magistrates Court This stage applies to an interim application commenced as a discrete event, as in enforcement proceedings or a summary proceeding of a type not otherwise addressed in this fee structure. It does not include the stages 2 (a) or 2 (b) fee component. (refer to stage 2(g) for application for recovery orders) Instructions for application and affidavit, court documents, obtaining short service and court attendance 1,440 Stage 2(d): Up to conclusion of conciliation conference (if any) in the Family Court/ Federal Magistrates Court including further attendances or mention File management, instructions, court attendance and consent orders, if appropriate 480 (i) (ii) Stage 2(e): Case review (if any) in the Family Court including Less Adversarial Trial, further mentions in FMC Court documents if any, instructions, court attendance and consent orders, if appropriate If LAT additional payment (2 hours) Stage 2(f): Up to conclusion of pre-trial process/trial Notice List File management, instruction, prepare client for family report process, read family report, court attendance and consent orders, if appropriate Stage 2(g): Application for recovery order in the Family Court or the Federal Magistrates Court, report watch list, enforcement of orders and contravention proceedings (i) Instructions, court documents 480 (ii) Court attendance 480
21 21 Stage 3: After pre-hearing conference and release of family report in the Family Court Prepare client for family report process, read family report, advise client and consent order, if appropriate 480 Stage 4: Preparation for trial in the Family Court and the Federal Magistrates Court Taking instructions, interviewing witnesses, preparing documents, subpoena, case management guideline trial documents, preparing and delivering brief to counsel and conference with counsel 1,600 Stage 5: Trial costs for legal practitioner in the Family Court / Federal Magistrates Court Each hearing day Solicitor instructing Half day Each hearing day Solicitor as Counsel Half day , To take judgement and explain orders 160 Stage 6: Appeals from the Family Court and the Federal Magistrates Court This stage is based on the allocation of a legal practitioner s time only. Counsel s fees are part of disbursements. Appeal to single Judge of the Family Court, all preparation including 1 st day in court 12 hours a) Solicitor instructing - $110 p.h. 1,320 b) Solicitor as Counsel 7 hours at $110 = $770 5 hours at $180 = $900 1,670 Appeal to the Full Court of the Family Court all preparation including 1 st day in court 10 hours a) Solicitor instructing - $110 p.h. 1,100
22 22 b) Solicitor as Counsel 5 hours at $110 = $550 5 hours at $180 = $900 1,450 Miscellaneous Outside Stage of Matter and exceptional preparation, reading and conferences on hourly basis 160
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