Victoria Legal Aid Handbook for Lawyers

4.3 – counsel costs and daily circuit fees

These tables list costs payable to counsel in Commonwealth family law and child support matters, fees for counsel briefed by an Independent Children's Lawyer (ICL) and daily circuit fees.

This fee table is effective from 1 January this year. For fees payable prior to this date, See Archived versions of the Handbook.

Counsel costs

State Magistrates' Court

Daily fee, including conferences$466

FCFCOA (Division 1 or 2)

Stage 4 – trial costs in the FCFCOA

Pre-trial: brief to appear in opposed family law matters, matters anticipated to be opposed, ex parte orders$646
Defended matters: daily fee$1707
Conference (maximum of 3 hours)$237 per hour
Take judgement$237

Stage 5 – appeals in the FCFCOA (Division 1)

Daily fee

Single judge: $1327

Full court: $1707

Conference (maximum of 1 hour)$237

Entitlements and conditions

Counsel costs when briefed by an ICL

Federal Circuit and Family Court (FCFCOA)

Conferences (maximum of 3 hours)$237 per hour
Counsel fees (daily defended fee)$1707
Take judgment$237

Entitlements and conditions

  • In ICL proceedings, counsel’s costs are only payable in addition to lump sum fees at the following court events/stages:
  • Fees for counsel briefed at Stage 1 – first court hearing and FDRS (ICLs) are to be paid out of the lump sum fee paid to the lawyer.
  • Victoria Legal Aid requires that barristers are paid directly in ATLAS. To do this, it is important that at the heading of ‘Payee Service Provider’ in ATLAS, the lawyer should choose the appropriate barrister from the list and change the payee to the barrister for the payment to go directly to the barrister.
  • Counsel’s fees are not payable where a matter is in the list but not reached.
  • Lawyers can claim all fees online using ATLAS (unless not registered for GST).
  • The fee for taking judgment is available where the appearance is required on a separate day to receive the judgment.

Daily circuit fees


Entitlements and conditions

  • Circuit fees generally include travel, accommodation and compensation for being out of the office.
  • Lawyers claiming these fees must use ATLAS unless they are not registered for GST, in which case a tax invoice can be submitted.
  • Lawyers can claim these fees using ATLAS or submitting a tax invoice.

Reviewed 31 December 2023