Victoria Legal Aid Handbook for Lawyers

Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) will reimburse the following disbursements:

  • any court fees required to be paid by a legally assisted person
  • interpreters' fees
  • service fees
  • disbursements which have prior written approval of VLA.

Some disbursements must have prior approval, including:

  • fees for investigations and professional/expert reports
  • transcripts of evidence, plans and photographs.

Internal photocopying and facsimile charges are provided in the scales of professional costs and are not items of disbursements. However practitioners may claim as a disbursement any reasonable photocopying charges paid to another party, for example, copies of discoverable documents.

VLA will not allow courier or delivery fees as disbursements. Courier and delivery fees are incorporated in the items on the scales of professional costs for the attendance on counsel with brief, and for attendances upon witnesses.

Documentary requirements

Where a practitioner is required to seek prior approval for a disbursement, they must provide VLA with a copy of the quote for service, the qualifications of the expert providing the service, and the reasons for the request including an explanation of how the service would benefit the assisted person and the detriment to the assisted person if the service is not provided.

Where a disbursement is approved, in order to claim the fee payable, a practitioner must retain on their file evidence of the service and payment for that service.

Read the table of minimum evidence requirements.


Reviewed 22 November 2023

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