The fees payable by Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) in criminal matters if an Appeal Costs Certificate has been granted, are set out in Table BBB.
This fee schedule is effective from 1 January this year. For fees payable prior to this see Archived versions of the Handbook.
Taking a brief for any day on which a certificate is given
If counsel takes a brief on any day where a certificate is given, then VLA will not pay any fee for that day. This rule applies regardless of the fee marked on the brief.
For a successful appeal where a certificate is given the amount payable is the cost of the appeal.
If a judge grants an Appeal Costs Certificate and it is necessary for new counsel to be briefed, then the first counsel is still entitled to the full fees that would have been payable to them without discount, including:
- the brief fee
- the preparation fee
- the conference fee
- if appropriate, the second day fee.
Adjournment of first day of trial
Where a trial is adjourned and does not commence until the expiration of ten days, then VLA will pay additional fees on the basis of a retrial, as per Table BBB.
Adjournments and instructing/co-counsel fees
Where an adjournment is granted, an instructing solicitor or co-counsel may only claim a one hour appearance fee, up to a maximum of two adjournments per day.
Daily circuit fees
If a daily circuit fee is payable in a matter, then it is the fee that would have been payable if there had been no adjournment.
Trial circuit fees
If a trial does not begin again on the same day or on the next court day, then VLA will pay a new circuit fee.
Where a retrial commences within 10 days of the previous trial, counsel is entitled to claim the subsequent day fee for each day of trial for the first trial. The brief fee is payable for the first day of the retrial.
Where the retrial commences more than 10 days after the previous trial, counsel is entitled to claim the fees as per the applicable fee schedule for the original trial and retrial.
A solicitor can claim instructing fees for both trials, as and when required up to a maximum of five hours per day, and in addition:
- if the retrial commences more than five days after the conclusion of the first trial, an additional 20 per cent of solicitor’s preparation fee for trial in Table F
- if the retrial commences more than 21 days after the conclusion of the first trial, an additional 40 per cent of the solicitor’s preparation fee for trial in Table F
- if the retrial commences more than three months after the conclusion of the first trial, the solicitor can claim the full solicitor’s preparation fee for trial in Table F again for the retrial.
These rules also apply to Commonwealth prosecutions where no Appeal Costs Certificates are available.
Reviewed 21 February 2022