Guideline 1 – general civil claims of $5000 or more


Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) may make a grant of legal assistance to a person for a general civil law matter if the amount of the claim is $5000 or more, subject to the restrictions discussed below.

VLA may limit the grant to:

  • an investigation of and further report on the merits of the case


  • mediation of the dispute.

VLA will not grant assistance to a plaintiff if there is an alternative funding arrangement available

VLA will not grant legal assistance to a plaintiff or a prospective plaintiff seeking damages or the recovery of property in a common law, equitable or statutory action if the action could be conducted either:

  • under a conditional costs agreement with a private lawyer


VLA may grant assistance to a defendant in limited circumstances

VLA may make a grant of legal assistance to a defendant in a general civil law claim for an amount of $5000 or more only if:

  • the defendant’s sole home is at immediate risk in the action (for example, the defendant has given a security over their house or their house is the only asset they have to meet a claim against them)


  • there is a strong prospect the defendant can defend the action or get a life tenancy of the property

Documentary requirements

Applications under this guideline can only be submitted via the standard grants assessment process.

An in-hour lawyer or a lawyer on the section 30 referral panel seeking a grant of legal assistance should submit an application via ATLAS for assessment, including all of the following documents: