Victoria Legal Aid Handbook for Lawyers

Interim fees

We use interim fees to support the continued delivery of safe legal services to clients. Read our current interim fees.

Criminal law

We have introduced fees in indictable crime to respond to the following pilot programs and initiatives:

  • County Court’s Case Management System and Trial Questionnaire Certificates
  • Intermediaries program (Ground Rules Hearings) and Section 198A hearings (for leave to cross examine witnesses in special hearing matters)
  • Supreme Court Case management.

Case Management System – County Court (previously Active Case Management)

From 20 April 2022, the County Court will start listing Case Assessment Hearings, as part of its Case Management System. These hearings further the changes made under the previous Active Case Management System.

In early 2021 we introduced fees to cover the additional hearings. These fees are now ongoing, and we have added new fees specifically in response to the new Case Management Hearings.

We are committed to ensuring matters progress in a timely manner and that where possible, efforts towards resolution are supported.

Case management

Hearing/activityTotal feeHow to apply
Case Initiation Notice$456Built into the committal and trial grant. Also available as an extension.
Instructor’s Preparation for Case Conference$684As extension on trial grant.
Counsel/Advocate’s Preparation for Case Conference$1538As extension on trial grant.
Appearance at Case Conference$1308As extension on trial grant.
Instructing – per hour (up to a maximum of five hours per day)$158As extension on trial grant.
Case Assessment Hearing$571As extension on trial grant.
Trial Questionnaire Certificate$456Extension on grant.

Judge alone trials

Hearing/activityFeeHow to apply
Written submissions supporting application$856 Supreme Court and County CourtSpecial disbursement
Hearing to discuss application

$456 – County Court

$622 – Supreme Court

Special disbursement

County Court trial readiness processes

Hearing/activityFeeHow to apply
Trial readiness certificate$456Extension on grant

Ground rules hearings

Hearing/activityFeeHow to apply
Ground rules hearing in the Supreme Court (subsequent day trial fee)
$2097Built into the trial grant
Ground rules hearing in the County Court (subsequent day trial fee)
$1308Built into the trial grant
Ground rules hearing in the Magistrates Court – Committal (daily appearance fee)
$463Built into the trial grant
Ground rules hearing in the Magistrates Court (daily appearance fee)
$463Built into the trial grant
Ground rules hearing in the Children’s Court (daily appearance fee)
$463Built into the trial grant

Section 198A hearings

Hearing/activityFeeHow to apply
Application for s198A Hearing
$685Special disbursement
Section 198A Pre-trial examination (subsequent trial day fee)
$1308Special disbursement

Supreme Court Case Management

To ensure that cases are 'trial ready' on the first day of empanelment, the Supreme Court has introduced an Administrative Callover Process for all matters that are yet to be allocated a trial date.

The Administrative Callover Process will be facilitated by the filing of four documents. Counsel for the Prosecution and Defence are required to complete the documents and it is hoped that they will help to identify case management needs, estimated trial duration, and cases requiring priority (such as those involving a child or vulnerable accused; child or vulnerable witnesses; and other issues which could give a case a priority trial listing) more accurately.

This new approach may reduce the need for additional directions hearings. VLA will provide an interim fee for Counsel required by the Court to participate in the process.

Hearing/activityFeeHow to apply
Application to cross examine witness – s198B$856Special disbursement
Appearance where witnesses are cross examined – s198B (Subsequent day trial fee) $2097Extension on committal grant
Supreme Court Administrative Callover processes $622Built into the trial grant
Supreme Court case conference $1755Sentence indication fee – extension on the trial grant

Court of Appeal

Hearing/activityFeeHow to apply
Court of Appeal judgements via email or Appearance$469Payable under Court of Appeal Grant (Table KExternal Link )

More information

Read about other changes to our services due to COVID-19External Link


If you have questions please contact Program Manager, Indictable Crime, Kin Leong by emailing or Grants and Quality Assurance by emailing

Family law

The Family Law Courts will be commencing court ordered Alternative Dispute Resolution Conferences in February 2021, known as Dispute Resolution ConferencesExternal Link (DRC).

The Family Law Courts are introducing these new conferences to assist families to resolve parenting matters with the assistance of a Registrar and a Family Consultant.

We are pleased to support this new initiative which provides help to more separating couples to resolve their disputes sooner.

From February 2021, we will be providing an appearance fee for practitioners to appear at DRCs. This is on the basis that VLA will fund either participation in a Dispute Resolution Conference or a litigation intervention Family Dispute Resolution Service (FDRS) but not both.

The fee will be available for DRCs until VLA reaches a cap of 50 matters or six months, whichever occurs first. We will communicate with the Court and the profession when the cap is close to being reached. We will monitor the pilot provision of an interim fee for DRCs and when the cap is reached, we will evaluate the effectiveness of our funding for DRCs and consider ongoing funding for the conferences.

VLA will also not fund stage 1 of the conference process, which is an intake session for parties, and it is not compulsory for lawyers to attend. If a practitioner chooses to attend this would occur as part of the practitioner’s preparation fee for the conference.

More information

If you have any questions about the DRCs fees, please contact

Read more about the Family Law Courts’ dispute resolution conferencesExternal Link .

Note: For grants of aid approved after 1 January 2022 please refer to Fee table 4: Commonwealth family law and child support matters.

Where clients have access to email:

In summary, you send the attached pro forma email to your client, and the client’s response provides the declaration. This form is not recommended for child clients.

Where clients do not have access to email:

This contains a simple script for you to use in a phone conversation with your client to obtain their declaration, as well as a declaration for you the practitioner to make. This document has been updated on 23 April 2020 in response to practitioner feedback.

Interim fees for appeals to the Court of Appeal involving Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants

Victoria Legal Aid will pay the following interim fees for appeals to the Court of Appeal involving the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants (RCMPI). These fees reflect the level of complexity and additional work involved in preparing for and appearing in these matters.

The interim fees are effective to 30 June 2024, at which time they will be reviewed. As the interim fees are based on the anticipated process for appeals involving the RCMPI in the Court of Appeal, the fees may change during this period based on any changes to the court process.

Work involved SolicitorSenior Junior CounselSenior Counsel^
Preparation, reading of material*, grounds and written case and the possibility of a further application for production of documents (section 317)

Preparation $2002

$1555 (appeal)

$933 (further application where applicable)

$2086 (appeal)

$1251 (further application where applicable)

Initial directions hearingN/A$387$521

In cases where there is a request to produce documents:

Work involved SolicitorSenior Junior CounselSenior Counsel^
  1. Crown objection to production
  2. Appellant challenge to objection
  3. Crown submissions
  4. Appellant submissions

Peruse and prepare submissions (5 hours) $1555^^

Peruse and prepare submissions (5 hours) $2086^^

  1. Hearing
N/AHearing $1443 per dayHearing $3210 per day
Further directions hearingN/A$387$521

Where facts are in issue (determination hearing under section 319A**):

Work involved SolicitorSenior Junior CounselSenior Counsel^
  1. Draft summaries / joint statement
N/ADraft summary / joint statement (3 hours) $933Draft summary / joint statement (3 hours) $1251
  1. Possible case conference
N/ACase conference $1755Case conference $2995
  1. Hearing (appeal book) before a single judge
N/AHearing before judge $603Hearing before judge $809
  1. Further hearing to determine issues
Instructing – $275 per hour (up to a maximum of 5 hours per day)Determination hearing $2097 per dayDetermination hearing $3210 per day
  1. Directions hearing
N/ADirections hearing $387Directions hearing $521

Production of appeal book

Appeal book (granted as a disbursement where applicable)

Leave and/or Appeal hearing(s)

Work involved SolicitorSenior Junior CounselSenior Counsel^
Leave/Appeal hearing(s)N/A

$2166 first day

$1443 subsequent days

$3902 first day

$3210 subsequent days


* Additional preparation for Counsel to read the material will be assessed on a case by case basis.

^ Where Senior Counsel is approved

^^ VLA has discretion to approve higher fees for drafting where written submissions are expected to be extraordinarily lengthy

** Fees in the table are based on the fees for a Supreme Court trial. Where the determination hearing is to be heard in the County Court, these fees may be paid at the lower rate

Reviewed 31 December 2023

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