A ‘lump sum fee’ is a fixed fee payable by Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) in most legally assisted matters. (See below for a list of the matters; see the relevant fee table for details of the lump sum fees.)
Generally, the lump sum fee covers all the necessary preparation work involved in:
- taking instructions
- preparing for a hearing.
Additional fees for court appearances are set out in the tables.
If the lawyer briefs counsel or a lawyer advocate in a matter for which a lump sum fee applies, then VLA will not pay any additional fee above the lump sum fee. The lawyer must pay counsel’s fees from the lump sum.
VLA pays the lump sum fee to the lawyer. The lawyer is then responsible for paying, from that lump sum, any counsel or agent they have retained in the matter.
Payment in lump sum fee matters
In family law matters other than defended hearings, the fee to be paid to a barrister/solicitor advocate/agent is to be negotiated with the assigned solicitor who is responsible for paying them.
If counsel or an agent is briefed in any matter governed by any of the following tables, the brief fee must not be less than the appearance fee provided for in the table.
Those tables are:
A, B, C, D, E, F, F(i),G, H, J, K, K(i), K(ii), L, T, Z.
Matters for which VLA pays lump sum fees
VLA pays lump sum fees for:
- criminal proceedings in the Magistrates’ Courts and Children’s Court (Criminal Division), including:
- committal hearings in the County Court, including a committal proceeding in a homicide case
- criminal proceedings, including:
- criminal proceedings in the Supreme Court, including:
- criminal appeals in the Court of Appeal
- criminal proceedings in the High Court, including hearings for special leave and the appeal
- all family law proceedings other than interim or final defended hearings
- State family proceedings in the Children’s Court (Family Division)
- Family Violence Protection Act and stalking intervention order matters in the Magistrates’ Court
- hearings before the:
- Mental Health Tribunal
- Forensic Leave Panel
- Social Security Appeals Tribunal
- Guardianship List of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
- coronial inquests (civil)
- Infringements Court cases
- Chief Examiner or Examiner (witness assistance) cases
- social security review and appeals cases
- State equal opportunity matters
- Commonwealth equal opportunity matters
- war veterans’ matters.
Reviewed 21 February 2022