Table A sets out the standard rate fees payable by Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) in:
- summary proceedings in the Criminal Division of the Children’s Court
- summary criminal proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court.
These fees are effective from 1 January this year. For fees payable prior to this see Archived versions of the Handbook.
The fees contained in this fee schedule are lump sum fees and are GST inclusive.
|Service/proceeding||Fee for acting for single accused||Fee for acting for two accused||Fee for acting for three or more accused|
|Lump sum general preparation fee |
Note: the lump sum preparation fee covers all necessary work.
|Lump sum preparation fee (urgent matter) |
This fee applies in any matter where the request for aid is made no earlier than the day immediately preceding the substantive hearing or where the lawyer is otherwise in receipt of an urgent grant.
|Lump sum consolidated preparation fee||$543||$814||$1086|
|Lump sum consolidated preparation fee (urgent matter)||$327||$490||$654|
|Transcribing of taped record of interview, if necessary||$94 per tape||$94 per tape||$94 per tape|
|Contest mention |
VLA will pay an appearance fee if, on the available evidence, the assisted person:
|$311 for each necessary appearance.||$466 for each necessary appearance.||$621 for each necessary appearance.|
|Jail conference |
VLA will pay for one necessary jail conference (including by way of video conference) with the accused person only:
|Contest hearing appearance if the matter does proceed as a contest||$860||$1290||$1719|
|Contest hearing appearance if the matter does not proceed as a contest||$614||$920||$1227|
|Daily appearance fee||$454||$680||$906|
|Daily appearance fee (consolidation)||$543||$814||$1086|
|Appearance on sentence or adjournment||$299||$448||$597|
|Appearance on sentence or adjournment (consolidation)||$345||$516||$690|
|Group conference held during work hours (Children’s Court only)||$435||$652||$870|
|Group conference held outside work hours (Children’s Court only)||$557||$834||$1113|
|Youth Control Order planning meeting (Children’s Court only)||$337||n/a||n/a|
|Youth Control Order reporting and monitoring hearing, including variation to a less restrictive order (Children’s Court only)||$174||n/a||n/a|
|Youth Control Order reporting and monitoring hearing to oppose a variation to a significantly more restrictive order (Children’s Court only)||$299||n/a||n/a|
|Breach or Revocation of a Youth Control Order (Children’s Court only)||$454||$680||$906|
|Application for summary jurisdiction (Children’s Court only)||$420||n/a||n/a|
|Plea heard at contest mention – contest mention fee||$311||$466||$621|
|Plea heard at contest mention – plea fee||$299||$448||$597|
|Plea heard at contest mention – plea fee (consolidation)||$345||$516||$690|
|Court Integrated Services Program/Drug Court mention/Assessment and Referral Court||$174||$174||$174|
|Assessment and Referral Court – Individual Support Plan Ratification hearing||$311||n/a||n/a|
Practitioners can claim these fees using ATLAS ==REPACE TEXT HERE== or submitting a tax invoice.
The general preparation fee covers:
- perusal of the brief
- taking instructions
- summary case conference
- organising witnesses
- obtaining material for the hearing
- briefing counsel.
VLA will only pay the general preparation fee once in a matter. Additional preparation fees are not available for summary crime matters.
Where a practitioner is in receipt of an urgent grant, the only preparation fee payable is the urgent grant fee in Table A. The general preparation fee in Table A is not payable for urgent grants.
VLA will pay for one necessary jail conference with the accused, as per Table A, subject to the following:
- the fee is only payable if the practitioner or counsel who undertakes the conference also makes the appearance
- the fee is not payable where the attendance on the accused is in the court/police cells on the day(s) of the hearing.
Contested hearing appearance fees
Where a matter is listed for a contested hearing and does not proceed to contest, the fee of $614 in Table A applies.
Where the matter proceeds to a contested hearing, the fee of $860 in Table A applies for each day of the contested hearing.
Contest mention fee
Where an individual charge or charges to be negotiated qualify for assistance under the guidelines, VLA will pay for each necessary attendance at a contest mention if, either:
- the accused had a reasonable prospect of acquittal on those charges
- where the summary alleged by the prosecution does not reflect the evidence and is likely to impact on the sentence.
Where a practitioner appears in more that one contest mention for the same accused on the same day, only one contest mention fee is payable.
Court Integrated Services Program
Where an accused is involved in a Court Integrated Services Program, VLA will pay for one necessary attendance, other than on final plea or sentence, where there is a prior indication that the accused is not complying with the program and the court is likely to take him/her off the program.
Assessment and Referral Court List – review hearing
Where an accused has a matter in the Assessment and Referral Court (ARC) List, VLA will pay for a necessary attendance at a review hearing, other than on final plea or sentence, where there is a real and substantial risk that the accused is going to have their individual support plan cancelled or significantly varied.
VLA will not pay for any psychiatric, psychological or other reports for matters that are in the ARC List where such reports can be prepared by the services of the court.
Consolidation of charges
Where there are two or more briefs that fall within the guidelines for assistance, and where those briefs are to be consolidated and heard together, the consolidation fees in Table A shall apply. A specific grant of aid for consolidation is required.
Acting for co-accused
Where a practitioner acts for more than one accused in a matter, the fees relating to co-accused in Table A apply. These fees will be apportioned between the co-accused.
Where an advocate appears in a hearing which is more than 40 kilometres away from the advocate’s usual place of business, a travel fee of 80 cents per kilometres is payable for each kilometres of the return trip in excess of 80 kilometres.
A specific grant of assistance is required to incur any disbursement in Table S.
Requests to increase the fees in Table S, or for other disbursements not covered in Table S, will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by those with the delegation to do so.
Interpreters’ fees and translation fees
VLA will pay for reasonable interpreters fees without prior approval from VLA. A separate grant of aid is required before incurring translation fees.
Where an appointment has been made for an accused to attend upon an expert and the accused does not attend the appointment, the non-attendance fee in Table S is payable to the expert.
The fee for an evidentiary expert report is payable where an expert is engaged to establish an evidentiary basis for a defence or to establish an evidentiary fact.
A separate grant of aid is required before engaging an expert for an evidentiary report.
A separate grant of aid is required before engaging an expert for attend court to give evidence.
Where an accused is calling a witnesses to give evidence, a separate grant of aid is required for any costs associated with the witness’ attendance at court.
VLA will pay for service fees and associated conduct money without prior approval from VLA.
Reviewed 31 December 2022