What the grant of assistance for Magistrates' Court stage of indictable matters covers
General preparation fee
The lump sum general preparation fee is payable in all indictable matters that cannot be heard and disposed of in the Magistrates’ Court. General preparation includes taking instructions, reading the hand up brief, advising the client, any necessary jail conference, entering into negotiations with the prosecution and preparing and filing the Form 32 Case Direction Notice.
Brief analysis and case strategy fee
Practitioners must retain evidence of their brief analysis and development of the case strategy on the file in order to claim this fee.
The first day brief fee includes preparation, conferences and appearance on the first day of the committal. At the time of briefing counsel for the contested committal, counsel must also be briefed to undertake post-committal negotiations and to appear at the County or Supreme court first directions hearing.
Committal mention/case conference
Where an advocate appears at a committal mention, case conference or special mention which is more than 40 kilometres from the advocate’s usual place of business, a travel fee may be paid. This fee is calculated at the rate of 74 cents per kilometre for each kilometre of the return trip in excess of 80 kilometres, and is paid as a .
Additional solicitor preparation – contested committal/negotiations
- where a grant of legal assistance is made for a contested committal (this preparation includes taking further instructions and any necessary jail conferences)
- where the solicitor engages in meaningful negotiations with the prosecution prior to or at the committal mention/case conference/contested committal.
This preparation fee is not payable where a matter proceeds as a straight hand up brief without meaningful negotiations with the prosecution.
A further grant of legal assistance for contested committal must be sought if the matter is to proceed to a contested committal.
Contested committal brief
The first day brief fee includes preparation, conferences and appearances on the first day of the committal. At the time of briefing counsel for the contested committal, counsel must also be briefed to undertake post-committal negotiations and to appear at the County or Supreme Court first directions hearing.
Circuit fees – contested committal hearings
An additional fee is payable for one jail conference with the accused.
Reviewed 24 January 2022