Victoria Legal Aid Handbook for Lawyers

The notes provide guidance on how the Commonwealth family law and child support guidelines in the Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) Handbook for Lawyers (the Handbook) are interpreted and applied, and provide commentary and examples on:

  • Eligibility criteria: a detailed explanation of what is required to meet eligibility criteria guideline requirements with examples.
  • Grants assessment process: information on how to apply for funding at each stage as the matter progresses. This includes information on common fee pathways, the professional costs that should be recommended at each stage, the ATLAS template to be used and what information to provide to Grants and Quality Assurance unit where Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) assesses eligibility.
  • Documentary requirements: the documents required to be retained on the file (or uploaded to ATLAS for guidelines where VLA assesses eligibility) as evidence of compliance with the guidelines.
  • Fees and billing: The fees available for each stage of the matter, how to correctly claim at each stage of a matter, and the conditions attaching to grants.

The notes also provide links to family law worksheets which guide lawyers through the eligibility criteria and the documentary requirements that apply.

The notes are embedded throughout the guidelines and are no longer available in a Word format.

The notes form part of the Handbook and are intended to be read with the Handbook and the Notes on the guidelines – simplified grants assessment process. The latter document provides more general information on applications under the SGP, including information on the means test and disbursements. Forms for use in the SGP are also available online.

Lawyers applying for grants of assistance are required to apply both the guidelines and these notes. Where there is any inconsistency between the notes and the guidelines, the guidelines will prevail.

VLA recommends you first refer to the notes before contacting Grants and Quality Assurance unit with a query. If the notes do not clarify the issue, or if you have a query which relates to a particular matter, contact Legal Assessments on (03) 9269 0600 or by email:

Fee pathway flowcharts

These flowcharts form part of the notes and provide a visual representation of information in the Handbook and the Notes which set out potential fee pathways in certain matters:

Reviewed 13 April 2023

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