The importance of claiming fees as early as possible

The importance of claiming fees as early as possible

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

We have received feedback from the Criminal Bar Association about the late payment of fees, particularly for junior barristers.  

Submitting a claim for fees at every billable event or stage of a matter can save you time and effort. A failure to do so can cause delays in assessing requests for extensions of assistance, delays receiving payment of your fees and barristers chasing you for outstanding costs.

By submitting your claims within a reasonable timeframe, you are also ensuring that the barristers who do legally aided work are paid in a timely manner, and are not unduly inconvenienced.

Tips for keeping on top of claims

  • include the details of what Victoria Legal Aid will pay on counsel’s backsheet, and include a note to contact the instructing solicitor if the barrister believes other fees are claimable
  • after every court event, submit a claim for your work
  • before you submit your extension of assistance, check your file and ensure you have claimed your costs for the previous stage
  • when submitting a claim for barristers’ fees, ensure that you enter the correct fee-slip number provided on their invoice as the external reference in ATLAS. This identifies the payment when it reaches the clerk and reduces the likelihood of claims being allocated incorrectly.

Practitioners are reminded to provide a final report and final account to Victoria Legal Aid and close the file in ATLAS within 30 days of the matter being legally finalised or the grant of legal assistance being terminated.

More information

For more information about how to submit claims, see ATLAS.  

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