New streamlined process for independent children’s lawyer grant requests

New streamlined process for independent children’s lawyer grant requests

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

As part of our commitment to working better with you, we have extended the simplified grants process to include independent children’s lawyer (ICL) matters.

From 19 February, your ICL matters will be automatically processed. There are some exceptions but the majority of your requests and claims will proceed quickly through the grants system. 

Initial grant allocation by us will continue as per the current court order process. 

What will be different?

Recommendations for subsequent extensions of legal assistance will now be automatically processed unless there is a guideline or scope of aid issue detected. This new quicker process will make life easier, eliminating delays waiting for extension approval. This means that you will now be responsible for ensuring that your file is compliant with Victoria Legal Aid's (VLA's) guidelines and funding requirements.  Your ICL files may now be subject to a compliance check.


There are some matters which will require assessment by VLA. These include requests:

  • for legal assistance beyond the ordinary limit
  • for a special disbursement
  • that raises a guideline issue.

Here are some examples of exceptions which will require assessment by VLA:

  • VLA will allow one stage 1(c) grant to be automatically approved.  Subsequent requests for stage 1(c) grants will be determined by VLA. Evidence that the matter has been listed for an interim contested hearing must be kept on your file and provided to VLA with your extension requests.
  • a request for assistance for a contact centre report
  • a request for assistance for a psychological/psychiatric report for one of the parents. You will need to provide the parent’s financial information with the extension request
  • retrospective assistance requests
  • additional preparation requests.

Ensuring your files are compliant

Like other simplified grants processes, the practitioner is responsible for ensuring their files are compliant.

Guideline 25 of the VLA Handbook provides further information on the compliance process.

Also, Page 53 of the Notes on the Guidelines provides further guidance on the ICL guideline, extension requests, documentary requirements, and billing.

Further information

If you require any further information or have any questions please contact Stacey Denley,  Assignments Coordinator, Court Ordered (Family), on 9606 5225 or