Family Law Panel

Family Law Panel

We invite practitioners to apply for inclusion on the section 29A Family Law Panel. 

The panel is an exclusive panel. This means that firms and practitioners will need to be on this panel to receive grants of legal assistance for family law matters.

Under the panel application process, both firms and individual practitioners must apply.

Before you apply

Practitioners must read the Information package: Family Law Panel (pdf, 1.1 MB) or accessible Word versions before submitting an application.

What matters this panel covers

The Family Law Panel is a practitioner panel under section 29A of the Legal Aid Act 1978 covering legally assisted:

  • early intervention and dispute resolution for parenting orders
  • making and responding to applications for parenting orders
  • applications to discharge or vary parenting orders
  • child support and child maintenance
  • arrears of spousal or child maintenance or child support
  • recovery of children or location and information orders
  • parentage
  • nullity of marriage
  • international child abduction matters
  • contravention and enforcement of parenting orders and contempt of court
  • family law final hearings
  • appeals in family law or child support matters
  • special medical procedures involving children.

How panel membership works

Victoria Legal Aid’s panel membership model includes a role for both firms and individual practitioners. Panel membership is by firm, except for the Independent Children’s Lawyer Panel.

Pursuant to section 29A(7) of the Legal Aid Act all partners, directors and employees of a panel firm are also considered to be included on a relevant panel, and can work on legally aided matters. However, under the panels model only practitioners who have been approved as Panel Certifiers can receive grants of legal assistance on behalf of a client. As such, for a firm’s membership to be active, individual practitioners employed by the firm must be approved as Panel Certifiers.

Full details of the panel membership model can be found in Information package: Family Law Panel (pdf, 1.1 MB).

Entry requirements

It is essential that firms and practitioners are familiar with the entry requirements, including the assessment guidelines supporting the requirements, before applying for the panel.

The assessment guidelines included with the entry requirements provide essential information about how we will assess applicants against the entry requirements. Firms and practitioners who are not able to meet the entry requirements may be eligible for an exemption.

Individual practitioners who have been approved as members of the Independent Children’s Lawyer Panel are automatically eligible for Panel Certifier status on the Family Law Panel.

Firm and individual entry requirements and information about the assessment process and exemptions to entry requirements are available in the Information package: Family Law Panel (pdf, 1.1 MB).

When to apply

Firms and private practitioners can apply at any time, as the Family Law Panel is continuously open.

All applications will be assessed as part of the ongoing four-monthly assessment cycle.

Application due date Selection committee meeting
16 December 2016 March 2017
28 April 2017 August 2017


Application forms

Private law firms employing one or more private practitioner applicants must submit a completed Section 29A firm application form. Only one firm application is required per firm regardless of how many private practitioner applicants it employs.

Private practitioners employed by the firm who are seeking approval as Panel Certifiers must each submit a completed Family Law Panel application form (pdf, 304.07 KB).

Completed forms must be submitted via email to panels@vla.vic.gov.au. Paper applications will not be accepted.

For further information about the application form and process, please refer to the Information package: Family Law Panel (pdf, 1.1 MB).

For an alternative accessible format of the Family Law Panel forms please contact us at panels@vla.vic.gov.au.

Contact

If you would like more information, please contact:

Panels Co-ordinator
Email: panels@vla.vic.gov.au
Phone: (03) 9606 5264