Allocation of work guideline changes

Allocation of work guideline changes

The content below provides basic information only. Practitioners should refer to the VLA Handbook for lawyers for the relevant guidelines.

How work will be allocated

The allocation of work guideline relates to all criminal law, family law, child protection, family violence and personal safety intervention order matters, and matters where an independent children's lawyer is appointed.

A grant of legal assistance (including a transfer of legal assistance) made for all criminal law family law, child protection, family violence and personal safety intervention order matters, and where an independent children's lawyer is appointed, will only be allocated to a firm or practitioner on the relevant panel established under section 29A of the Legal Aid Act 1978 or a Victoria Legal Aid lawyer.

Firms and practitioners that are not on the section 29A panels:

  • will no longer be allocated grants of legal assistance for indictable crime, summary crime, child protection and family law matters as of 1 November 2014
  • will no longer be allocated grants of legal assistance for family violence and personal safety intervention order matters as of 1 February 2015
  • will no longer be able to use Victoria Legal Aid assessed templates for new applications for indictable crime, summary crime, child protection family violence and personal safety intervention order matters.

Family law matters

The new guideline allows for limited discretion for family law matters to be allocated to a non-section 29A firm if the particular needs of the client cannot reasonably be met by a section 29A panel firm or Victoria Legal Aid lawyer.

If a practitioner is not on the section 29A Family Law Panel they must:

  • apply for a grant of legal assistance using a Victoria Legal Aid Assessed template in ATLAS
  • explain in the application why the particular needs of the client cannot reasonably be met by a firm on the Family Law Panel or a Victoria Legal Aid lawyer.

Existing grants of assistance

Firms and practitioners that are not on the section 29A panels will be able to retain matters commenced prior to the relevant guideline change. Further assistance must be sought by submitting an extension request using the Victoria Legal Aid assessed templates in ATLAS.

Applications for legal assistance

Unless you have been approved for membership to the section 29A panel or are an interim member of the section 29A panel, you will no longer have access to the Simplified Grants Process templates or new application templates in ATLAS.

An exception applies to family law, where Victoria Legal Aid Assessed templates will be available for new matters. These templates will require practitioners to address the allocation of work guideline.

Contact

If you have any questions, please call Victoria Legal Aid's Assignments Unit on (03) 9269 0600.

For further information about how to get on a section 29A panel see Practitioner panels.