Child protection fees due to COVID-19

Child protection fees due to COVID-19

Fees payable for a mention subject to Practice Direction 9 of 2020 (to be adjourned on the papers)

Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) will pay a fee in connection with a mention. VLA does not require that activity associated with the mention occur on the day the mention is listed. Practitioners are encouraged to take instructions ahead of the mention hearing.

How to claim fees where a matter is listed for mention and subject to Practice Direction 9

Activity

Fee

I have attempted to contact my client but have been unable to obtain instructions

No fee payable

I have obtained instructions, provided legal advice and do not oppose the 6/8 week adjournment

Adjourned IAO fee

I have proposed settlement and offer is accepted

Mention fee

I have proposed settlement and offer is declined

Adjourned IAO fee

I have requested a hearing and the request is granted

No fee payable for the mention, practitioner should claim the appropriate fee for the new hearing

I have requested a hearing and request is refused

Adjourned IAO fee

I have received updated instructions about new facts and circumstances after a mention is adjourned and an adjourned IAO fee has been claimed, and my request for a hearing has been granted

Note – evidence on the file is required to demonstrate that the request for the hearing relates to new facts and circumstances arising after the adjourned mention. Fees are not payable where a practitioner had or should have obtained instructions about those facts and circumstances in connection to the mention hearing

Fee for the requested hearing is payable


A practitioner can make a request for a hearing at any time. It does not have to be done prior to or on the day of the scheduled mention.

Where a practitioner has made or intends to make a request for a hearing on the basis of instructions obtained in connection to the mention, they should not claim a fee for the mention until the outcome of the request is advised by the Court. If the request is granted, the fee for the requested hearing will be payable. If the request is refused, the practitioner may then claim the Adjourned IAO fee. Practitioners should not claim fees for both the mention and the requested hearing.

Readiness hearing

Lawyers can claim the same fees as an adjourned conciliation conference ($362) and for matters which reach a final settlement at a first readiness hearing will be eligible for the settlement fee ($430) (as an alternative to the general preparation fee).

The preparation fee of $241 is payable from 17 September 2020 for the first Readiness hearing only.

Subsequent readiness hearings will be payable with effect from 1 January 2021.

Hearing/activity Fee How to apply
Preparation fee $241 Special disbursement (from 17 September 2020 only available for first Readiness hearing)
Readiness hearing $362 Special disbursement
Subsequent hearing
(subject to cap)
$362 Special disbursement (from 1 January 2021)
Preparation fee
If matter settles
$430 Special disbursement (if settles at first Readiness hearing)

More information

Read about other changes to our services due to COVID-19.

Read about the New fee for child protection readiness hearings following review.

Read about the Fee for subsequent child protection readiness hearings.

Contact grants@vla.vic.gov.au for more information. 

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