Victoria Legal Aid

Payments and records management for private practitioner duty lawyers

How private practitioner duty lawyers can claim for their services, fee details and how they must maintain their records.

Accredited private lawyers are paid for duty lawyer services delivered in accordance with a rostered commitment to do so, at the applicable rate set out in the Fees section, upon submission of a claim.

Note, for payments and records management of duty lawyers in the Family Division of the Children's Court please refer to Payments and records management for Children’s Court Family Division private practitioner duty lawyers

Making a claim

To make a claim you must be formally accredited in a rostered private practitioner duty lawyer scheme and rostered to perform duty lawyer services.

Download and complete a:

By signing the invoice you are certifying that all details are complete and correct, and that:

  • you were rostered to deliver duty lawyer services on that date
  • a duty lawyer record (DLR) has been completed for each appearance noted on the tax invoice under 'duty lawyer services performed'
  • you agree to retain the DLRs in accordance with the requirements set out in Maintaining your own records
  • you agree to make the DLRs available for inspection by Victoria Legal Aid on request.

Incorrect or incomplete claims will be returned to you unpaid for correction or completion.

Submit your claim to the reporting office allocated to administer the scheme.

Fees

From 1 January 2022 the fees payable to rostered private practitioner duty lawyers are:

  • all other courts – $169 (GST inclusive) per hour up to a maximum of six hours per day.

For matters prior to 1 January 2021 the hourly rate is $166 (GST inclusive).

The hours are calculated from when you are first required to attend court until you leave the court. The calculation of time spent at court does not include the lunch adjournment or time spent on privately funded or matters funded under a grant of legal assistance.

Maintaining your own records

Accredited lawyers participating in a private practitioner duty lawyer scheme have responsibilities when creating, storing and destroying their records.

Creating duty lawyer records

You must complete one of the following records for each service noted on the tax invoice:

Storing and destroying duty lawyer records

We comply with our obligations under the Public Records Act 1973. These obligations extend to all Victoria Legal Aid contractors, including private practitioners who are funded to perform duty lawyer services.

Accordingly you must retain these records for:

  • 25 years from the date of action for child clients
  • seven years from the date of action for other clients.

You do not need to attach these records to your claim.

Records should be stored in date order, with records for child clients stored separately.

Records must be stored and destroyed in accordance with your obligation to maintain client confidentiality at all times.

Substantiating your claims

We will inspect nominated DLRs from time to time to verify claims.

Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

We help Victorians with their legal problems and represent those who need it most. Find legal answers, chat with us online, or call us. You can speak to us in English or ask for an interpreter. You can also find more legal information at www.legalaid.vic.gov.au

Reviewed 13 May 2022

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