As a private firm, our Criminal Defence Lawyers undertake both privately funded cases and legal aid cases. We can apply for legal aid on our client's behalf (conditions apply) in both summary and indictable crime. Our expertise in Criminal Law has enabled us to be one of the few firms on the Victoria Legal Aid's Indictable Crime Panel.

Grant of Legal Assistance

A Grant of Legal Assistance is money used to pay a Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) or private lawyer to help you with your legal fees.

How do I get a grant?

We'll assist you in completing an application form. The form has questions about your financial situation and your case.

You will also need to give us:

  • proof of your income, such as your pay sheet or welfare benefits
  • bank or credit union account statements for the last three months.

Who can get a grant?

There are clear rules about who can get a grant.

We look at:

  • what you want legal assistance for
  • if you are likely to win your case
  • if helping you can benefit the public
  • your financial situation using a means test

The means test looks at:

  • what money you get from work, welfare benefits or other sources
  • if you own a car, home or anything else of value
  • your weekly living expenses.
  • if you support anyone else, or whether they support you.

What are the conditions of a grant?

The standard conditions of a grant of legal assistance are:

You must tell us immediately if:

  • you change your address while you are getting a grant of legal assistance
  • there is any change in any information in your application
  • there are any other changes that may affect your eligibility.

You authorise any lawyer who is acting for you, or who has acted for you, to give VLA information necessary for it to perform its functions under the Legal Aid Act 1978.

If a court awards you costs, or another party agrees to pay costs to you, those costs are to be paid to VLA. VLA may stop or change your grant of legal assistance if you do not observe any of the conditions or follow the advice of your lawyer. If VLA stops legal assistance you may have to pay all legal costs up to that time.

How does my lawyer get paid?

VLA pay your lawyer direct. It is an offence for a private lawyer to ask you to pay any costs for legally aided work.