In this section
START OF Policies and procedures
START OF Grants Handbook
START OF Applying for aid
END OF Applying for aid
END OF Grants Handbook
END OF Policies and procedures
There is no solicitor of choice in any area of law.
Legal Aid Queensland reserves the right to allocate any matter at any stage to our in-house practice or externally to our preferred suppliers.
Legal Aid Queensland's overriding consideration when allocating a matter is that the legal assistance is provided in the most effective, efficient and economical way. Legal assistance is provided at a reasonable cost to the community and on an equitable basis throughout the state.
Issues that may be taken into consideration when allocating a matter to a practitioner are:
A decision regarding the allocation of solicitor is not a reviewable decision.
Matters which are received over the counter, through the mail, or by email (i.e. not submitted through a preferred supplier or in-house practitioner) are classified as unclaimed matters.
If a preferred supplier sends the client to Legal Aid Queensland to complete the application form, the application is deemed to be an unclaimed matter.
Unless a conflict of interest is identified, or the client has an active file(s) pertaining to a related matter(s) with a preferred supplier, all unclaimed matters will be referred to Legal Aid Queensland's in-house practice in the first instance. If a conflict of interest precludes in-house from representing the client or in-house do not have capacity to represent the client, the application may be referred to a private practitioner on the appropriate Preferred Supplier panel.
Aid for criminal law matters will be allocated to practitioners based on court location.
With the exception of interstate clients, aid for family law or civil law matters will be allocated to practitioners based on where the client resides.
No preferential treatment is given to any preferred supplier. Legal Aid Queensland uses a computerised panel selection system to ensure fairness to all suppliers in the allocation of matters.
If a firm meets the requirements for inclusion on a preferred supplier panel they will be allocated matters appropriate to that panel using Legal Aid Queensland's panel selection system.
For all unclaimed matters the firm at the top of the panel selection list will be allocated the matter unless:
The preferred supplier must accept referrals from Legal Aid Queensland unless a conflict of interests exists or other commitments prevent the preferred supplier from representing the client.
Where an application has been submitted through the electronic lodgement system, from a preferred supplier, as a general rule the matter will be referred back to that preferred supplier. However, Legal Aid Queensland reserves the right to allocate any matter where there are reasonable grounds for doing so.
Legal Aid Queensland has a "one client per law practice" policy under which any law practice, including Legal Aid Queensland, is able to act for only one of two or more legally aided co-accused, except as detailed in the Conflict of Interest Policy - Grants of Aid for Criminal Law Co-accused(PDF, 42KB).
Legal Aid Queensland's in-house practice will aim to represent one co-accused per matter for all expensive criminal law matters.
Practitioners (excluding ATSILS), seeking to represent more the one co-accused in a criminal law matter must attach a completed co-accused allocation request form when submitting the initial application for aid.
For the purposes of this policy, a law practice that operates from multiple locations is deemed to be one law practice and will need to seek approval from an External Review Officer to represent more than one legally aided co-accused.
The co-accused allocation request form is available in Grants Online.
All requests from ATSILS or Legal Aid Queensland must attach a copy of the appropriate internal delegate approval with the application for aid.
Legal Aid Queensland has the right to allocate matters identified as potentially expensive to our in-house practice in the first instance. Potentially expensive matters are identified through matter type and characteristics, with Legal Aid Queensland considering the following when determining if a matter is a potentially expensive case:
- Drug trafficking / drug importation
- Attempted murder
- Dangerous driving causing death
- Fraud over $200,000
- The matter must be dealt with in the Supreme Court
- Where the investigation involved inter-agency co-operation (AFP, CCC, interstate police)
- Where there are 10 or more co-accused
- Potentially large and complex matters where:
* matter involves large scale surveillance of the defendant by QPS (or other enforcement agency), or
* there are indications in the QP9 material that police have sought warrants for the collection of large quantities of lawfully intercepted information, or
* the station / establishment section at the top of the QP9 identifies that the section of the QPS responsible for the investigations is Taskforce Maxima or a serious drug/crime squad.