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Legal costs

Prior legal costs

When legal aid is approved, aid is effective from the date Legal Aid Queensland receives the application form or the request for extension for aid. Under normal circumstances, Legal Aid Queensland will not pay for any work undertaken before the application form was received unless retrospective aid is applied for and approved.

Applicants are responsible for any legal costs incurred prior to the grant of legal assistance.

Costs ordered against a legal aid client by a court or tribunal

When a court or tribunal orders a legally assisted person to pay the costs of the other party, such costs are not normally paid by Legal Aid Queensland.

In line with s 32 of the Legal Aid Queensland Act 1997 the legally assisted person or the other party may request Legal Aid Queensland to pay those costs. Legal Aid Queensland will not pay such costs unless satisfied that the person making the request will suffer substantial hardship if the costs are not paid, and that it is just and equitable that the costs be paid.

Requests for Legal Aid Queensland to pay costs awarded against a legally assisted client will be determined by the delegated grants officer.

If an applicant seeks a review of a decision to refuse to pay costs the assessing officer will prepare a submission and forward it to the internal review officer who will arrange for the request to be reviewed by an external review officer.

The decision of the external review officer is final.

Costs ordered in favour of a legally aided client by a court or tribunal

When a court or tribunal orders costs in favour of a legally assisted person, in line with s 31 of the Legal Aid Queensland Act 1997 Legal Aid Queensland may recover the costs incurred in providing assistance.

Where costs are recoverable from another party the practitioner must immediately advise Legal Aid Queensland of the costs awarded along with supporting documentation. Legal Aid Queensland will make a determination as to the amount to be reimbursed. It is the practice of Legal Aid Queensland that the practitioner may retain the balance of any cost awarded.

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