Solicitor fees (family law)
Preparation and attendances
Practitioners must claim for the actual time spent on a matter, up to the maximum allowable.
Additional preparation grants
The additional preparation grants issued in family law are subject to the following payment rules:
Professional fees in family and civil law matters
Costing guidelines for family and civil law matters(PDF, 85KB)
Interpreter engaged or three or more parties involved (excluding ICL)
The additional preparation grant where an interpreter engaged or three or more parties involved (ICPA, ICPB, FMP1 and FMP4) is to compensate for the additional time spent preparing the matter.
This fee is claimable at stages 2 and 3 of the family law stage model; however this fee cannot be claimed at stage 3 if another additional standard preparation grant (i.e. trials listed for three or more days) is issued.
Additional standard preparation grants in stage 2 are mutually exclusive
Practitioners are only eligible for one additional standard preparation grant in stage 2.
Additional standard preparation grants in stage 3 are mutually exclusive
Practitioners are only eligible for one additional standard preparation grant in Stage 3.
Meeting with children (ICL)
Practitioners may only claim for the actual time spent meeting the children, up to the maximum allowable by the grant of aid.
Changing from solicitor and counsel to solicitor advocate
If a practitioner has been granted aid for trial preparation for solicitor and counsel and determines that they wish to proceed with the trial as solicitor advocate, the solicitor advocate trial preparation grant will only be issued if counsel was not briefed. In these instances, the assessing officer will cancel the solicitor and counsel grant and issue the solicitor advocate grant.
If counsel was briefed for trial and the solicitor proceeds with the trial as solicitor advocate the solicitor will only be entitled to the solicitor advocate rate for days of trial.
Changing from solicitor advocate to solicitor and counsel
If a practitioner has been granted aid for trial preparation for solicitor advocate and determines that they wish to proceed with the trial with counsel, the solicitor advocate trial preparation grant will be cancelled and a new grant will be issued for trial preparation for solicitor and counsel.
Practitioners are required to time record all attendances in family law matters up to the maximum allowable and in accordance with Legal Aid Queensland costing guidelines.
Copies of any orders made must be retained on the practitioner’s file. When submitting proforma invoices practitioners must include the dates and outcomes of all attendances claimed.
File notes must be retained on the practitioners file for:
- Attendances in person or by telephone. File notes must include:
- date of attendance,
- persons present,
- issues discussed,
- instructions taken,
- advices given, and
- time taken so that claims can be easily verified.
- Attendances at trial/court. File notes must include:
- the date and the reason for the court appearance, and
- time spent before the court, and
- time spent conferring with client/counsel, negotiating or waiting, and
- the name of the judicial officer hearing the matter, and
- details of the submissions made, and
- the outcome.
- Attendance to drafting or perusing documents, letters and statements etc. File must include:
- Copies of the documents/letters/statements etc. drafted/perused must be retained on the practitioner’s file.
- Attendances by clerks. File notes must include:
- who was in attendance, and
- time taken, and
- instructions taken, and
- advice given.
- Attendances relating to any other work undertaken. File notes must include:
- the date, and
- identity of person undertaking the work, and
- details of work done and evidence of same such as a summary of an article read or notes of the submissions to be made to the court
Last updated 16 June 2017
If you have a general question for Legal Aid Queensland, please use the general question form or call 1300 65 11 88, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm.