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Property Mediation Pilot

Assessment criteria

For legal aid to be granted for a referral to the property pilot the following tests must be satisfied:

Documentary requirements

Application received from client

Applicants seeking a grant of legal assistance should forward all of the following documents for assessment:

  • A completed and signed Legal Aid Queensland application form
  • Proof of income and assets (refer to the means test)
  • Details of the property pool

Application received from preferred supplier or in-house practitioner

Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance must electronically submit an application for aid via the Grants Online system along with the relevant information request.

The following documents are to be retained on file but may be requested by Legal Aid Queensland:

  • A completed and signed Legal Aid Queensland application form.
  • Proof of income and assets (refer to means test)

All documentation as outlined in the case management standards - family law

Interpretation

Matters excluded from the property pilot

The following matters are currently excluded from the property pilot:

  • Matters where there are children’s issued in dispute
  • Matters where the property pool includes any of the following:
    • Businesses or commercial undertakings
    • Trusts
    • Significant amounts of savings which are available to the party to utilise for the purpose of legal fees.

Costs

There are costs associated with the pilot and these are shared between the parties.

If legally aided, that party’s share of the costs of the service will be imposed as a retrospective contribution.  If the party is privately represented, that party must contribute an upfront amount towards the costs of the conference/arbitration and contribute to the agreed outlays.

Grant(s) of aid

The grant of aid that issues for the initial referral to the pilot:

  • PCR – Referral to property conference
  • ALR – Referral to arbitration

A referral should be made to property conference in the first instance, unless Arbitration is specifically requested.

Extension(s) of aid

Property pilot extensions

If both parties meet the relevant guidelines and agree to participate in the property conference pilot the grant of aid is:

  • PC1 – first conference
  • PC2 – second conference
  • PC3 – first conference chairperson
  • PC4 – second conference chairperson

If both parties meet the relevant guidelines and agree to participate in the property arbitration pilot the grant of aid is:

  • AL1 – Arbitration
  • AL2 – Arbitrator

The following grants of aid may be issued as extensions on the file:

  • PA4 (slip rule application where a party alleges an error in the award)
  • PA5 (application to register an arbitral award)
  • VAL1 (where there is a dispute over the actual value of a property)
  • CVY1(conveyancing grant for purchasers)
  • CVY2 (conveyancing grant for vendors)
  • SIFI (obtain superannuation information)

Other extensions

If property conference/arbitration does not proceed, the applicant may seek an extension of aid for representation at court for a dispute about property.

Decision makers

Grants officers will determine whether a matter is appropriate for referral to the property pilot program.

All applications received from parties who have been invited by Legal Aid Queensland to a participate in the property pilot process are referred to DRS for determination.

Extensions will be determined by DRS including requests for a second conference or arbitration.

Practitioners will email DRS directly rather than lodging requests via Grants online.

If a request is received via Grants online email DRS (drs@legalaid.qld.gov.au) with the client name, Q file number and the request id.

Requests for travel, interpreters or court funding will be referred back to Grants for assessment.

Retrospective contributions

Funding for property settlement disputes will be provided subject to the right to recover a retrospective contribution.

Review of decisions

A decision to refuse legal aid for this type of matter may be appealed to the external review officer (review of decisions).

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