For legal aid to be granted for an agent in a family law matter, the following tests must be satisfied:
- the applicant has been provided aid for the substantive matter, and
- Legal Aid Queensland considers it is a more economical use of legal aid funds to engage the agent than to have the assigned practitioner perform the work.
Extension of aid requests received from preferred suppliers or in-house practitioners
When seeking a grant of aid for an agent in a family law matter the practitioner must lodge an extension of aid request through the Grants Online system along with details as to why an agent is required.
Additional hours are allowed for agents depending on the stage of matter (this is set out in the grants of aid section). It is a requirement that where possible the practitioner briefs a solicitor who is on the relevant Legal Aid Queensland preferred supplier panel.
The additional hours are provided to allow the agent to peruse material as required.
The substantive grant of aid which is issued to the preferred supplier or in-house practitioner allows for any court appearances, conferences, personal attendance and outlays.
As the grant of aid for agents in family law matters only includes a one or two hourly professional fee, any court appearances, conferences and personal attendance must be claimed on the substantive grant of aid.
The decision in relation to how the substantive grant of aid is split is a matter for the preferred supplier and the agent they engage.
Economical use of legal aid funds
Legal Aid Queensland will consider it is more economical to engage an agent in a family law matter when the grant of aid for an agent is less than the costs involved in having the preferred supplier travel to the court location.
Grant(s) of aid
The grant of aid to engage an agent in a family law matter is AGN1. This grant of aid is available is limited to one per substantive grant.
Review of decisions
A decision to refuse legal aid for this type of matter may be appealed to the external review officer (refer to review of decisions).