This section has information to help practitioners manage grants of aid that are assigned to them by Legal Aid WA.
- Our online platform to apply for a grant of aid, seek a reconsideration or review, request an extension or a transfer, and lodge invoices for payment.
- What you need to know before you consider briefing another lawyer to do work for you on an assigned grant of aid.
- Basic information to help you understand what we will pay for, how much we will pay, and how to make a claim.
- The guidelines help explain what legal matters may be the subject of a grant of aid, our priority categories and what the initial grant might cover.
Who deals with grants of aid to private practitioners?
Legal Aid WA has two divisions involved in managing grants of aid to private practitioners:
- our Professional Standards and Compliance Unit oversees our panels and lists, including membership applications, practitioner compliance, audits, and complaints.
- our Assessing division makes decisions on individual applications for grants of aid, including extensions, payments, transfers and client contributions.
How are grants of aid allocated?
Some grants of aid to clients are not allocated to private practitioners. These ‘in house’ grants are assigned to lawyers employed by Legal Aid WA.
If a client’s grant can be assigned to a private lawyer, the client can nominate their lawyer of choice. The nominated lawyer will normally be allocated the grant of aid, but only if they are on the panel that matches the grant of aid.
If the client does not nominate a lawyer who is on the panel (or that lawyer is unavailable), Legal Aid WA may allocate the grant 'in house' and otherwise, will allocate the grant to the practitioner from the panel who is next in line and available to be allocated a grant (the ‘cab rank rule’).
Funding for an Independent Children’s Lawyer, Child Representative, or Dispute Resolution Chairperson, is not allocated to an individual client. The term ‘list’ is used to show that funding for these matters is not subject to the allocation rules that apply to panel matters. Legal Aid WA is free to allocate the grant to any available practitioner on the list.
What if I’m unavailable to take work from Legal Aid WA?
If you are a member of a Legal Aid WA panel or list, you will be referred grants of aid unless you have a conflict, or do not have capacity on a temporary basis. If you are going to be unavailable to accept new grants of aid from Legal Aid WA, either now or in the near future, you should let us know as soon as practicable.
You need to tell us the length of time you expect to be unavailable; it cannot be left open ended. You can contact us to bring forward or extend the end date you nominated if circumstances change.
If you have told us you are temporarily unavailable, you will not be removed from the panels and lists, we will just stop allocating you new grants until you become available again. However, you can still submit new applications through Grants Online on behalf of a client (and be allocated the grant as their nominated practitioner of choice) whilst you are temporarily unavailable for other grants.
Reviewed: 17 April 2018