Practitioner payments

Under a grant of aid, Legal Aid WA agrees to pay you to provide legal services to a client or in relation to a dispute.

The terms of the grant set out what things we will pay for and the maximum amounts that we will pay. Most grants entitle practitioners to be paid for providing legal services to a client, as well as being repaid for their reasonable disbursements and out-of-pocket expenses. Some grants may only allow a claim for disbursements. 

This information will help you to understand how you can claim for work done under a grant of aid. Find out:

  • if you can be paid by a client with a grant of aid
  • how to submit a claim for payment
  • what payment method Legal Aid WA uses.
The information below is only a summary. You can read more about each topic and practitioner payments generally in the Private Practitioner Manual.

How much does Legal Aid WA pay under a grant of aid?

The terms and particular clauses of a grant of aid determine what work is covered and how much can be claimed by the practitioner. More information, including a breakdown for common clauses, is available under the menu heading Pay rates and allowances.

Can I accept money from a client with a grant of aid?

No, if you are allocated a grant of aid, you can only accept payment from Legal Aid WA. The Legal Aid Commission Act and the Legal Profession Conduct Rules stop practitioners who provide legal services under a grant of aid from taking money from clients instead of, or in addition to, being paid for those services by Legal Aid WA.

However, if the grant of aid requires your client to make a contribution towards their legal costs, you must collect the contribution directly from them on our behalf. The amount of the contribution is automatically deducted from what we pay when you submit a claim for payment.

There are other rules about what practitioners can do if they receive money on behalf of a client as part of a court judgment, settlement or award of legal costs.

What if I do work for a client before I am assigned a grant of aid?

Legal Aid WA will only pay for legal services provided after the grant of aid becomes effective, being the date shown in the grant letter.

If you start working for a client before submitting an application for a grant of aid, you can ask for the grant to be backdated by up to 30 days. You must be able to show there were good reasons for the delay in submitting the application.

How and when do I submit a claim for payment?

Practitioners who are assigned grants of aid for matters under one of our panels or the ICL/Child Representative list must submit a claim for payment through Grants Online. 

Practitioners who are providing DR Chairperson services must submit a tax invoice for payment by email or by post.

Practitioners should submit a claim for payment, along with a final report on the matter, as soon as practicable within 6 months after a grant of aid finishes. If a final report and claim for payment is submitted late, Legal Aid WA can reduce the approved payment by up to 30% of the payment limit of the grant.

Practitioners providing DR Chairperson services must provide a final report immediately after the conference finishes. They can submit a claim for payment separately without needing to resubmit the final report.

What do I need to provide with my claim?

A claim for payment must be within the terms of the grant of aid. A claim must be submitted with a final report that properly justifies the amount of the claim. (Claims for DR Chairperson services can be lodged separately, as explained above.) 

The Private Practitioner Manual details the information required for your final report, for example,  who performed the work.

You should keep records and information to support your claim, including records of:

  • court appearances or conferences attendances
  • the legal services provided under the grant
  • disbursements and expenses
  • receipt(s) given to the client if you collected their contribution on our behalf.

How does Legal Aid WA pay my claim?

In order to be paid by Legal Aid WA, you (or your firm) must have submitted a Legal Creditor Registration Form. This should have been done when you applied for membership of a panel or list, unless your firm was already registered for payment. You need to resubmit the form if any of your details change. It takes up to two weeks for us to process any changes.

There are separate Legal Creditor Registration Forms for practitioners/firms who are registered for GST and those who are not registered for GST

Once a claim for payment is approved, we will pay you the approved amount by Electronic Funds Transfer into your nominated bank account. We do not pay claims by any other method.

 

Get help

If your question is about the scope of a grant of aid, including payments and requests for extensions, you should contact the Assessor using the details provided in the grant letter.

If you have any general compliance questions about your claims, please email our Professional Standards and Compliance Unit

Resources

 

Reviewed: 17 April 2018

Read our Private Practitioner Manual

All lawyers doing work on behalf of Legal Aid WA must comply with the Manual.

Disclaimer

The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.