Pay rates and allowances

The terms of the grant of aid set out what things Legal Aid WA will pay for, and the payment limits on costs and disbursements, when you provide legal services on our behalf.

Tables with the breakdown of common clauses and court allowances are at the end of this page.

This information will help you understand how much you can claim under a grant of aid. Find out:

  • what work Legal Aid WA will pay for under a grant of aid
  • the current pay rates and allowances for grants of aid
  • what happens if your client is awarded costs by the court.
The information below is only a summary. You can read more about practitioner payments in the Private Practitioner Manual.

What does Legal Aid WA pay for under a grant of aid?

Legal Aid WA will only pay for the cost of legal services that were actually performed (including disbursements and expenses actually incurred), if they fall within the scope of work that was approved in the grant or extension of aid.

You should only claim for the work done under the grant, even if that is less than the payment limits allowed. We will not pay more than the payment limits unless:

  • we have previously agreed to an extension of aid, or
  • it is to cover additional court attendances or disbursements that were reasonably necessary in providing legal services, and you are not claiming more than $300 in each category (up to $600 total).

What are the current pay rates and allowances?

The work covered by a grant, and our allowances and pay rates for performing that work, are based on the current Legal Aid Commission (Costs) Rules (but not the schedules) and the clauses included in the terms of the grant of aid.

For things such as initial advice and investigation, taking instructions, or preparing for court, you can claim for the time actually spent working on the task, up to the maximum amount set under the grant. We normally pay a rate of $140/hour (pro rata) for work done under a grant of aid, unless otherwise stated in the grant letter. Different hourly rates apply to items such as travel time, waiting time or viewing records of interview, if those tasks are included in the scope of the grant of aid.

For some tasks, such as court appearances, we pay a set allowance for performing that work, regardless of time actually involved. There will often be a cap on the number of times an allowance can be claimed for repeated tasks (such as multiple court appearances before trial or sentencing).

You can read more about the breakdown of what work is covered by the grant, including our rates and allowances, in the Useful documents below.

What if my client is awarded costs by the court?

If a client with a grant of aid is awarded costs by a court, you may be able to receive those costs as full or part payment towards what you could otherwise claim from Legal Aid WA. The Private Practitioner Manual explains what amounts you should include when you apply in court for costs, and the process for getting paid after a costs order has been made.


Get help

If you have questions about the scope of a grant of aid, requests for extensions, pay rates or court allowances, you should contact the Assessor using the details provided in the grant letter.

Useful documents

Read our Private Practitioner Manual

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


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.