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Legal Aid Panels

Legal aid panels

The panel application is a single form that can only be submitted by the Principal/nominated Principal of a Law Practice or Barrister. This application form is to be submitted on behalf of all legal practitioners who will undertake legal aid work.

The principal/nominated principal of a law practice can nominate legal practitioners (who hold a current Australian Practising Certificate) within the law practice on the one application form, where they meet the individual panel requirements for the nominated panel/s.

All legal practitioners should read and consider the Legal Aid NSW Quality Standards prior to applying for appointment to Legal Aid NSW Panels. This document applies to all in-house and private legal practitioners who undertake legal aid work and provides clarity on the quality of legal services Legal Aid NSW expects will be delivered when undertaking legal aid work. Upon appointment, the Quality Standards form part of the law practice’s obligations in accordance with the Service Agreement.

The table below provides an overview of all available panels and their requirements. For more in-depth information regarding a panel and their individual requirements click on the “Area of Law” headings on the below tables or refer to the Quality Standards.

Barristers

For direct representation matters, barristers must ensure compliance with the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules, in particular Rule 22. A barrister appointed to the panel may decline to accept a direct representation offer of assignment if it is inappropriate to do the work without the involvement of an instructing solicitor.

Training

Legal Aid NSW will be introducing training course modules for panel members. These modules may form part of the requirement for panel members to remain on a panel or be appointed to a panel. Further information about these training modules will be communicated to panel members as they become available.

CPD Units

Legal practitioners, who meet the individual requirements to undertake legally aided matters under the Indictable Crime, Child Crime, Care and Protection and/or Independent Children’s Lawyer panels, are required to complete 5 CPD units each year.

Panels Structure

Law Practices

Principal of the law practice must have 3 years post admission experience in one area of law.

Criminal

Panel
Summary
Indictable Crime
Child Crime
Jurisdiction

Summary (Adult)

Indictable (Adult)

SACP (Adult & Child)

Appellate (Adult)

Summary (Child)

Indictable (Child)

Appellate (Child)

Solicitor/Barrister Post Admission Experience required in the designated area of law

2 years

Solicitor & Barrister

5 years
(75% of workload in criminal law over past five years)

or

Specialist Accreditation in Criminal Law

Solicitor only

5 years

or

Specialist Accreditation in Criminal Law, Children’s or Advocacy

Solicitor & Barrister
Additional requirements
  

WWCC

Delegation

Delegate summary matters to solicitors with less than two years PAE.

Delegate non-complex indictable matters to solicitors with more than two years PAE in criminal law.

Not permitted

Family

Panel
Family
Care
ICL
Domestic violence
Jurisdiction

Cth Family Law

State Family Law

Cth Family Law (Child)

ADVO

Solicitor/Barrister
Post Admission Experience required in the designated area of law

2 years

Solicitor only

5 years

or

Specialist Accreditation in Children’s Law

Solicitor & Barrister

5 years
(75% of workload in family law over past five years)

Solicitor only

5 years
(ADVO proceedings)

Solicitor & Barrister

Additional requirements
 

WWCC

WWCC

National ICL training course

 
Delegation

Delegate family law to solicitors with less than two years PAE.

Delegate care adult matters to solicitors with less than five years PAE.

Not permitted

Not permitted

Civil

Panel
Civil
Mental Health
Jurisdiction

Civil

Mental Health Review Tribunal

Solicitor/Barrister
Post Admission Experience required in the designated area of law

2 years

Solicitor only

2 years

Solicitor & Barrister

Additional requirements
  
Delegation

Delegate matters to solicitors with less than two years PAE.

Not permitted

Barristers

Panel
Indictable
Complex
Appellate*
Jurisdiction

Indictable Crime

Complex Crime

Appellate Crime

Solicitor/Barrister
Post Admission Experience required in the designated area of law

5 years PAE in Criminal Law as a solicitor or barrister

7 years PAE in Criminal Law as a barrister

10 years PAE in Criminal Law** as a solicitor or barrister

Additional requirements
   
Delegation

Not permitted

Not permitted

Not permitted

*The Appellate Barrister Panel will subject to a separate application process for new applicants only.

**Previous Specialist Accreditation will be considered favourably for any application.