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Barrister/Briefing Panels

Barristers may apply to be on one or more briefing panels provided they satisfy the individual requirements of each panel.

Delegation of work to another colleague/advocate is NOT permitted. If you cannot continue to be briefed in a matter you must notify your instructing solicitor immediately to enable them to brief another barrister from the relevant panel.

Appointment to the panel does not confer an entitlement to work.

Legal practitioners assigned legal aid grants (including in-house practitioners) will be required to brief barristers appointed to the relevant briefing panel where a Public Defender is not available. Panel barristers must be briefed in accordance with the Legal Aid NSW Grants Allocation Guidelines [as amended] unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The details of panel barristers will be included in the published list of barristers (Grants Online login required to access the list).

  1. Indictable Barrister

    This panel is for barristers (only) who are briefed to represent defendants in non-complex indictable criminal law work pursuant to a grant of legal aid.

    State Counsel Fee Scales
    Commonwealth Counsel Fee Scales

    The panel covers non-complex criminal law work in the following NSW courts and/or areas:

    • Local Court Committals
    • District Court Sentences
    • District Court Trials

    Requirements:

    • 5 years’ post admission experience in Criminal Law as a solicitor or barrister.

    Delegation:

    • Delegation of work is NOT permitted under this panel.
  2. Complex Barrister

    This panel is for barristers (only) who are briefed to represent defendants in complex criminal law work pursuant to a grant of legal aid.

    These matters constitute only a small percentage of grants of legal aid however, due to their complexity they have the potential to incur considerable cost. Therefore, the aim of the panel is to ensure the appointment of appropriately skilled and experienced barristers to be briefed in legally aided matters covered by the panel.

    Complex matters are defined by the following criteria:

    • All Supreme Court trials and pleas;
    • Matters where the maximum penalty is life imprisonment;
    • Manslaughter trials and pleas;
    • All terrorism matters;
    • Sexual Assault matters where there are multiple complainants and/or multiple defendants;
    • Matters where the trial is complex because of the nature of the charge or the defence or where significant case management is required (e.g.  sex slavery, fraud or money laundering charges where there are more than 30 counts and/or the total value is more than $500,000.00);
    • Those trials involving a number of expert witnesses and identified by the trial judge as requiring significant case management pursuant to s.141 Criminal Procedure Act 1986;
    • Where the trial length is estimated at 20 days or more; and
    • Where the brief of evidence is more than 5,000 pages.

    State Complex Counsel Fee Scales
    Commonwealth Complex Counsel Fee Scales

    The panel covers complex criminal law work in the following NSW courts and/or areas:

    • Local Court Committals
    • District Court
    • Supreme Court

    Requirements:

    • 7 years’ post admission experience in Criminal Law as a barrister.

    Delegation:

    • Delegation of work is NOT permitted under this panel.
  3. Appellate Barrister

    This panel is for barristers (only) who are briefed in criminal appellate work pursuant to a grant of legal aid.

    The panel applies to the following work:

    • Provision of advices on the merit of appeals to the Supreme Court including the CCA and the High Court;
    • Preparation and conduct of appeals before the CCA and the High Court;
    • Preparation and conduct of appeals to the Supreme Court;
    • Preparation of applications to review convictions and sentences pursuant to Part 7 and 8 of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act.

    For more information about Legal Aid NSW policies, guidelines, relevant forms and papers/legal research in relation to appellate work, go to the CCA practice resources webpage.

    State Counsel CCA Fees Scale
    Commonwealth Counsel CCA Fees Scale

    The panel covers criminal Appellate work in the following NSW courts and/or areas:

    • Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA)
    • Appeals to the Supreme Court
    • Appeals to the High Court

    Requirements:

    • 10 years’ post admission experience in Criminal Law as a solicitor and barrister; and
    • Provide two satisfactory referee reports, one from Senior Counsel and one from a member of the Bar Association.

    Delegation:

    • Delegation of work is NOT permitted under this panel.

    How to apply:

    New applicants seeking appointment to the panel must:

    • Meet the individual eligibility requirements;
    • Complete the application form; and
    • Attach two completed referee reports, one from Senior Counsel and one from a member of the Bar Association.

    Legal Aid NSW will not follow up the referee reports.

    Applicants can provide the link to the referee reports to their nominated referees.

    Applications submitted by applicants who do not meet the eligibility requirements and/or without the two reports from the prescribed referees will not be approved and the applicant may have to reapply.

    Prior to applying you can view the application questions here (PDF)

    To submit an application for this panel go to the Panels Application Website and use your Grants Online username and password to log in.

Panel enquiries

If you have any enquiries about a panel or the application process, or using the Application website, please contact the Private Lawyer Quality Standards Unit by e-mail at panels@legalaid.nsw.gov.au or on 02 9219 5662.