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Guidelines

5. Contributions

5.6. Notifying the legally aided person of the contribution to legal costs

Where Legal Aid NSW determines that a final contribution amount will be imposed:

• the legally aided person must be informed in writing of the contribution amount, and
• provided with forty-two (42) days in which to pay the total amount.


5.6.1 Where a client seeks a reduction in the final contribution amount

Where the legally aided person seeks a reduction in the contribution amount within the forty-two (42) days, they must be informed that a reduction in the final contribution will only be made in exceptional circumstances.

See Contributions Guideline 5.8 to determine whether there are exceptional circumstances.


5.6.2 Where a legally aided person disputes the contribution amount

Where a legally aided person disputes the contribution amount, the calculated amount must be reviewed for any error in calculation. 

If an error is detected the final contribution amount must be recalculated and the legally aided person informed of the new amount. The legally aided person will be given thirty (30) days to pay the recalculated contribution.

Where the legally aided person disputes the contribution amount in an assigned matter, they are entitled to have the private lawyer’s bill of costs assessed.

See Contributions Guideline 5.7 for guidance on the costs assessment of a private lawyer’s bill.


5.6.3 Where the contribution amount is not paid within forty-two (42) days

Where a legally aided person:

  • does not dispute the contribution amount, or
  • seek a reduction in the contribution amount

and the contribution is not paid within the forty-two (42) days, it must be recorded as a debt and referred to Accounts Receivable Unit for recovery.

Last published on 01/06/2015