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11. Contributions

11.2. Can contributions be secured upfront?

11.2 Can contributions be secured upfront?

Under s 34B of the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979 (NSW), Legal Aid NSW has the power to require a legally aided person to provide security for the costs of providing the legal service by requesting an equitable charge over real property.

A legally aided person will be required to give a charge over real property as a condition of the grant of legal aid:

  • where a legally aided person owns real property, and
  • the legal dispute is about the property, or
  • the value of the property is $200,000 or more, and
  • it is an expensive matter – this includes family law court proceedings, criminal indictable matters including EAGP and trials, and higher court civil proceedings.

to secure the total costs and expense of providing the legal service determined under s.46 of the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979 (NSW), unless it is an exempted matter.

See Contributions Policy 11.3 on contributions to legal costs.

See Contributions Guideline 5.4 on securing contributions with a charge over real property.

Note: There is discretion not to take a charge where Legal Aid NSW is satisfied there are exceptional circumstances. Directors have the delegation to exercise this discretion.

Note: The requirement for the legally aided person to give a charge over real property also applies to any financially associated person. See the Means Test 7.3: Whose means are considered when applying the Means Test?. See also Policy 7.6.2 for Asset test in all other matters.

Date last published: 01 May 2023