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14. Types of Grants

14.2. Lump sum grants

14.2.1 What is a lump sum grant of legal aid?

A lump sum grant is when the Legal Aid NSW decides under section 30(2) and (4) of the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979 (NSW) (the Act), to provide legal aid in the form of a grant of money for a specified purpose or purposes.


14.2.2 When is a lump sum grant of aid authorised?

Lump sum grants are usually authorised where it is considered by Legal Aid NSW that in the circumstances it is appropriate that a legal aid applicant be granted limited assistance. This may happen for example to cover legal costs or disbursements in a civil law public interest matter.


14.2.3 Certain conditions that may not apply to lump sum grants

Under s30(2) and (4) of the Act if Legal Aid NSW makes a lump sum grant of aid, it can exercise discretion in deciding whether the following sections of the Act apply to the lump grant:

  • the mandatory notification requirements which are set out in ss34(6)-(8) of the Act
  • s41 of the Act which prohibits a private legal practitioners from charging a legally assisted person any additional fees and costs, and
  • s47 of the Act which limits liability for costs ordered against a legally assisted person.

The policy of Legal Aid NSW is that generally these sections of the Act will not apply to the lump sum grant.

If any of these sections are excluded in the lump sum grant, it must be specified in the grant letter.


14.2.4 Lump sum grants for public interest and test case matters

If an applicant receives a lump sum grant for a public interest environment matter, a public interest matter or test case, Legal Aid NSW policy is that the section 47 indemnity will apply unless exceptional circumstances exist.


14.2.5 What costs are paid?

Legal Aid NSW will pay disbursements and fees at the relevant Legal Aid NSW scale of fees until the sum of money granted is reached.


14.2.6 What happens if the client recovers money?

If the legally assisted person recovers money then s46 of the Act applies to the lump sum grant but the Legal Aid Fund accrual is not recouped.

See Contributions chapter.


14.2.7 Lump sum grants authorised by the Legal Aid Review Committee

If the Legal Aid Review Committee determines to authorise a lump sum grant under section 30(2) and (4) of the Act, then ss34(6)-(8), 41 and 47 of the Act will not to apply to the grant, unless the Committee determines otherwise.

If any of the sections are excluded in the lump sum grant of aid, it must be specified in the grant letter.


Date Last Published: 22/12/2016