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14. Types of Grants

14.3. Emergency grants of aid

14.3.1 What is an emergency grant of aid?

An emergency grant of aid is a grant of aid made before the Legal Aid NSW has all the material it needs to make a determination under s34 of the Act, and must be:

  • for an urgent matter, and
  • limited to cover the urgent matter.

Legal Aid NSW may approve an emergency grant by telephone before the legally assisted person has completed a Legal Aid NSW application for legal aid.

Legal Aid NSW officers authorised under the Delegation Instrument can determine an application for an emergency grant of aid.

The grant normally dates from the initial request for aid. Legal aid cannot be dated earlier than the original request for aid.

See Guideline 8.2 for information about the process for approving emergency grants of aid.


14.3.2 Examples of urgent matters

Situations in which Legal Aid NSW may approve an emergency grant include:

  • ex parte applications
  • when the time for taking proceedings is due to expire. In these circumstances the emergency grant will be limited to filing the statement of claim or the originating summons, or
  • when the time for lodging an appeal is due to expire. In these circumstances the emergency grant will be limited to preparing and filing the appeal.


14.3.3 Conditions attached to emergency grants

The following conditions apply to all emergency grants of aid:

  • Legal Aid NSW must receive a completed legal aid application within 14 days of the date of the grant letter.

Further grant of aid for same proceedings

Where Legal Aid NSW is satisfied that the facts in the legal aid application are not substantially the same as those disclosed by the legally assisted person's legal practitioner in the request for the emergency grant, the legal aid applicant may not receive a further grant of aid for the proceedings.


14.3.4 Emergency grants not generally available in cases of delay

Legal Aid NSW will not approve an emergency grant if there is a delay due to:

  • an applicant instructing their solicitor, or
  • a private solicitor in applying for legal aid

unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Example of exceptional circumstances

Legal Aid NSW may be satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances if an applicant has an acute medical condition that leads to a delay in instructing a legal practitioner.


14.3.5 If emergency grant is refused but aid is granted later

The grant of legal aid dates from the initial telephone request, if

  • the emergency grant is initially refused but legal aid is later granted, and
  • the legal aid application is received within 28 days of the telephone request.

Note: The date of a grant of legal aid is very important as it can have implications for the legal aid applicant and other parties to the proceedings. For example it may affect the extent of the indemnity under s47 of the Act.



Date Last Published: 22/12/2016