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14. Types of Grants

14.4. Retrospective grant of legal aid

14.4.1 What is a retrospective grant of legal aid

Legal Aid NSW does not have the power to authorise a retrospective grant of legal aid.

An application for a retrospective grant of legal aid is defined as one which is received by Legal Aid NSW:

  • after the proceedings are concluded, or
  • after legal services have been provided by a private legal practitioner and legal aid is then requested for those services.

Legal aid applications received following oral or informal requests for emergency grants of legal aid are not regarded as requests for a retrospective grant.


14.4.2 Grants of legal aid date from initial contact

Generally legal aid grants, including those authorised by a Legal Aid Review Committee date from the initial request for legal aid which is either:

  • the date of the request for an emergency grant of legal aid, or
  • the date of the receipt of the legal aid application.


14.4.3 Exceptions to the policy that aid dates from initial contact

There are three exceptions to the policy that a grant of legal aid dates from the initial request for legal aid:

  • a Legal Aid Review Committee nominates another date as the date of the grant of legal aid
  • there are exceptional circumstances as to why legal aid should not date from the date of the initial request, including
    • Where there would be problems in enforcing s41 of the Act, or
    • Where the application of the cost indemnity provisions in s47 of the Act would cause hardship to another party to the proceedings if legal aid was granted from the date of the initial request.
  • in matters under the Motor Accident Act 1988 (NSW), grants of aid for instituting court proceedings are to date from:
    • the date of receipt of the application, or
    • the date of receipt by Legal Aid NSW of notification of the applicant's entitlement to commence proceedings under s52(2) of the Motor Accidents Act 1988 (NSW);

    whichever date occurs later.

    Date Last Published: 22/12/2016