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17. Costs and Fees

17.9. When a client may be directed to pay costs recovered to Legal Aid NSW

17.9.1 Directing legally assisted person to pay party/party costs recovered to Legal Aid NSW

In cases where legal aid has been granted, Legal Aid NSW can, by giving written notice under s44(1) of the Act, direct

to pay to Legal Aid NSW the whole or a specified part of any money recovered by or on behalf of the legally assisted person in the matter for which a grant of legal aid was made.


17.9.2 Legal Aid NSW must account to legally assisted person for money received

Under s44(3) of the Act, once Legal Aid NSW receives money it has directed the client to pay under s44(1) of the Act, it is required to account for that money to the:

  • legally assisted person, or
  • their private legal practitioner.


17.9.3 What can be deducted from the money received by Legal Aid NSW?

Under s44(4) of the Act, when Legal Aid NSW receives money it has directed the client or their legal practitioner to pay Legal Aid NSW, it may:

  • deduct any amount owed to it by the legally assisted person, and
  • offset the amount of any fees payable by it to any private legal practitioner in connection with the matter in which the money was recovered, against any other money held by the legal practitioner for the same matter.


17.9.4 Legal Aid NSW can take proceedings to recover money not paid under s44 of the Act

Under s44(5) of the Act, Legal Aid NSW may take proceedings to recover money not paid as directed under s44 of the Act, and any interest, as a debt in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Note: Where a s44 direction is appropriate, a matter is not to be referred to the Debt Recovery Unit until after the authorised officer has given the s44 direction to pay the money to Legal Aid NSW.


Date Last Published: 21/12/2016