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3. Delegation Instrument

3.0. Introduction and Preamble


Under the Instrument of Delegation the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has delegated the provision of legal aid function to Legal Aid NSW staff and in specific circumstances, private lawyers.

These delegations are subject to the Financial Delegations under section 12 of the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983, executed by the NSW Attorney–General in March 2017.


Legal Aid NSW provides legal services through a mixed model of service delivery of in-house employed solicitors and assigned legal practitioners. The administration of legal aid for both in-house solicitors and assigned practitioners is managed by the Grants Division.

Officers in the relevant in-house Legal Services Divisions, being the authorised officers under this Instrument, are required to certify whether or not an application for legal aid satisfies the policies and guidelines of Legal Aid NSW (apart from the means test); consequent upon such certification, the application or other request will be determined by the authorised officers in the Grants Division.

The delegations set out in this Instrument relate to officers in the Legal Services Divisions, the Grants Division, the Legal Policy Branch and the Finance Division (except for item 34 which relates to private lawyers providing duty services).

Each delegation may be exercised by the delegated officer or by a more senior officer in the same division.

Procedures and guidelines developed by individual business areas may restrict but not expand on these Delegations.

Instrument of Delegation to administer the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979 (NSW) effective from 1 July 2019

Under section 69 of the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979 (NSW) (the Act), I delegate the functions vested in me by section 17 of the Act, to the following  Legal Aid NSW officers to exercise the functions specified in this Delegation Instrument.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Director Policy, Planning & Programs
Director Criminal Law
Deputy Director Criminal Law
Director Family Law
Director Civil Law
Director Grants
Director Finance

Director Client Services
Grants Officer, Grants Grade 3-4 and above
Senior Advocate
Solicitor in Charge, Regional Office
Manger, In-house Counsel Unit
Solicitor Accounts Receivable, Corporate Finance
Advocate Clerk, Veterans’ Advocacy Service, Civil Law Grade 6-7 and above to exercise the functions set out below.
This document is to be read in conjunction with an Officer’s role and responsibilities as set out in his or her position description or statement of duties.
A delegation can be exercised by the nominated delegated officer, or an officer of a higher grade.
Any financial delegation included in this Instrument is subject to the Instrument of Financial Delegation approved by the NSW Attorney General. It provides delegations to incur, commit or sanction expenditure under s12 of the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983. Officers cannot exceed the monetary limits set out in the Attorney General’s Delegation.
References in this instrument to ‘determining officer’ or determination refer to the officer delegated to determine an application for legal aid under section 34 of the Act and Part 7 of the Instrument of Delegation.

References to a ‘certifying officer’ or certification refer to an officer delegated to make recommendations to a determining officer, whether or not a section 33 authorisation or grant of legal aid, should be made in respect of an application for legal aid in an in-house matter.

Under section 58(a) of the Act, the Legal Aid Review Committee (LARC) has the functions and discretions that the person or body whose determination, variation or decision is the subject of the appeal had in respect of the matter the subject of the appeal.

I have not delegated certain functions which are set out in Attachment A.

Brendan Thomas
Chief Executive Officer
Legal Aid New South Wales