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Annual Report 2010 - 2011

Fact file


Our total income was $230.1 million and we spent $230.2 million.

Of our total expenditure, 47.6% was spent in criminal law, 28.9% in family law, 11.8% in civil law and 11.7% in community programs. See the financial summary for details about where our funds come from and how we spend them. Details about our community program funding can be found in Appendices 5 and 6.


We employed 972 staff (880.28: full-time equivalent), 421 in regional offices and the balance in the Central Sydney office. Of that total, 481 staff are lawyers and 491 are employed in administrative and corporate services roles.

Sixty eight lawyers have specialist accreditation (NSW Law Society qualifications for expertise in the field).


An independent Board oversees our long-term strategic direction, whilst the day-to-day management is overseen by the CEO, assisted by a Deputy CEO, Operations and eight Executive Directors.

See sections Board members and Executive directors for their profiles and Board achievements for their achievements.

Private lawyers – our key partners

In 2010-2011, 43.7% of our case and duty services were provided by private lawyers. See Assigned Grants and Duty Services in Appendix 7.


Following a review of our executive management structure, our organisation now has eight divisions – Criminal Law, Family Law, Civil Law, Grants and Community Partnerships, Strategic Policy, Planning and Management Reporting, Finance and Administration, People and Organisational Development, and IT Services and Records.

Three of these divisions are legal practices – Civil Law, Family Law and Criminal Law. Each legal practice has a number of specialist services.

Our organisational chart appears in the Corporate governance section.


Client profile graph

The majority of services delivered by Legal Aid NSW are provided to people from disadvantaged socio-economic groups. This includes people on low incomes, from rural and regional areas and coming from non-English speaking backgrounds.

Our client profile has remained relatively stable in the last five years; however there has been an ongoing increase in the percentage of total case and inhouse duty services provided to Aboriginal people, reflecting an emphasis by Legal Aid NSW on meeting the needs of this particularly disadvantaged group.

"We increased minor assistance services by 37.5%."

Graphs showing the total client services in 2010-2011


The operations of Legal Aid NSW are guided by a number of plans, including our Corporate Plan and divisional plans.

Our key performance indicators measure how we are performing in accomplishing our core business. See our Corporate Plan and summary of future goals, and Measuring performance for our indicators and targets.

Key legislation

Our organisation was established under the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979.

Section 68 of the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979 enables Legal Aid NSW to establish special consultative committees to advise the Board in exercising its functions under the Act. A full list of these committees appears in Appendix 13.

The health and safety of people in our workplace is conducted in accordance with s 18 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000.

Our financial statements are prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983.