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Annual Report 2012 - 2013

Fact file

Our total income was $247.4 million and we spent $236.3 million.

Of our total expenditure, 49.9% was spent in criminal law services, 25.4% in family law services, 13.0% in civil law services and 11.7% in community partnership programs. See the financial summary on page 61 for details about where our funds come from and how we spend them. Details about our community partnership program funding can be found in Appendix 5 and Appendix 6.


We employed 959 staff (871.25 full-time equivalent), 432 in regional offices and 527 in the Central Sydney office. Of that total, 484 are lawyers and 475 are employed in administrative and corporate services roles.

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


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

See Board members for their achievements and profiles.

Private lawyers – key partners

In 2012–2013, 42.9% of our case and duty services were provided by private lawyers. See Assigned Grants and Duty Services on page 124.


Our organisation is made up of nine areas – Criminal Law, Family Law, Civil Law, Grants and Community Partnerships, Strategic Policy and Planning, Finance, People and Organisational Development, IT Services and Records and Operations Support.

Three of these divisions are legal practices – civil law, family law and criminal law. Each legal practice has a number of specialist services.

Our organisation chart appears at Corporate governance.

Our clients

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 with non-English speaking backgrounds.

Our client profile has remained relatively stable over the last five years. However, the percentage of total case and inhouse duty services provided to Aboriginal people has increased from 8.1% in 2008–2009 to 10.3% in 2012–2013 (see Reaching out to disadvantaged communities).


We measure our performance in several ways. Our key performance indicators (KPIs) and service delivery targets on page 6 indicate how we are performing against high level KPIs and targets at organisational level.

We also monitor our performance against a number of plans which guide our work, such as the Legal Aid NSW Plan 2011–2013 and are accountable for achieving the actions set out in these plans. The actions we achieved against the priorities in the plan in 2012–2013 appear at Legal Aid NSW Plan 2011–2013. Five year performance trends are reported on pages 132 and 133.

We also have an agreement with the Commonwealth Government, reporting every six months on our progress against performance benchmarks and indicators set out in the agreement. This is summarised at Reporting against Commonwealth benchmarks.

Key legislation

Our organisation is established under the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979 (the Act).

Section 68 of the Act enables Legal Aid NSW to establish special consultative committees to advise the Board in exercising its functions under the Act.

The health and safety of people in our workplace is conducted in accordance with section 18 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

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

Legal Aid NSW client profile

TOTAL CLIENT SERVICES IN 2012–2013: 972,650

Total Client services in 2012-2013