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Annual Report 2018 - 2019


Legal Aid NSW is an independent statutory body, established under the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979 (NSW), reporting to the Hon. Mark Speakman SC, MP, Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence.

Our vision

To be a leader in a legal system that delivers fair outcomes for disadvantaged and vulnerable people.

We strive to be a leader in ensuring that the NSW legal system is just and equitable. Our vision is that people can access justice in a timely manner, regardless of their level of disadvantage and the complexity of their needs. This vision means that our clients:

  • will be empowered to understand their legal issues
  • are able to access the assistance they need to address their legal issues when these arise, and
  • achieve fair outcomes.

This vision is intentionally bold and ambitious, and we cannot achieve it on our own. By working effectively with our partners, we can and will be a key part of achieving a just, fair and efficient legal system.

Our purpose

We use the law to help people, particularly those who are disadvantaged, know, defend and assert their rights.

The Legal Aid Commission Act 1979 (NSW) is the foundation from which we work, and clearly outlines why we exist and what we do. We fulfil our obligations by providing accessible, quality legal services to disadvantaged and vulnerable clients. Our services seek to achieve the overall vision of all people having access to justice, and to empower our clients and improve their lives. We do this by providing a range of legal services and education.

Our outcomes

Our strategic outcomes will guide our efforts and energy over the five-year period covered by the Legal Aid NSW Strategic Plan 2018–2023. This report highlights initiatives we pursued during 2018–19 to progress our strategic outcomes.

  1. High-quality, targeted services that meet our clients’ needs
  2. Partnerships that deliver the best possible outcomes for our clients
  3. Our work improves the legal and justice systems
  4. A highly capable workforce that is flexible, developed and equipped
  5. Business processes that are responsive to our business needs

The Hon. Mark Speakman SC, MP
Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence
52 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000

Dear Attorney,

In accordance with section 13 (1) of the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979 (NSW) and section 10 (1) of the Annual Reports (Statutory Bodies) Act 1984 (NSW), I am pleased to submit the Legal Aid NSW annual report for the year ended 30 June 2019 to you for presentation to Parliament.

Yours sincerely,

Brendan Thomas
Chief Executive Officer
October 2019

Criminal law conference attendees

Legal Aid NSW lawyer Teela Reid, NSW Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum, Legal Aid NSW lawyer Melissa Burgess and Criminal Law Director Annmarie Lumsden at the 2018 Criminal Law Conference