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Annual Report 2019 - 2020

Financial overview

Financial summary

Our net financial result was a surplus of $6.9 million.

  2018–19 ($M) 2019–20 ($M) Change %
Operating revenue 349.3 379.0 8.5%
Operating expenses 374.5 372.1 (0.6%)
Total assets 69.3 143.9 107.7%
Total liabilities 43.2 110.8 156.5%
Surplus (deficit) (25.6) 6.9 127.0%
Net equity 26.2 33.1 26.3%


Legal Aid NSW receives its government funding as a grant from the NSW Department of Communities and Justice. The grant comprises income from the NSW Government and the Commonwealth. In addition, income is received from the Public Purpose Fund and client contributions.

Total income for 2019–2020 was $379.0 million and expenditure was $372.1 million.

Key developments

Our financial result was a surplus of $6.9 million which is $9.1 million more than the budgeted deficit of $2.2 million.

We ended the year with net equity of $33.1 million. Payments of $119.6 million were made to private lawyers, who provide legal aid services to our clients in partnership with Legal Aid NSW. These payments include disbursements for other professional services.

Where our money came from ($M)

Funding received in 2019–20($M)
State appropriation including Commonwealth funding provided under the National Partnership Agreement 274.2
Public Purpose Fund grant 37.7
Other grants 51.8
Acceptance by the Crown Entity of employees’ benefits and other liabilities 6.0
Other sources 9.3

How we spent our money ($M)

Employee-related expenses 153.8
External legal services 119.6
Grants and subsidies 62.6
Other 36.1

How we spent our money by program ($M)

Criminal law 168.5
Family law 84.8
Civil law 50.1
Community partnerships 68.7