Change to the Guidelines
Change to the Guidelines – Guideline 8(1)(f)
Following a review the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania has change the guideline concerning briefing practitioners for matters subject to a grant of legal aid.
Practitioners are no longer required to write to the Commission for approval to brief a legal aid funded matter. There was consensus that briefing in matters involving Separate Representatives, Independent Children's Lawyers and the Cross-Examination Scheme should be limited to lawyers on a specialised Legal Aid register, with the exception of procedural matters where no substantive submissions are required.
The updated guideline allows the practitioner initiating the grant of aid to retain conduct of the matter that is briefed.
Practitioners agreed that the one practitioner be responsible for all applications of grants of aid relating to that matter, including the division of fees and payment. The practitioner receiving the brief will no longer apply for legal aid funding.
There are no changes to the application or claim for payment processes. The initiating practitioner will identify the requisite work item in the Grants Guidelines Fee Schedule and make an application or claim in the usual way.
This change to the Guidelines reflects current practice and a reduction in administration.
The change is in the Guidelines at Guideline 8 – Costs Guidelines (1)(f) Briefing Practitioners.