The significant contribution of private legal practitioners enables us to help more people access legal services. Our partnership with private practitioners is essential for the provision of quality legal aid services.

Private practitioners providing duty lawyer services

Private practitioners help us to deliver duty lawyer services at a number of courts and tribunals across Victoria. Eight per cent of duty lawyer services were provided by private practitioners through the support of local law associations.

Private practitioners receiving grants of legal assistance

In 2014–15, 68% of all grants of legal assistance were assigned to private practitioners on our panels. This included:

  • 62% of criminal law grants
  • 81% of family law grants
  • 21% of civil law grants.

Private practice law firms vary greatly in size and areas of practice and this impacts on the volume and type of legal aid work they can undertake.

Some private firms are assigned over 900 cases per year, while others are assigned as few as one. The duration and complexity of individual cases also influences the number of cases that each firm can undertake.

As a result of the change to our work allocation guideline in November 2014, lawyers must now be on one of our specialist private practitioner panels in order to conduct most legally assisted matters. This increases our ability to monitor the quality of work and improves knowledge of, and confidence in, the professional competence of practitioners who act for legally aided clients.

Private practitioner firms receiving the highest aggregate payments for legal aid cases in 2014–15

Rank Private practitioner firm Amount paid $ (GST exclusive) Number of new cases assigned
1 Stary Norton Halphen Pty Ltd 1,842,487 882
2 Dowling McGregor Pty Ltd 1,432,526 770
3 Gorman & Hannan 1,145,877 656
4 James Dowsley & Associates 1,056,345 1,001
5 Revill & Papa Lawyers 961,613 833
6 Cathleen Corridon & Associates Family Lawyers 802,599 362
7 Leanne Warren & Associates 744,167 360
8 Tyler Tipping & Woods 767,652 439
9 Doogue & O'Brien George 739,020 432
10 Claudia Grimberg 732,865 273
11 Emma Turnbull Lawyers Pty Ltd 654,260 352
12 Nicole Amad 643,420 245
13 C Marshall & Associates 642,792 280
14 Marich Legal Pty Ltd (Dr Martine Marich) 612,528 64
15 Nancy V Battiato 586,009 290
16 Greg Thomas 571,932 275
17 Heinz & Partners 569,405 210
18 Lampe Family Lawyers 534,193 239
19 Ann Valos Criminal Law 533,570 284
20 Dotchin Tan 518,373 352

Expenditure includes fees paid and disbursements to third parties where the payment is made via private practitioners. Disbursements may include court fees, interpreters’ fees, service fees, barristers fees and those that have prior written approval of Victoria Legal Aid (for example, fees for investigations and professional/expert reports, transcripts of evidence, plans and photographs). Expenditure may include cases from previous years.