find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Victorian Government panel spending on the rise

Victorian Government panel spending on the rise

GOVERNMENT SPENDING in Victoria by users of legal services under panel arrangements has risen in 2005—06 by over 21 per cent, as compared to the previous financial year. In 2004—05,…

GOVERNMENT SPENDING in Victoria by users of legal services under panel arrangements has risen in 2005—06 by over 21 per cent, as compared to the previous financial year.

In 2004—05, total expenditure was $34.94 million, only marginally more than the $34.76 million spent in 2003—04, according to the Victorian Department of Justice’s government legal services annual report. But in 2005—06 that figure rose to $42.38 million.

Legal fees made up 81 per cent of total expenditure, along with 14 per cent spent on barrister fees and 5 per cent on disbursements.

When broken down into the eight component, or practice, areas that the report analyses, the most money was spent on panel firms advising on project and finance, totalling $7.4 million. This was followed by administrative law and government, which increased by $6.4 million to 58 per cent.

Other areas that saw significant increases include property — where a 117 per cent increase cost $5 million — and intellectual property and technology law, which rose to $2.3 million, up 106 per cent on the previous financial year.

Spending on the practice area of resources went in the other direction, with a 51 per cent decrease, dropping to $264,482.

The five biggest government purchasers of legal services were the departments of Infrastructure (DOI); Justice (DOJ); Human Services (DHS); Sustainability & Environment (DSE); and Education & Training (DET), in that order.

Spending the most of any government department, the DOI purchased $8.5 million of legal services (excluding Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office work), almost half of which was spent on project and finance ($4.2 million).

State Attorney-General Robert Hulls offered the report as evidence that panel firms had exceed their social justice commitment by giving $5.2 million in pro-bono advice.

“Social justice and equal opportunity are the winners in the 2005—06 annual report of the Government Legal Services Panel,” Hulls said.

“Law firms went above and beyond their commitments, delivering pro-bono services worth nearly $1.5 million more than required under the panel system.”

The report said that panel firms had exceeded its commitment of $3.8 million by giving $5.2 million in pro-bono advice, despite the fact that “in August 2006 erroneous media coverage reported that panel firms did the ‘bare minimum’,” though the source of this coverage was not specified.

“The firms are to be commended for supporting legal services that assist some of the most disadvantaged people in our society — such as the homeless — and ensuring that public interest cases can be brought to the courts,” Hulls said.

The general panel for government legal services consists of 10 member firms: Blake Dawson Waldron, Clayton Utz, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Deacons, Freehills, Holding Redlich, Maddocks, Minter Ellison, DLA Phillips Fox, and Russell Kennedy.

To be included on the general panel, firms must deliver services for at least five of the eight component areas. A further 25 firms make up the specialist panel. Although the Victorian Government Solicitor is not listed on either panel, it remains available to provide legal services to government in all areas.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Victorian Government panel spending on the rise
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Jackie Rhodes
Dec 12 2017
Report sheds light on LGBTQI inclusion in law firms
A recent report has revealed the varying perceptions on LGBTQI diversity and inclusion in the Austra...
Women in business
Dec 12 2017
Annabel Crabb headlines Women in Business Forum
Political journalist Annabel Crabb has appeared at the Coleman Greig Lawyers Women in Business Forum...
Dec 11 2017
Warm welcome for new district court judges
Three practitioners who were appointed as district court judges in WA have been congratulated by ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...