Criminal fee rates

The following hourly rates apply to legal aid services performed in criminal law proceedings effective from 1 July 2009 (GST exclusive).

 Level of experience
Minimum required Criminal Provider Approval Level (PAL)
(see below for full explanation of categories)
Other
($/hr)
Level 1
($/hr)
Level 2
($/hr)
Level 3
($/hr)
PAL1 - DC/HC: non jury trials   92 96 106
PAL2 - DC/HC: Judge-alone or jury trial elected, sentence <10yrs   96 120 124
PAL3 - DC/HC: Judge-alone or jury trial, sentence >10yrs   116 124 134
PAL4 - DC/HC: Judge-alone or jury trial, life imprisonment   130 144 159
Court of Appeal/Supreme Court   130 144 159
Travel time (pre-5 November 2012)   48 58 68
Travel time (post-5 November 2012 Disbursement Policy) 63      
Supervised Providers 92      
Qualified legal executives 82      
Non qualified legal executives / paralegals 72      
Law clerks 72      

Minimum required Criminal Provider Approval Level (PALs)

PAL 1

  • Proceedings in a District Court or the High Court (other than a jury trial or the preliminary hearing of an offence).
  • Proceedings transferred to a Youth Court (other than the preliminary hearing of an offence).
  • Where the aided person is charged summarily with a qualifying sexual or violent offence (s87(5) Sentencing Act 2002) and if convicted, will face an application by the Crown for preventive detention – the proceedings will be a PAL4 matter from the point at which it is known that the Crown will apply for preventive detention.

PAL 2

  • Jury trials in any court or before a District Court or High Court judge alone following an application under section 361B of the Crimes Act 1961 (including the preliminary hearing of the offence) where the most serious charge carries a maximum penalty of not more than 10 years’ imprisonment.
  • Proceedings before, and appeals from, the New Zealand Parole Board.
  • Where the aided person is charged summarily with a qualifying sexual or violent offence (s87(5) Sentencing Act 2002) and if convicted, will face an application by the Crown for preventive detention – the proceedings will be a PAL4 matter from the point at which it is known that the Crown will apply for preventive detention.

PAL 3

  • Jury trials before any court or before a District Court or High Court Judge-alone trials following an application under section 361B of the Crimes Act 1961 (including the preliminary hearing of the offence) where the most serious charge carries a maximum penalty of more than 10 years’ imprisonment (other than life imprisonment and other than where the person is convicted and a sentence of preventive detention is intimated as the matter becomes PAL4 at that stage).

PAL 4

  • Jury trials in any court (including the preliminary hearing of the offence), or Judge-alone trials, where any charge carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment or where the aided person, is charged, is likely to face a sentence of preventive detention. Where the aided person is on their final warning for a serious violent crime, ie a third strike, a PAL4 lawyer is required.

Level of experience

Level 1 – A person with up to 4 complete years of litigation experience.

Level 2 – A person with at least 4 and up to 9 complete years of litigation experience.

Level 3 – A person with at least 9 complete years of litigation experience.

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