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Fees and charges

Outlining the Crown Solicitor’s fees, charges and rates.


The Crown Solicitor's Office (CSO) is responsible to the Attorney-General for the provision of legal services to the Attorney, to Cabinet and to all government agencies. Because of its role in government transactions, the Crown has built a large body of specialist knowledge in public law, public revenue, public risk and liability, government policy and intergovernmental issues. The Crown is a not-for-profit government agency that is partly funded by Treasury appropriation. The balance of our costs is funded by the fees we charge.

Treasurer's Instruction 10 (Engagement of Legal Practitioners) requires public authorities to seek the advice of the Crown Solicitor before engaging a legal practitioner other than the Crown Solicitor. The Crown Solicitor does, in special circumstances grant approval under Treasurer's Instruction 10 for the engagement of private lawyers, for example where CSO lacks expertise in a specialist area or does not have capacity to do the work. In some of those cases, CSO instructs and manages the private lawyers on behalf of the state government and passes on the private lawyers' charges to the relevant the state government entity for payment. A Cabinet decision requires that approval not be given for use of interstate lawyers unless the required expertise is not available in this state. 


Rates for 2016/17

CSO hourly rate for 2016-17
    2015-16 rate CPI 2016-17 rate
Legal staff $256 2.5% $262
Conveyancers $158 2.5% $162
Investigators $158 2.5% $162
Law clerks $158 2.5% $162
AHPRA $352 2.5% $361
Crown advocate $412 2.5% $422
Crown advocate (per day) $3,299 2.5% $3,381

Private solicitor fees under Treasurer's Instruction 10 approval

The following is a schedule of the maximum rates payable to private law firms for services performed for the Government of South Australia with approval from the Crown Solicitor under Treasurer's Instruction 10. Rates are GST exclusive. A private firm cannot be engaged without prior approval from the Crown Solicitor under Treasurer's Instruction 10.

Treasurer's Instruction 10 ensures that:

  • the state government receives the most cost effective legal advice available (CSO is usually substantially more cost effective than the private sector)
  • crucial whole-of-government and public law issues, in which CSO holds unique knowledge and expertise, are taken into account.

Generally, CSO is appropriately resourced in all areas in which the state government requires legal services.


2016/17 rates for private solicitor fees under Treasurer's Instruction 10 approval

CSO Private solicitor and counsel rates for 2016-17
Solicitor rates 2015-16 rate CPI 2016-17 rate
Law clerks $161 2.5% $165
Litigation <$1M $316 2.5% $324
Litigation >$1M $352 2.5% $361
Commercial <$200K $316 2.5% $324
Commercial >$200K $352 2.5% $361
Employment (inc W/C) $316 2.5% $324
Senior counsel (per day) $3,299 2.5% $3,381
Senior counsel (hourly, up to a maximum per day being the daily rate) $412 2.5% $423
Junior counsel (per day) $2,225 2.5% $2,281
Junior counsel (hourly, up to a maximum per day being the daily rate) $316 No increase to be applied until daily rate is equal to 8 x hourly rate $316