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Fees and charges

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. 

2020/21 rates for the Crown Solicitor's Office

    2019-20 rate Indexation rate 2020-21 rate
Legal staff $283 2.5% $290
Conveyancers $174 2.5% $178
Investigators $174 2.5% $178
Law clerks $174 2.5% $178
AHPRA $388 2.5% $398
Crown Advocate $455 2.5% $466
Crown Advocate (per day) $3,642 2.5% $3,733

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.

2020/21 rates for private solicitor and counsel fees under Treasurer's Instruction 10 approval

  2019-20 rate Indexation rate 2020-21 rate
Solicitor rates      
Law clerks $177 2.5% $181
Litigation <$1M $349 2.5% $358
Litigation >$1M $388 2.5% $398
Commercial <$200K $349 2.5% $358
Commercial >$200K $388 2.5% $398
Employment (inc W/C)  $349 2.5% $358
Counsel rates      
Senior counsel (per day)       $3,620 2.5% $3,711
Senior counsel (per hour) $455 2.5% $466
Junior counsel (per day) $2,528 Increase to daily rate to equal 8 x hourly rate  $2,591
Junior counsel (per hour) $316 No increase applied  $324