CDPP Counsel Fees

The Legal Services Directions 2017 (Cth) do not cover the handling of criminal proceedings. Therefore, as a prosecuting agency, the CDPP sets counsel fees independently of other Commonwealth agencies, including the Office of Legal Services Coordination. As such, CDPP counsel fees are not aligned to rates set by the OLSC or agreed with other Commonwealth agencies and may be lower. The CDPP operates with tight budgetary constraints and cannot match commercial rates. 

Fees for individual counsel are set by having regard to counsel's years at the bar and the type of experience they have. The CDPP follows a carefull fee-setting process to ensure fees decisions are applied consistently. 

The CDPP's current fee ranges are [1]:


Indicia of experience

Maximum Daily Rate Range (Incl. GST)[2],[3]

Junior Counsel Level 1

  • 0 - 3 years on the Roll.
  • Limited or no experience as an advocate prior to signing the Roll.
  • Unlikely to have run a jury trial alone as counsel in the District or County Court.
  • Suitable for more complex summary work, less complicated jury trials or as junior co4unsel to a leader in a trial or appeal where a second counsel is required for analysis of the law or evidence.

$800 – $1,100


Junior Counsel Level 2

  • 3 years or more on the Roll.[4]
  • In some circumstances, although counsel may have less than 3 years’ experience, they may have come to the Bar with prior relevant advocacy experience overseas or as an in-house advocate with CDPP, Legal Aid, defence law firm or State or Territory DPP.
  • Similarly counsel may lack years on the Roll but possess specialist technical expertise in a non-criminal area which makes them more valuable for a particular class of work – e.g. specialist qualifications in forensic accounting.
  • The less experienced counsel within this level would normally have run jury trials alone as counsel or may have a growing reputation as a hard-working and effective junior counsel in appeals. They would be able to conduct less complex District or County Court trials or less complex appeals – perhaps more against sentence than conviction.
  • More experienced counsel within this level would be able to conduct more complex District or County Court trials or more complex appeals.
  • The most experienced counsel within this level would be capable of appearing as lead counsel in the most complex jury trials and appeals.

$1,100 – $2,200


Senior Counsel

  • Appointed as Senior Counsel (Silk)                                                                    

$2,200 - $4,400



[1] This is a general guide only. Other relevant considerations for the CDPP are experience appearing in our matters and performance.

[2] The Maximum Daily Rate column shows the range of rates given at each level. i.e. Level 1 has a starting daily rate of $800 for less experienced level 1 counsel and a maximum daily rate of $1100 for the most experienced level 1 counsel.

[3] A separate capped fee is usually paid for preparation/conferences.

[4] After 3 years at the Bar, a counsel’s fee will increase to $1,100 for new briefings.