Who pays for my legal costs?

At VCAT, parties are expected to bear their own costs, unless we order otherwise.

VCAT may only award costs if it is fair to do so.

If you would like someone else to pay your legal costs, tell the VCAT memberDefinitionA person who hears and decides cases at VCAT. Some members are specialists in particular areas of law. overseeing your case during the hearingDefinitionThe time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. .

Examples of circumstances where an order for costs may be made include:

  • where a matter was brought to VCAT without much merit
  • where a matter was brought to VCAT to harass, annoy or distress someone
  • where a matter was brought to VCAT without a serious purpose
  • where someone has unreasonably prolonged a hearing
  • where someone deceived VCAT or others involved in a case
  • where the application made is not well supported, such as by fact or law.

Section 109 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Act 1998 governs VCAT's power to award costs.