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Legal costs information

The Law Society has prepared documentation to assist users of legal services in understanding their rights in regards to the cost of their legal services provided.

Legal Costs - Your right to know

Legal Costs - Your right to know - explains the process of disputing lawyers' costs.

It includes information on topics such as:

  • Your right to negotiate
  • Your right to enter into a costs agreement
  • Your right to receive a bill of costs
  • Your right to be notified of changes
  • Your right to request written progress reports
  • What to do if you are unhappy with your legal costs.

Your right to challenge legal costs

Your right to challenge legal costs

Includes information on topics such as:

  • Talking to your lawyer
  • Lump sum and itemised bills
  • Costs mediation
  • Costs assessment
  • Setting aside a costs agreement
  • Other avenues for challenging legal costs.

Application for costs assessment

Application for costs assessment

Includes information on:

  • Background to costs assessment
  • The fee
  • The application
  • An application form

Make a complaint


The Society regulates conduct rules between lawyers and deals with complaints against lawyers.

The Legal Profession Act 2006 provides for the Society to be the first tier of a three tiered system of regulation of the legal profession, comprising the Law Society, the Legal Practitioners' Disciplinary Tribunal and the Supreme Court.

The Society will assess and/or investigate complaints and refer serious matters to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

Complaints to the Law Society must be made in writing.

You can lodge a complaint against a lawyer using the Complaints Form

Before lodging your complaint, please read the Complaints Guide

All complaints should be addressed to:

Manager Regulatory Services
Law Society Northern Territory
GPO Box 2388
Darwin NT 0801

An original copy of the complaint form is required.

A complainant not satisfied with the Society's handling of a complaint may refer the matter to the Legal Practitioners' Disciplinary Tribunal.

Legal Referral Service

The Legal Referral Service is a service coordinated by the Society for the benefit of members of the public. Firms advise the Society of the areas of law in which they practice and members of the public can then access the information by telephoning the Society on (08) 8981 5104 and asking for a list of firms practicing in the required area of law.

You can also find a practitioner participating in the First Interview Scheme by contacting the Society.

First Interview Scheme

The Society coordinates a scheme that enables a member of the public to have an initial 30-minute consultation with a legal practitioner for $99.00 (including GST). The scheme introduces clients to the firm and provides the client with an opportunity to obtain initial advice on their situation.

Conditions of the Scheme are:

  1. Consultations are strictly limited to 30 minutes
  2. The client must make an appointment with the firm under the First Interview Scheme
  3. The client must pay the $99.00 fee at the conclusion of the consultation.

Contact the Society on (08) 8981 5104 for a list of participating firms. 

Pro Bono Clearing House (PBCH)

The aim of the PBCH is to match people and organisations who need pro bono (free of charge) legal assistance, with legal service providers able to provide that assistance.

Please note:

The PBCH does not accept criminal, family, immigration, defamation or native title / land rights law matters.

Alternatively, you may pick up a hard copy from the Society's office or ask us to mail it to you.

Opening of the Legal Year

The legal profession recognises the Opening of the Legal Year in February each year with events osted by the Law Society and the Chief Justice of the Northern Territory, that include a keynote speaker and provides an opportunity to reflect on their role of administering the justice system.

Traditionally, Opening of the Legal Year ceremonies were steeped in tradition. The legal profession and local dignitaries participated in a procession into the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory for an ecumenical service, which Ministers of different denominations are invited to conduct each year.

Page last updated 6 March 2014

Public Purposes Trust (PPT)

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About the PPT

The Law Society PPT was established in 1988 for the purpose of improving legal education and services within the community. The PPT is administered by the Law Society NT and provides grants to fund projects that further its objectives of:

  1. Advancing legal education within the community
  2. Advancing the collection, review and dissemination of legal information within the community
  3. Improving community access to legal services
  4. Improving legal services available to the community
  5. Protecting community members using legal services

Applications for grants are considered by the Allocations Committee, which comprises three members, two nominated by the Law Society NT and one by the NT Attorney-General. The Allocations Committee makes recommendations on projects to fund to the Attorney-General, who has the final approval for any grant.

Program and deadlines

Grants are made twice a year, and applications should be received by the end of January and July. Advertisements are placed in the Northern Territory News and the Centralian Advocate inviting applications and providing details of closing dates for submissions.


Public Purposes Trust Guidelines for Applicants

Contact details

Dagmar Brautigam
Law Society Public Purposes Trust
GPO Box 2388

Telephone: (08) 8981 5104
Fax: (08) 8941 1623
PPT ABN: 48 813 464 972
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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School talks

The Law Society can source speakers from within the legal profession to conduct legal education sessions in Territory schools.

If you are interested in having a solicitor speak at your school, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your preferred date, time, topic and venue.

The Law Society invites secondary legal studies teachers to advise us of the topics most relevant to their curriculum at the time, so appropriate speakers can be sourced.

6 March 2014

Warning Corporations Act

Funds Management Committee, Law Society Public Purposes Trust, Law Society Northern Territory Professional Indemnity Insurance Scheme warning

Please note that the person responsible for the following matters is not licensed by ASIC under the Corporations Act:

In respect of the Law Society Northern Territory - for the operation of the Law Society Public Purposes Trust Fund established under the trust deed set out in the Schedule of the Law Society Public Purposes Trust Act (now repealed).

Also note that the Law Society Northern Territory, and Funds Management Committee established by section 659 of the Legal Profession Act of the Northern Territory are not licensed under the Corporations Act in relation to the following schemes and the schemes are not regulated under the Insurance Act 1973:

  1. Professional indemnity insurance arrangements pursuant to Part 3.4 of the Legal Profession Act of the Northern Territory.
  2. The Legal Practitioners Fidelity Fund of the Northern Territory established under section 385 of the Legal Profession Act of the Northern Territory.

Office Location

Level 3, 9 Cavenagh Street
Darwin NT 0800

Mailing Address

GPO Box 2388
Darwin NT 0801


Telephone: (08) 8981 5104
Fax: (08) 8941 1623
ABN: 62 208 314 893