Victoria's legal aid crisis has deepened with lawyers accused of being too greedy to accept they need to change.
At least three major trials are being delayed by the VLA's funding problems, and on Thursday it emerged that a fourth trial is now at risk of being postponed.
VLA managing director Bevan Warner says some lawyers are only fighting the new guidelines to protect their own pay cheques.
"What this is really about is lawyers who are concerned that they will miss out on access to the taxpayer dollar," he said.
About $80 million in state funding is spent on private lawyers every year, he added.
The Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) has fired back, saying Mr Warner's comments are offensive and a new low in the ongoing dispute.
"The changes introduced by VLA in January without consultation have in effect given us a two-tier justice system - one for those who can afford it and a lesser one for legal aid clients," LIV president Reynah Tang said.
"This crisis may have been averted if VLA had simply consulted with the legal profession prior to announcing the changes."
The new guidelines limit paying for an instructing solicitor beyond two half-days of a trial, but further funding is possible depending on the complexity of a case, the seriousness of the charges and consideration of the accused's special needs.
On Thursday, a barrister told the Victorian Supreme Court that his client would be unable to receive a fair trial without having an instructing solicitor, and he would be making an application to stay the trial next week.
Mr Warner noted that two County Court judges have refused to delay a trial despite the legal aid funding cuts.
He said that points to a need to seek clarification of when it would be acceptable to have only one lawyer funded for a trial.
"We would call upon the legal profession to sit down with us in good faith and explore those circumstances," Mr Warner said.
Lawyers say their doors are always open.
"We remain willing to meet at any time," Mr Tang said.