More than $3 million in legal aid has been paid to David Bain, according to figures released today by the Legal Services Agency, but the figure may rise further.

An LSA spokeswoman said the legal aid paid to Mr Bain for his retrial and pre-retrial appeals to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court was $2,392,088.

But this was not a final figure and the final amount would not be known until all invoices had been received and assessed.

Previous legal aid of $706,127 had been paid to Mr Bain for his original trial and appeal, and his 2006 Privy Council appeal.

Mr Bain, 37, was acquitted of murdering his parents and three siblings at their Dunedin home in 1994 after a retrial in the High Court at Christchurch last month.

His lead counsel at the retrial, Michael Reed QC, said the money spent on the retrial had been "wasted" as it should never have happened.

That is the tragedy of it," he told NZPA today.

"The solicitor-general should never have brought the retrial and would have saved a huge amount of money."

Mr Reed said compensation for Mr Bain's 13-year imprisonment was still under consideration, as was the question of having proceeds from the Bain family estate redirected to Mr Bain.

The LSA spokeswoman yesterday confirmed that Mr Bain had to repay the legal aid granted for the pre-retrial appeals to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

She declined to say how much he had to repay as the information was private, but said Mr Bain's legal team had been told about the repayment.

"It is usual practice for such conditions to be communicated to both the aided person and his or her lawyer at the time the initial grant is made," she said.

Mr Reed said he was unaware of the amount to be repaid and other members of Mr Bain's legal team, who may know, were away on holiday.