Autonomy First Lawyers

Empowering vulnerable decision makers

How we can help you

Autonomy First Lawyers is a multidisciplinary law practice bringing together a unique team of experienced trusts and estates law, business law and clinical neuropsychology experts. We help legal, medical, financial and other professionals reduce risk to themselves and to vulnerable clients when decision making ability is in doubt. We provide the legal and clinical advice that helps individuals and families make important financial, legal, health and welfare decisions.

Our services

Bringing together a unique team of highly experienced legal and clinical experts, we provide a safe, constructive and conflict free environment where we help plan family futures.

We can help you with Wills, Estate Planning, Lifetime representation documents, Conflict Management, Succession Planning and more. Read more about our Estate Planning and Administration services.

Meet the team

Michael Perkins is a leading trusts, estates and private client practice lawyer, author and educator. Dr Jane Lonie is a consultant clinical neuropsychologist, expert witness, author and educator experienced in the assessment, management and research of cognitive dysfunction in adults. Zabina Naem is an Associate Lawyer at Autonomy First Lawyers and is experienced in Wills, Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Trust Law and Property Law.

Expert articles and resources

​Our team are all highly experienced in their fields and publish widely. In our Blog, you can find case studies, opinion pieces and other articles around the theme we are all so passionate about. We work closely with like-minded organisations in our Community of Practice and welcome guest bloggers to submit their articles here. You can also receive our content by following our social media channels or subscribing to our newsletter.


The Autonomy First team are active members of our professional community and are often asked to present at various events. You can see the calendar of forthcoming conferences and seminars summarised at the bottom of this page and read full details on our Events page.

Subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on LinkedIn for the latest news about upcoming events.

STEP Employer Partner AustraliaWe advise individuals, families, organisations, entrepreneurs, start-ups and established businesses in many industries and sectors.

Autonomy First Pty Ltd, our law firm’s parent company, is an employer Partner of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners). STEP has over 100 branches worldwide. STEP’s primary focus is on professional development and standards for practitioners advising on care and support for vulnerable clients, family businesses, family offices, wills, estates, wealth administration and conservation and succession planning. We work closely with STEP’s Employer Partner members who are part of the Autonomy First multidisciplinary Community of Practice.

Thought Leadership

Financial Decision Making Capacity – A Challenge for Advisors

Financial Decision Making Capacity – A Challenge for Advisors

Autonomy First is delighted to be partnering with Deakin University to support a new research project, Financial Decision-Making Capacity – A Challenge for Advisors. This project engages primarily with financial service professionals and the tools they use to evaluate the decision making ability of their clients…

read more
Is it not our job to do what our client tells us?

Is it not our job to do what our client tells us?

Should lawyers, financial planners and accountants simply do what their clients say?
In a recent Capacity & Capability Awareness Workshop, Michael Perkins was asked, “Is it not our job to do what our client tells us?”.
Find out what Michael’s answer was, and why…

read more

Empowering vulnerable decision makers | Helping safeguard your will and preferences

Who we work with

Relationships Australia NSW
ExSitu logo
New Way to Stay logo
Capacity Australia Small
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Professionalism and differentiation – 7 reasons

Our assurance to you is to provide services which are tailored, innovative, strategic and practical. We’ll support you with excellence, entrepreneurship and integrity. You’ll lead in your document design, plain language communication and technology utilisation.


We’ll understand your personal needs and business before we treat it in legal terms. In addition to advice and drafting documents, we provide training and support for your entrepreneurship, and extensive business decision support tools – checklists, guides, questionnaires, spreadsheets, slide decks and visualisations.

2. Private Client Services

Wealth Conservation, Administration and Succession. All Australians have the right to make decisions and be involved in the management of their affairs to the greatest extent possible having regard to their actual abilities.

We are here to help Australians age well. Ageing is the constant in our lives that inevitably brings change.


Your results will benefit from our market-leading expertise in integrating law with know-how from IT, human resources management, marketing, publishing and management consultancy. Ongoing and substantial investment in research keeps our advice, methodologies and documents up-to-date in form, content and methods for delivery.


To serve clients our team applies over 70 years experience in business law and strategic thinking for technology, business modelling, intellectual property and commercialisation. Our team have successfully completed thousands of transactions and reviewed, prepared or advised on no less than 5,000 contracts for organisations of all sizes.


Integrating your legal, business and innovation strategy is our forte. We’ll provide guidance to make your offerings and intellectual assets distinctive, novel or original. These are pre-requisites for you to successfully contract, manage and commercialise your intellectual property, technology and knowledge assets.


What market are you in, and what is its price structure, business models, technologies, risks, trends and customer expectations? What can be learned from competitors? We’ll share our market knowledge to answer these types of questions, to advise you and determine the format, layout, terms and conditions to achieve targeted outcomes.


Our people are pioneers in Australia in using information technology to reduce legal costs and turnaround time and in online legal publishing. This has guided many clients to apply cloud computing, ecommerce and online workflows into their businesses.

Upcoming Events



A Conversation with Bruce Billson, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

The CBD Sydney Chamber, in collaboration with Business Alliance NSW, presents this opportunity to hear from Bruce Billson, the Australian Small Business & Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO). As the Ombudsman, Bruce Billson is is an independent advocate for small business owners. The Ombudsman’s office has the legislative powers needed to effectively influence our nation’s lawmakers, ensuring legislation and regulations are put in place to help small businesses grow.



Step Australia Conference 2022

This STEP Conference, bringing together leading minds in trusts and estates from across STEP Australia and beyond, is not to be missed. The programme is designed to enable practitioners to update their knowledge of recent developments, and to hear about cutting edge industry trends. Autonomy First Lawyers are delighted to be Silver Sponsors of this prestigious event.

“Michael is an experts expert – extremely knowledgable in estate planning and all of the legal issues that surround such a complex area – Michael is also able to explain that area of the law in a practical and commercial manner to clients and advisers alike. Michael has helped me with numerous clients to design strategic and practical solutions that add real practical value.”

— Craig West, CEO & Founder at Succession Plus