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

Pro bono drop-in problem solving forums

Pro bono drop-in problem solving forums

Our attendance at the Sydney Disability Expo on the 4th of December has highlighted to us that a number of organisations have clients who have questions and require advice about representation and decision making. As a result, are offering free drop in consultation sessions to interested organisations in January and February.

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Thought Leadership: Voluntary Assisted Dying Rights

Thought Leadership: Voluntary Assisted Dying Rights

NSW is the last State in Australia to introduce a process for Voluntary Assisted Dying, with the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill introduced to the NSW Parliament in October 2021. We see great problems emerging in how Voluntary Assisted Dying rights are administered fuelled in no small measure by the following conclusions drawn from our initial review of the Bill…

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Mitigating Elder Abuse

Mitigating Elder Abuse

In our experience, the mitigation of abusive conduct needs us, as a community, to move from passive Coping to active Caring at an earlier stage of the ageing of a person than is usually the case. It is not the role of the law to prevent abusive or coercive conduct. The law can provide remedies or redress when this conduct occurs. The search for mitigation, must look elsewhere for additional support…

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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
Claimright logo

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



National Elder Abuse Conference 2022

Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA) and COTA Tasmania are co-hosting the 7th National Elder Abuse Conference (NEAC) at Wrest Point Conference Centre in Hobart on 14 and 15 February 2022. Michael Perkins and Dr Jane Lonie will be presenting a session at the conference.



SMSF Association National Conference 2022

The SMSF Association National Conference gathers SMSF professionals from across Australia for collaboration, idea generation, robust debate and connectivity. Michael Perkins and Dr Jane Lonie will be speaking at this event.



NDIS Law Conference 2022

The NDIS Law Conference 2022 is designed for advisers & providers in the NDIS sector. Michael Perkins & Dr Jane Lonie of Autonomy First will kick off the event with the first session, ‘Evaluating Decision Making Ability and Evidencing Informed Consent of Participants’.



Business Spark Expo 2022

Business Spark Expo 2022 will be an evening networking event sponsored by Autonomy First Group. It will showcase local business capabilities, fostering opportunity as part of their recovery following the pandemic. It is an opportunity to hear from inspirational speakers, and make new connections in diverse fields including financial and legal advice.



STEP South Australia Trusts Symposium 2022

This STEP event is designed for scholars and practitioners in the trusts and estates field. Autonomy First Lawyers are proud to be Silver Sponsors of this event.



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.



Home Care Package Support sessions – Prestige Inhome Care

Do you need help applying for a Home Care Package through My Aged Care? Prestige Inhome Care is offering help every Friday morning.

“Working with Michael was enlightening. I am impressed by the way Michael analyses a client’s estate planning needs and then explains the complicated concepts involved in addressing those needs so that the client can understand them. He handles difficult succession issues with sensitivity and just the right amount of humour. He has an unusual ability to make unlikely but very fruitful connections.”

— Jacquie Seemann, Partner at Thomson Geer