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Bree Knoester is the founder of Brave Legal and one of Australia’s leading personal injury lawyers.

Bree has practiced for over 18 years as both a barrister and solicitor; and has represented clients in some of Victoria’s largest compensation settlements.

Bree prides herself on being an empathetic yet tenacious lawyer, possessing a deep understanding of the law and a fearless approach to representing her clients’ interests. Most importantly, Bree understands that being injured affects almost every part of your life and having the support of an understanding, compassionate and experienced legal team is essential to achieving the best possible outcome – for your case, and for you.

In recognition of her experience and exceptional client results, Bree has won numerous industry awards including ‘Lawyer of the Year’ in Personal Injury Litigation (Best Lawyers® in Australia 2020); recognised by The Best Lawyers in Australia for work in Medical Negligence and Personal Injury Litigation; named by Doyle's Guide as Preeminent practitioner – Asbestos & Dust Diseases Compensation (2020), and Preeminent practitioner - Work Injury Compensation (2020), and was a Partner of the Year finalist for her Litigation practice (Lawyer's Weekly 2019).

As one of Victoria’s most experienced personal injury lawyers, Bree is regularly approached by the media for commentary on high-profile cases and as a spokesperson for the most seriously injured.

Contact & Links

Location

  • Level 11, 456 Lonsdale St
    Melbourne VIC 3000
    Australia

Bar Admissions

  • Australia, Vic Bar

Affiliations

  • Brave Legal - Principal Lawyer

Brave Legal
Headquarters: Melbourne, Australia

1 The Best Lawyers in Australia awards

1 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Australia awards

Full Firm Profile

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2023 - Medical Negligence Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2020 - Personal Injury Litigation

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Medical Negligence, Melbourne, Australia (2023)
  • Personal Injury Litigation, Melbourne, Australia (2020)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Australia 2023 for work in:

  • Medical Negligence
  • Personal Injury Litigation

Awards:

  • Preeminent practitioner in Asbestos & Dust Diseases Compensation - Doyle's Guide (2020)
  • Leading practitioner in Asbestos & Dust Diseases Compensation - Doyle's Guide (2016 & 2018 – 2019)
  • Preeminent practitioner in Work Injury and Accident Compensation - Doyle's Guide (2020)
  • Leading practitioner in Work Injury and Accident Compensation - Doyle's Guide (2017 – 2019)
  • Leading practitioner in Medical Negligence Compensation - Doyle's Guide (2019 - 2020)
  • Leading practitioner in Public Liability Compensation - Doyle's Guide (2020)
  • Partner of the Year - Litigation, Finalist - Lawyers Weekly (2019)

Sex abuse case against deceased doctor

In August 2017, a confidential settlement was achieved with the Estate of Andrew Churchyard on behalf of 52 of his former patients
Bree Knoester commenced Supreme Court proceedings in late 2016 on behalf of a group of patients in relation to allegations of sexual assault against Dr Andrew Churchyard.
Former neurologist, Dr Churchyard was charged by police with two counts of indecent assault in 2015. After a Magistrate found that there was enough evidence for a jury to find him guilty in 2016, he took his own life.
Following the news breaking of allegations against the deceased doctor, more than 100 former patients contacted Bree.
“From the outset there were clear recurring themes in the interactions that patients were having with Churchyard,” said Bree.
Bree says that she hopes the settlement, which has been made with a denial of liability, will bring some closure and peace for many of her clients.
“It’s been a long and hard fought road. I am proud that we have been able to achieve an outcome that not only provides support to the victims, but also gives them a voice.”

Reporter awarded $180k in damages for post traumatic stress

The substantial trauma an Age crime journalist was exposed to resulted in post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, a Victorian court has ruled awarding 180,000 in damages.
Bree Knoester commenced County Court proceedings in late 2018 and successfully argued that her psychological injuries were caused by the newspaper’s negligence and failure to provide a safe workplace.
County Court judge Chris O’Neill found that the injury should have been foreseen and could have been prevented.
Bree said that this landmark decision is a stark reminder to media organisations of their obligations to safeguard against the risk of psychological and psychiatric injury.
“When your employees are exposed to, and reporting on, details of the most horrific and devastating news stories, the risk of psychological injury is clearly foreseeable” said Bree.
Working extensively in the area of journalism and trauma for more than 8 years, Bree encourages other media organisations to review their systems, programs and procedures around trauma exposure.

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