July 2022 | Bree Knoester | Brave Legal


July 2022 | Bree Knoester, Principal Lawyer at Brave Legal    

I became a lawyer because…

as simple as it sounds, I wanted to help people.  My mother had always worked in the not-for-profit sector and instilled in my sister and I a passion for helping those less fortunate than ourselves.  I think we are incredibly privileged as lawyers to be trusted and confided in by our clients – particularly in the area of personal injury.

We also possess a toolbox of skills that can help someone navigate towards an outcome at the worst time in their life which is a pretty amazing thing in itself.  I love hearing people’s stories and learning about what they have overcome – we get bursts of inspiration from our clients on a daily basis.  It is incredible that you can help someone at their most vulnerable.  In that way, I think we are much more than “just” lawyers.

To me leadership means…

working with a group of people who leave the room feeling valued, heard and respected because of the things you say, the decisions you make and the culture you create.  It means being just as prepared to do the task that you ask the most junior person to do and deeply caring about the personal and professional growth of the people you work with.

Again, it is a real privilege to have people choose to work with you when there are millions of options for clever lawyers and support staff.  But to come and choose to work with you – well, that deserves an environment of caring, compassion, learning and, sometimes, just a really good morning tea.

The thing I am most proud of is…

that I started my own firm! I set out to create an environment that cares deeply for its staff and its clients and feeds resources back into those two important groups.  But I am also proud to have done it with two small children whom I can tuck into bed most nights as we are committed to flexibility and family at Brave Legal – and not just in words.

If I am also allowed to add one more thing, I do love to ride my bike very long distances and recently completed the Base Camp challenge which is a 120km ride which isn’t the bad part – it’s the 4424m vertical metres of climbing that is painful – halfway up Mt Everest, hence the name – Base Camp!

My favourite fictional character is…

well, I do want to say something clever like Elizabeth Bennett from Jane Austen but I just love Elle Woods from Legally Blond.  Sometimes it can be your life experience and non-legal knowledge that makes you a good lawyer – or your knowledge of perming as in the movie! I worked at a hairdressing salon washing perms during my teenage years so I felt an affinity with Elle Woods during her winning cross-examination.  I also love Matilda Wormward from the Roald Dahl book ‘Matilda’ – another determined young woman who seeks justice for those around her.