Brian Herd
Partner, Hopgoodganim Lawyers


Brian is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts in the areas of elder law, disability and aged care.

Brian has extensive experience in life planning for older people including making Wills, administering estates, disputes over Wills, superannuation, social security, retirement villages and aged care, incapacity, the Guardianship Regime, the loss of a spouse or the ‘suddenly single’ syndrome, planning for disabled children, elder abuse, enduring powers of attorney, advance health directives, family agreements and disputes and mediation.

For several years, Brian has been named in The Best Lawyers in Australia for Health and Aged Care Law, Trusts and Estates and Wealth Management/ Succession Planning Practice.

Brian has also won Solicitor of the Year (Large Firm) at the Queensland Law Society Excellence in Law Awards, 2022.

Brian is listed in Doyle’s Guide Leading Wills, Estates & Succession Planning – Qld, 21-23 & Leading Health & Aged Care Qld 21-23.


Elder abuse and coercive control reform in Australia

Older people are victims of coercive control and the abuse inflicted on them is most commonly at the hands of an adult child. Yet despite this, the abuse of older people, and relationships outside of an intimate partner setting, are either excluded or given minimal focus in the more recent coercive control reforms across Australia.

This is a problem because:
1. elder abuse is on the increase and as our population ages, we can expect it to increase;
2. psychological abuse is the most common sub-type of elder abuse in Australia;
3. elder abuse is serious, yet there is a reluctance to report it;
4. there is a lack of awareness of coercive control in an elder abuse setting;
5. perpetrators of elder abuse are rarely brought to account.

Our paper (, examines in detail, where elder abuse sits within broader recent discussions in Australia about coercive control law and policy reform and, together with case examples, seeks to encourage key stakeholders, including national and state and territory governments, to continue to include elder abuse in these important reforms.