Derek M. Freed, Esq.

Derek M. Freed, Esq.



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Derek zealously advocates for his clients while maintaining a sensible and fact-based approach to the issues. His goal is to keep clients informed and well-versed in the law, as well as the different facets of their case so they can make an educated decision on how to approach the various issues that may arise. 

Derek understands that issues arising in family law cases are crucial to his clients’ lives and should be thoroughly explained and treated with respect.  

He also appreciates that although there are common issues arising throughout the divorce process, each client’s case is unique and requires an individualized solution. 

Derek’s practice is focused exclusively on family law. He appears regularly before the Family Part throughout New Jersey. He has litigated matters relating to virtually all aspects of family law at the trial court level, and has successfully represented clients in the New Jersey Appellate Division in matters involving issues such as allocation of college tuition and expenses, enforcement of property settlement agreements, equitable distribution, alimony, child support, custody, and parenting time. Along with Barbara Ulrichsen, Derek successfully argued the matter of A.B. v. S.E.W., 175 N.J. 588 (2003), before the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Practice Area Highlight: Mediation

Derek is qualified as a mediator under New Jersey Court Rule 1:40. He represents clients in mediations and serves as an independent mediator for court-appointed mediations and private mediations. He has mediated an exhaustive range of family law issues including complex property division, trusts, establishing and modifying support and child custody. He recognizes that mediation empowers clients by giving them control and flexibility over the terms of the resolution. As a mediator, Derek spends time listening to both parties to understand the core issues of their disputes in an attempt to help them reach a reasonable resolution.

Professional Background

Derek is admitted to the bars of the State of New Jersey and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

He is currently the Immediate Past Chair of the Executive Committee of the Family Law section of the NJ State Bar Association.

Derek served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association for the 2022-2023 term. As Chair, Derek evaluated proposed legislation that impacts the practice of family law, worked as a liaison between family law practitioners and the Court, set initiatives for the section to improve the practice of family law, and planned continuing legal education seminars for family law attorneys including the Family Law Symposium, and the Family Law track of the New Jersey State Bar Association Annual Meeting. In his role as Chair Derek has also testified before the New Jersey State Senate and Assembly on pending legislation impacting the practice of family law. Prior to becoming Chair, Derek served on the executive committee for over a decade and has sat on several subcommittees such as the college contribution subcommittee and legislation subcommittee. While on the college contribution subcommittee Derek was instrumental in drafting model legislation.

In 2023 Derek received The New Jersey State Bar Association Distinguished Legislative Service Award for his work on pending State legislation regarding domestic violence.

In 2023, Derek testified on behalf of the New JerseyState Bar Association regarding proposed FamilyCourt Rule changes, including the new court rule governing  parent coordination.

In 2015, he was recognized for his efforts on behalf of the New Jersey State Bar Association having co-authored the Amicus Curiae brief submitted to the New Jersey Supreme Court in the case of Gnall v. Gnall, as well as in 2017 having co-authored the Amicus Curiae brief submitted to the New Jersey Supreme Court in the case of Bisbing v. Bisbing. Additionally, Derek co-authored the Amicus Curiae brief of behalf of the New Jersey State Bar Association in the matter of Cardali v. Cardali.

Derek is also an Associate Managing Editor of the New Jersey Family Lawyer, a New Jersey State Bar Association publication and is a member of the Matrimonial Lawyers Alliance.

He has lectured on various family law topics for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education of New Jersey and frequently lectures at the New Jersey State Bar Association Family Law Symposium, as well as the New Jersey State Bar Association Annual Bar Convention.

Derek was recognized as the “2024 Lawyer of the Year” in Family Law in Princeton by Best Lawyers. He was named a 2023 Super Lawyer by New Jersey Super Lawyer Magazine. He was also named a “Best Lawyer” by the U.S. News-Best Lawyers for 2024.

He was selected for inclusion in the New Jersey Super Lawyers edition every year between 2014 and 2023 and has been listed in Woodward/White’s Best Lawyers in America every year between 2013 and 2019, and 2023 and 2024.

To view the methodology and criteria for inclusion in “New Jersey Super Lawyer” please click here.

To view the methodology and criteria for inclusion in “Best Lawyers” please click here.

He is qualified as a mediator under New Jersey Court Rule 1:40, is certified as an arbitrator by the American Academy Of Matrimonial Lawyers and has been trained and certified as a Collaborative Family Law attorney. He also regularly serves as a panelist for the Matrimonial Early Settlement Program in Mercer County and Somerset County. The Matrimonial Early Settlement Program is a mediation program used by the courts to help divorcing couples reach an agreement on the economic terms of their divorce instead of going to trial. Panelists are selected by the Presiding Judge of the Family Part in each county and make recommendations on how equitable distribution, child support and alimony should be resolved after reviewing the facts presented in each case.

Derek graduated from Rutgers School of Law – Camden with honors in 2000 and the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s degree in history. In October 2000, Derek began working with his future partners, Wendy M. Rosen and Barbara Ulrichsen, while at Fox Rothschild, LLP. The three have worked together ever since.

Personal Background

Derek was born and raised near Atlantic City, New Jersey. He currently resides in Hopewell, New Jersey with his wife, Alexandra, and their daughter, Mary Dylan and son, John Angelo. His outside interests include music and biographies. He enjoys watching basketball and is a citizen of Red Sox nation.