Honors and Awards

Brett S. Ward Named 2022 Family Law Trailblazer by The National Law Journal

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that partner Brett S. Ward, who serves as co-chair of the firm’s Matrimonial & Family Law practice group, was named a 2022 Family Law Trailblazer by The National Law Journal (“NLJ”).

Brett is one of 22 attorneys honored in this second annual listing by the NLJ, which recognized leading family and elder law attorneys across the legal industry.

Brett’s 2022 Family Law Trailblazer honoree profile is available here and copied in full below. 

As published in The National Law Journal 

Brett S. Ward

2022 Family Trailblazer
Brett S. Ward
Blank Rome LLP

What was the genesis of the idea/path that has made you a trailblazer?

I refuse to accept the status quo, even in areas of family law that can seem cut and dry. In Davis v. Davis, my client (wife of multi-millionaire "1-800-LAWYER" founder Bruce Davis) had signed a prenuptial agreement and two post­nuptial agreements waiving interest in her husband's fortune. Such agreements are generally accepted and rarely challenged in New York, but I chose to forge ahead with challenging the enforceability of all three. My aggressive investigation into their circumstances led to discoveries that called their validity into question, including domes­ tic violence, undue duress, and unethical representation. I presented these crucial facts to a trial court and was rewarded for my bold approach when the court refused to be bound by the agreements and set the matter down for a hearing on whether to consider them at all. After I successfully fended off a challenge to the ruling in the appellate court, my client was entitled to a portion of the marital assets that had seemed completely out of reach.

What sort of change has resulted from the concept?

I have always been a fearless litigator, and my results have directly helped reshape the family law system. I was the first known attorney in New York to help a same-sex adoptive parent obtain custody of their child over the biological mother. I also recently convinced an appellate court to recognize a grandparent's right to an expedited hearing as a matter of constitutional due process in order to keep a family together.

What bearing will this have on the future?

By confronting novel issues head-on, I aim to continue helping the practice of family law evolve in a way that provides modern, just, and fair outcomes for today's families. •