Freda Wigan - Partner

Freda Wigan Freda was recommended as a leading family lawyer in Doyle's Guide Queensland Family Law Review, 2013.

Overview Experience Publications Contact

 Freda co-manages HopgoodGanim’s Family Law practice, and is ranked a Leading practitioner in Doyle's Guide to Leading Family & Divorce Lawyers – Brisbane, 2015 - 2018, as well as a leading Family Law practitioner by the Australian Financial Review's Best Lawyers in Australia - 2018 and 2019. Freda was also named by Doyle's Guide as a Leading Family Lawyers (High-Value & Complex Property Matters) – Queensland, 2018 and Leading Family & Divorce Lawyers - Australia, 2018

A Nationally Accredited Mediator, Accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and Accredited Family Law Specialist, Freda’s expertise includes unravelling complex property disputes for separating couples and advising on the best corporate and trust structures for families. Her background in property law and corporate advisory gives her a strong foundation in the commercial aspects relevant to the resolution of family law matters. She also has extensive experience in child-related matters.

Freda has the unique ability to advise not only on family law matters that proceed to litigation, but also represents clients on matters that resolve through alternative dispute resolution. She leads the firm’s Collaborative Law practice and was one of the first lawyers in Queensland to represent clients in collaborative cases, helping them resolve disputes without the delay, cost and hardship associated with litigation. Collaborative law is a form of alternative dispute resolution used in family law matters where separated spouses each retain a collaborative lawyer to resolve disputes by way of cooperation, respect and civility, and without going to Court.

Freda is extensively trained and experienced in collaborative law and is a founding member of the group of Brisbane law firms practicing in this area. She is also a former president of Queensland Collaborative Law and continues to be a committee member of the organisation. 

In recognition of Freda’s commitment to developing and mentoring younger practitioners, she was selected as a finalist for the Queensland Woman Lawyer of the Year Award in 2009. She is also a member of the Family Law Council, Family Law Practitioners’ Association of Queensland and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

Areas of Practice

  • Advising on a complex property settlement dispute that involved a lengthy trial in the Family Court, where the husband and the wife were both actively involved in a multi-million dollar business and both sought to retain the business as part of their respective property settlements.
  • Advising on a property settlement where the husband, an entrepreneur, was involved in 50 corporate and trust entities.
  • Advising a high-wealth client, whose net wealth was estimated to be in excess of $100 million, on settlement with his de facto spouse after their short relationship ended.
  • Advising on a property settlement and maintenance where the net property value was in excess of $25 million, including advising on complex contribution arguments, taxation and valuation issues.
  • Advising a client in relation to her property settlement, including litigation, in circumstances where the client received a significant inheritance after she had separated from her spouse.
  • Advising on a property settlement where the net pool of resources and assets, many of which were located overseas, amounted to over $50 million.
  • Representing high net wealth individuals in negotiating and drafting pre-nuptial and financial agreements.
  • Advising on a collaborative case where the separating couple had two small children and the wife wished to relocate. While the couple had limited assets, the husband had a high annual income. The couple remained cooperative and engaged in creative option generation to reach an agreement as to the division of property, sharing of income and care arrangements for the children.
  • Advising on a collaborative case where the couple separated after a long marriage with significant net assets. Even though this was an emotional and distressing time for the separating couple, they chose to remain civil and respectful, and to fully disclose their financial information, reaching an agreement as to the division of their property and the care arrangements for their children.
  • Advising on a collaborative case involving the separation of a de facto couple where one party had significant concerns about the valuation of businesses involved in the web of corporate and trust entities that were in dispute. By engaging valuation experts, the separating couple were able to reach an agreement on the division of assets and the care arrangements for their children.