A Legal Warrior
by Jenny Graham; Photography by Jeff Anderson

The phone rings late on a snowy Saturday afternoon. It doesn’t matter that it’s the weekend. Michael van der Veen—one of the area’s top personal injury and criminal defense lawyers—answers the call within one ring. It is a new client—desperate to have top representation. In a matter of seconds, the caller is reassured and comforted that Michael T. van der Veen will do everything in his power to win her case. This happens just about every day.

In the Philadelphia region, Michael is known as a powerhouse “go-to lawyer” in personal injury, criminal defense and commercial matters. Recognized in Philadelphia for his extensive courtroom experience, his 20 plus person firm has become an industry leader in trying both civil and criminal cases at the highest level.

Some of his clients have called him their own version of “Perry Mason.” They love that he is a tenacious fighter who is incredibly smart, knows the law cold, and believes passionately in the rights of his clients.

He is the lawyer you want on your side.

Part of this is because his work ethic is legendary. Truly committed -to his craft, van der Veen works seven days a week. “I work every day. I’m available to my clients at all times and although I’m managing a law firm, I’m still in court every day and it’s our commitment to winning for the client that really sets us apart. I’ve had many lawyers that I have tried cases against and judges I’ve been before, that have come to me for representation for themselves and their families. That to me is just a great honor—a great responsibility. The greatest feedback is when our clients, and our opponents, refer us and use us as their lawyers again and again.”

This recognition stretches beyond immediate peers. In fact, he has been named to the List of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers for the past 14 years—a recognition given to only 5 percent of the attorneys in Pennsylvania. For the past three years, van der Veen has been fighting for clients in all manner of legal issues from his new offices on Spruce Street; but, his record stretches far further than this. In fact, he has been practicing in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for nearly 25 years. “I am proud of the seven and eight figure results I have reached for numerous clients on the civil side—and on the criminal side—restoring my clients’ freedom and reputation.”

“We practice law differently here because we care so much for our clients’ well-being,” he says. “For decades, I have practiced holistic law. I counsel people in strengthening not just their legal position but in preparing them for the battle of trial by focusing on the health and strength of mind, body and spirt. We have a regimented program with clients, whether they are accused of crimes or catastrophically injured, to strengthen all three parts of who they are.”

Van der Veen’s academic record is as impressive as his courtroom prowess. After earning his Bachelor’s degree in political science from Ohio Wesleyan University, he went on to acquire a Juris Doctor from Quinnipiac School of Law in Connecticut in 1988. Following this, he earned an LL.M. in trial advocacy from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, achieving Highest Honors.

For the first six years of his career, van der Veen focused his practice exclusively on criminal defense in Chicago. “I worked for probably the best in the Midwest for criminal defense,” he says.

Upon moving to Philadelphia, he brought this hard-earned experience with him into a practice wherein he aids clients in matters including criminal defense and personal injury.

And he keeps growing and learning every day. One area that is flourishing is the commercial litigation sector.

“Our practice has matured by adding commercial litigation over the last several years,” van der Veen says. “All areas have grown, but a new and challenging practice area has been commercial litigation. We represent small businesses and business owners in their litigation needs. Whether it’s through fighting government regulations or a large corporation, we’re representing those small businesses in their litigation matters.”

Indeed, the seeds planted on Spruce Street three years ago have grown into a thriving practice with six attorneys and a staff of 20.

Van der Veen emphasizes, though, that his practice is predominately focused on personal injury matters. “I have won multimillion- dollar jury verdicts in both state and federal courts,” he says. “I have spent decades representing people that are injured and in need of representation.

“I’m one of a few lawyers that has excelled in civil litigation and criminal defense,” he continues. “I’ve won murder trials—anything from murder to DUI. I can be in City Hall trying a civil case, then walk across the street to criminal court and win there as well. I know my way around just about every kind of courtroom.”

“I’m a natural-born trial lawyer that advocates for people that are in crisis,” van der Veen says. “Helping people put their lives back on an even keel is very important to me. It’s my raison d’etre, my reason to be; it’s what motivates me every day, to help people become stronger and have the ability to move forward with their lives in a successful way.

“It’s a life’s work,” he continues. “The practice of law is, to me, a vocation. It’s a part of who I am and it’s something I absolutely love. I feel I was given a gift to do this.”

For more information on The Law Offices of Michael T. van der Veen, visit MTVLaw.com or call (215) 546-1000.

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life Magazine, March, 2017.
To subscribe to Suburban Life Magazine, click here.