Peter is a trial attorney specializing in construction, surety, malpractice, commercial, and bankruptcy cases and is the chair of the Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Practice Group.
Peter has tried to verdict or decision more than 150 cases throughout the United States, representing general contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers, lenders, sureties, and owners, among others, on a wide array of commercial, construction, surety and bankruptcy disputes.
Peter has been a bankruptcy and creditor’s rights lawyer for over 35 years. In the early part of his career, Peter focused on representing debtors ranging in size from small and medium-sized construction companies and retailers as well as manufacturers ranging in size from 10 to over 900 employees. Peter has also represented companies in the business of acquiring and liquidating bankruptcy assets of large national and regional companies, including the DeLorean Motor Company, Halle Bros. Co. Department Stores, Puritan Furniture/Massachusetts, and Scandinavian Design Furniture Co.
More recently, Peter has concentrated on representing creditors, shareholders, and bondholders in bankruptcy cases throughout the country. Peter also represented 19 municipal light departments in the Public Service Companies of New Hampshire and the Eastern Maine Electric Cooperative bankruptcy cases – two of the largest utility bankruptcies in New England. He represented a multinational surety company in the Mirant Corporation bankruptcy case in Texas and represented stockholders in a $1 billion sapphire furnace manufacturer bankruptcy in New Hampshire.
In addition to his bankruptcy work, Peter is a well-known construction attorney and has represented clients on numerous and diverse construction and related disputes, including litigation involving defects and project mismanagement arising out of the construction of a nuclear power plant, defending the officers and directors of a defunct subcontractor against claims by a general contractor under the federal law, successfully tried a real estate partnership dispute involving a $3 billion development and construction project, and prosecuted and defended claims arising out of failed or failing construction contractors and subcontractors. Peter has also represented contractors, subcontractors, and developers on all aspects of commercial and multi-family residential projects. Peter has assisted both contractors and developers in commercial and multi-family construction projects valued at over $1 billion located throughout New England, the Eastern Seaboard and in Florida.
Peter has been a frequent lecturer on creditor’s rights and bankruptcy litigation, and has published numerous articles on bankruptcy and related issues. He has also presented lectures on litigation, construction, and surety law to multiple organizations, including the Boston Society of Civil Engineers, the Engineering Societies of New England, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, New England Law Institute, the Northeast Construction Expo., the Construction SuperConference™, the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, the Associated General Contractors, ALI/ABA, Lorman Education Services, Halfmoon Education Inc., Thompson Reuters, and the American Bankruptcy Institute.
Peter is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and has been certified in business bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification.
Peter is the founder of the New England Construction & Real Estate Risk Management Conference™, an annual conference focusing on effective ways to manage risk on construction and real estate development projects.
Peter is listed in Chambers and Partners USA as one of America’s Leading Lawyers for General Litigation; in Best Lawyers of America for commercial litigation; and in Bests Directory of Recommended Attorneys.
Peter is also a mediator, having completed forty-hours of mediation training by M.G.L. ch.233 § 23C with M.W.I. in Boston.
Peter has also presented lectures on construction law and litigation for Northeastern University, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and the University of Wisconsin.
Representative Matters & Significant Transactions
- Obtained a multi-million dollar jury verdict in a case involving claims for breach of the implied warranty of habitability, fraud, and unfair and deceptive acts and practices by the former owners of a large multi-million dollar residential property located in suburban Boston, Massachusetts
- Successfully defended against a lawsuit by a $40 billion pharmaceutical company seeking to “pierce the corporate veil” of Peter’s clients and their principal stockholder to hold them liable for plaintiff’s claims
- Successfully represented clients in a lawsuit by a former employer for wrongful competition. Following dismissal of that case, Peter was successful in obtaining a verdict following a lengthy jury trial against the former employer and various individuals in a separate “corporate veil piercing” action.
- Successfully represented a client in obtaining a favorable settlement during the middle of a trial in connection with a wrongful termination/stock redemption case.
- Successfully represented a surety company in a contempt trial against a large bank who assisted its client in wrongfully transferring and encumbering assets following the issuance of an injunction.
- Successfully represented a surety company in defending against at $3 million damage claim arising out of subcontract work on the Edward Brooke courthouse.
- Successfully represented a plaintiff in a precedent setting land damage case against a large oil company in the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota
- Successfully represented the managing partner in partnership litigation in the Delaware Chancery Court involving a $3 billion real estate development and construction project
- Has prosecuted delay, acceleration, lost productivity and construction defect claims throughout the United States ranging from $1 million to $350 million
- Successfully prosecuted a breach of contract action against a large utility company for construction of a co-generation electric power plant. Total recovery: $8.5 million
- Successfully defended the principal of a construction subcontractor against an $8 million lawsuit brought by one of the largest national general contractors in the country for fraud, RICO, and for “piercing the corporate veil”
- Successfully represented 19 Massachusetts municipal light departments in prosecuting claims against a large rural electric cooperative which had filed for bankruptcy. Following trial, the case was settled for approximately $25 million
- Successfully represented a client before the Chancery Court in Tennessee on a $3 million personal guaranty action brought by a bank and then successfully argued the case on appeal before the Supreme Court
- Successfully represented a prominent Swiss watch manufacturer in claims for trademark infringement
Memberships & Activities
- American Bankruptcy Institute
Professional & Civic Activities
- Fellow, Construction Lawyers Society of America
- Planning Committee, Tina’s Wish, Boston Gathering
- Former Member, Town of Dover Conservation Commission
- Former Member, Board of Trustees, St. Thomas More School
Honors & Recognition
- Listed in Chambers and Partners USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for General Litigation
- Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation
- Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America for Litigation – Construction
- AV Martindale Hubbell Peer Rating
- Best’s Directory of Recommended Attorneys
- Certified as a Business Bankruptcy Lawyer by the American Board of Certification
- Selected for inclusion in Massachusetts and New England Super Lawyers
Lectures & Seminars
- “Reopening the Massachusetts Construction Industry – The End of the Beginning” Bernkopf Goodman LLP Webinar
- “COVID-19’s Impact on the Massachusetts Construction Industry” Bernkopf Goodman LLP Webinar
- “Law Firm Partner Roundtable” Thomson Reuters 23rd Annual Marketing Partner Forum
- “Good Night, and Good Luck: Managing Rainmaker Succession Planning Across the Firm” Thomson Reuters 23rd Annual Marketing Partner Forum
- “Introducing the Seventh Decennial Revisions to the American Institute of Architects’ Construction Contract Documents” Bernkopf Goodman LLP Seminar
- “AIA Standard Form Construction Contracts”
- “Massachusetts Mechanic’s Lien and Bond Law”
- “AIA Contracts and Contract-Related Issues and Solutions for Troubled Construction Projects “Construction Changes”
- “Terminations for Convenience in Construction Contracts”
- “The Impact of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. on Expert Witness Testimony”
- “Liability of the Design Professional”
- “Payments to General Contractors and Subcontractors”
- “The Use of Real and Demonstrative Evidence in Lost Productivity Claims”
- “The Difference Between Bonds and Insurance”
- “Contract Negotiation and Drafting as Risk Minimizing Measures”
- “Statutes of Limitations and Repose for Construction Work”
- “Litigation with Sureties”
- “ESI Discovery and Privilege Issues: The Bad, the Ugly and the Uglier”
- “Bankruptcy Court: A Safe Haven or a Final Resting Place?”
- “Asset Protection Planning as a Risk Management Tool”
- “Risk Allocation and Transfer Negotiating and Drafting Tips”
- “The Long Road Ahead for Detroit”
- “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Is it the Cure for What Ails the Construction Industry?”
- “Construction Stimulus Still a Work in Progress?”