For more than 30 years Peter has represented businesses in litigation and commercial transactions. In the process, Peter has developed and applied efficient methods for delivering legal services to his clients.  His practice focuses on representing companies in contract negotiations and disputes and managing large volumes of litigation.  His management experience includes previously serving as the firm’s Managing Partner overseeing professionals and as a senior member of the Management Team. He also served on the firm’s Board of Directors.

Peter practiced law at a large Pittsburgh-based law firm before relocating in 2001 to open and manage its Charlotte office. From 2011 through 2014, he worked in London handling international matters, including both international commercial transactions and international arbitrations and litigation.  His practice has frequently included handling matters involving Chinese companies, including a recent ten-day multimillion dollar jury trial.  He has also handled arbitrations before the American Arbitration Association, International Center for Dispute Resolution, JAMS, International Chamber of Commerce, and Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, among others.

More recently, Peter has handled various matters involving U.S. Department of Agriculture loan agreements.  This includes obtaining the dismissal of multiple lawsuits brought against the National Rural Lenders Association and the U.S.D.A.  In addition, Peter is also representing a U.S.D.A. borrower in a challenge to the denial of a direct loan. 

Throughout his practice, Peter has managed the defense of asbestos claims.  In the course of this work he has represented more than 60 defendants in 30+ states.  This includes the defense of asbestos lawsuits in some of the most active and difficult jurisdictions such as New York, Los Angeles, Madison County, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and South Carolina.  For 10 years, Peter successfully represented a large industrial equipment manufacturer in all of their asbestos cases across the U.S. during which the client sustained no adverse verdicts and the number of claims was reduced from over 25,000 in more than 20 states to less than 500.

In addition to a vibrant litigation practice, Peter has years of experience drafting, negotiating and resolving disputes involving a wide variety of commercial agreements.  Peter and his team regularly advise clients on sales, financing and other arrangements, including drafting and negotiating the following types of agreements:

  • Contracts for the sale of goods
  • Standard terms and conditions of purchase and sale
  • Equipment leases
  • Distribution agreements
  • Cross border financing arrangements
  • Joint development agreements
  • Licensing arrangements

Significant commercial contracts Peter and his team have recently prepared and negotiated include a turn-key food processing plant valued at more than $190 million, a multi-plant packaging and processing equipment supply agreement, an equipment service agreement for offshore oil drilling platforms, and various tier supply agreements in the auto industry. 

Using his training and experience in Legal Project Management, Peter and his team have developed new solutions for handling litigation and routine commercial transactions more efficient and less costly.  When managing large volumes of litigation, implementing standard reporting procedures and check lists were early tools they used to enable clients to benefit from quicker and less costly resolutions. As technologies and the management of litigation has matured, they were early advocates of shared databases and client portals to provide cost effective solutions for clients handling large volumes of litigation.  More recently, Peter and his team have implemented artificial intelligence solutions in connection with commercial transactions. 

For the past five years, Peter has worked closely with legal artificial intelligence solution provider LegalSifter.  Peter and his team have successfully implemented numerous projects using the combined resources of the firm and LegalSifter.  Typically, the team develops a plan for reviewing contracts, implements the plan using the LegalSifter platform, and then manages the day to day review process handling questions and exceptions.  The result is a more accurate, complete and efficient process for handling routine contracts.  The process is developed by attorneys such as Peter who hold Lean – Six Sigma Process Mapping and Process Improvement certifications.

Community & Professional

In addition to being a member of various bar associations such as the North Carolina and Pennsylvania Bar Associations, Peter has regularly lectured and provided training on commercial contracts and the sale of goods under the Uniform Commercial Code.  Presentations Peter has made include U.S. commercial laws to the Chongqing (China) lawyers association and international commercial contracts to the N.C. Bar Association. 

Outside Maynard Nexsen

Peter may be part fish and part bird.

He is an active scuba diver who has spent time under water in some of the best dive locations around the world.  This corresponds to Peter’s interest in traveling - he usually logs hundreds of thousands of miles a year flying for business and personal travel. Ask him about a recent trip, and he'll surely have one to tell you about.


Peter recently negotiated the successful resolution of an international arbitration matter that involved one of the largest powdered milk manufacturing facilities in the world.

He has also:

• Handled the resolution of disputes filed before various arbitration tribunals, both domestic and international, including the AAA, ICDR and the ICC.
• Successfully managed the defense of over twenty thousand toxic tort claims.
• Negotiated the resolution at various stages both before and after trial of more than fifty commercial disputes ranging in size from several hundred thousand dollars to tens of millions of dollars.
• Routinely advises clients on commercial transactions and issues arising in connection with them including contract negotiations, asset protection, and cross-border financing.
• Obtained a Preliminary Injunction prohibiting competitor from hacking into his client's computer system in a "bet the company" case.
• Successfully defended a nearly $2 million preference action in a well-known bankruptcy case. This included vacating a default judgment that had been entered prior to his retention.
• Represented a savings and loan institution in series of lender liability claims that resulted in the dismissal of all claims. The dismissal was affirmed by the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
• Served as lead bankruptcy counsel for a metropolitan county with a population in excess of one million.
• Admitted pro hac vice in more than 20 different jurisdictions.


  • Martindale-Hubbell "AV" Preeminent Peer Review Rated 
  • Previously a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer
  • Certified Legal Lean Sigma® and Project Management Yellow Belt


Peter frequently speaks to employees of his clients on issues related to contract law including terms and conditions of sale and purchase and contract review and approval procedures.  His speaking engagements typically include, at least several times a year, customized training classes on commercial law for business people.   

Speaker, Association of Corporate Counsel Contracts Symposium, November 2013, “The Ps and Qs of Ts and Cs - Three Key Contract Provisions You Need When Trouble Comes: Warranty, Indemnification, Data Privacy.”


  • State Bar: North Carolina, Pennsylvania
  • *Mr. Santos is not currently licensed to practice law in South Carolina.
  • U.S. District Court: North Carolina (Eastern, Middle, Western), Colorado, Michigan (Eastern, Western), Pennsylvania (Eastern, Western), Tennessee (Middle)
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court
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A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality. - John Lennon

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