Peter Zeughauser



Peter Zeughauser is the founder and Chair of Zeughauser Group, a ten-partner law firm consultancy. He has served as a strategic trusted advisor to the leadership of Am Law 100 and 200 and Global 100 law firms for the past twenty-five years.

Peter’s consulting work is focused on strategic advice and growth planning for leading American, British, and Chinese law firms and on law firm mergers and acquisitions. He has served as an advisor on several of the leading mergers and acquisitions of the past generation. His consulting work focuses on governance, compensation systems, partnership structure, succession planning, go-to market strategies, and practice group leadership and management.

From 1996 to 2016 Peter served as a contributing editor to The American Lawyer magazine. He has authored numerous management columns for each of the major legal media outlets.  His book, Lawyers are From Mercury, Clients are From Pluto (ClientFocus Press 1999), is a compendium of many of his columns. 

Before consulting, Peter served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of The Irvine Company, a large California based real estate development and investment company for nearly 15 years.

Under his leadership, the company's legal department was ranked in a 1995 National Law Journal survey as one of the country's top ten and cited for being in the vanguard of a powerful client-led legal industry reform movement.

Peter served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Association for Corporate Counsel in 1991, and as member of the Board and Executive Committee for 10 years. He founded the Southern California Chapter in 1985.

In 2013, the National Law Journal recognized Peter as one of fifty Legal Business Trailblazers and Pioneers who have “truly ‘moved the needle’ in facilitating the changing ways that law firms conduct business.” He was cited for “sparking” the use of alternative fee arrangements and for being the first general counsel to use RFPs to hire outside counsel, both in 1985, for his work in advancing diversity in the legal profession, and for advising on the first merger between a U.S. and Chinese law firm in 2007.

Peter served for twelve years on the Board Directors of CPR (The Institute for Crises Prevention and Resolution), and for over a decade on the Board of Directors of the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine School of Law. During his tenure at The Irvine Company, he served on the board of the California Minority Counsel Program. He has also served for a decade on the Board of Directors of the Public Law Center in Orange County, California. He is a member of the Board of Visitors at UCI Law School and of the Board of Visitors of the English Department at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.


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