Peter Zeughauser is one of the legal industry's premier strategists and management consultants. A broadly skilled consultant, he counsels leaders of top-ranked global, international, national, regional, and specialty firms on the challenges and opportunities they face in an increasingly competitive industry as a result of the internationalization, consolidation, and segmentation of the market for legal services. He specializes in management consulting, law firm mergers and combinations, and strategic growth planning at the firm-wide, departmental, practice group, sector, and office level. His planning work focuses on devising strategies that align firm structure and systems with vision, increase revenue and profitability, and that strengthen firm values and culture. His management consultant engagements include advising on compensation systems, governance, partnership structure, leadership development, and on-shore and off-shore insourcing and outsourcing of services. Peter’s consulting practice includes a significant focus on China, where he advises a number of leading Chinese law firms. Peter also consults to leading law departments on organizational structure, client service, and outside counsel management.
Peter launched his consulting practice in 1995. The keen legal acumen he brings to Zeughauser Group clients is a product of nearly twenty years of consulting and twenty years of legal practice, including over a decade as senior vice president and general counsel of The Irvine Company. 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.
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. He also served as the advisor on the largest law firm merger in industry history.
Peter is the author of Lawyers Are From Mercury, Clients Are From Pluto (ClientFocus Press, 1999). Since 1996 he has shared his insights on law firm management as a contributing editor of The American Lawyer magazine, for which he writes a regular column.
As a legal analyst, Peter is frequently quoted and featured in publications as diverse as The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Business Week, The Washington Post, The American Lawyer, the ABA Journal, California Lawyer, Corporate Counsel Magazine, the New York Law Journal, The Recorder, and the Daily Journal. Peter is a highly sought-after speaker at law firm retreats and industry gatherings.
Peter served as chairman of the American Corporate Counsel Association (ACCA, now the Association of Corporate Counsel) in 1991 and on ACCA's Board of Directors and Executive Committee for a decade. He serves on the Board of the Public Law Center in Orange County, California, and the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California. From 2007-2013 he served on the Board of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution.
A fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, Peter graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and St. Louis University School of Law, where he was elected to Alpha Sigma Nu.
Zeughauser Group is the firm of choice for legal industry leaders seeking to increase competitive advantage and profitability, enhance market position, and strengthen organizational culture.