Peter M. Hughes Partner




Peter Hughes is an experienced trial attorney with more than 24 years in the defense of civil litigation matters. He has extensive experience in civil litigation with an emphasis in the defense of transportation, general liability and casualty, construction, product liability, professional liability and services, commercial and business litigation, coverage disputes and employment matters. Peter has tried more than 50 cases to jury verdict. He lectures extensively and advises and provides training to insurance companies, third-party administrators, commercial clients and industry groups. Before joining Wilson Elser, Peter had a smaller practice dedicated to the defense of civil litigation matters.

Peter is known for providing exceptional legal services with early, accurate liability and damage assessments, predictability in fees and costs, efficient case management plans, focused discovery and prompt resolution. Although clients appreciate Peter’s focused and reasoned approach to meeting their goal of prompt conflict resolution, they take great comfort in knowing that Peter never waivers or hesitates when they choose to go to trial.

View Peter's exemplar trial experience.

Areas of Focus

Peter’s litigation and trial experience includes a variety of transportation matters primarily focused on trucking, surface transportation, bus, limousine and other commercial transportation providers. Representative claims involve catastrophic injuries, hazardous materials, supervision, training and hiring, hours of service including fatigue, load securement, mechanical failures, safety equipment, cargo, broker and shipper liability, breaches of transportation agreements, hazardous spills and property damage.

Complex Tort & General Casualty
Peter is experienced in all aspects of the defense of all types of personal injury cases, including private automobile/commercial vehicle, serious injury/wrongful death, premises liability, industrial accidents, intentional torts and business torts. His extensive litigation and trial experience includes defending all types of product liability claims from minor injury to catastrophic loss. Peter’s product liability experience includes automotive products, building materials, construction equipment, consumer products, industrial equipment, lift devices, ladders and scaffolding, recreational vehicles, gas storage devices and chemicals.

Construction Litigation (Design & Construction)
Peter’s litigation and trial experience in defense of construction claims has been on behalf of commercial and residential general contractors, specialty trade subcontractors, design professionals and material suppliers. His vast experience in commercial and residential construction includes the defense of construction defects, design/engineering errors and omissions, defective construction materials, mold and hazardous gasses.

Professional Liability
Peter has an active practice representing clients in professional liability matters. His litigation and trial experience includes defending professional negligence matters involving real estate professionals, officers and directors, insurance professionals, attorneys and nursing home providers.

Insurance Coverage
Peter has defended and prosecuted a variety of coverage matters for domestic and London insurers, including insurance carriers in extra-contractual litigation and rescission, contribution and declaratory relief actions. He represents excess liability insurers regarding high-exposure cases and is experienced in the assessment and analysis of reinsurance coverage issues and requirements, whether for facultative reinsurance claims or in the larger context of reinsurance treaties.

Employment & Labor
Peter has successfully defended and tried to verdict a variety of employment law claims involving protected class discrimination, sexual harassment, wage violations, retaliatory discharge, breach of contract and workplace violence.

Business & Commercial Litigation
Peter’s experience and trial work in commercial and business litigation runs the gamut from complex commercial litigation, breach of contract and real property business disputes to defamation and tortious interference. He is pragmatic and well aware of the trade-offs that are part of doing business and provides his clients with innovative and timely strategic counsel to help them make better-informed decisions, resolve complex legal challenges and achieve specific business goals.

Specie and Cash In Transit
Peter's experience includes handling a number of litigations and claims involving cash in transit, fine art and jeweler's block losses.

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