University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1966

Cornell University, B.A., 1963

Photo of Peter R. Kolker

Peter R. Kolker


Peter R. Kolker handles cases in which economic principles intersect with litigation presentations. He represents individuals and companies with significant financial disputes where asset valuation and reconstruction of complex transactions is central to solving the client’s problems. He has also represented individuals in personal litigation relating to the division of assets. Building on the firm’s substantial bankruptcy expertise, Peter has represented debtors, creditors, and Chapter 11 trustees in adversary proceedings in the bankruptcy court and in appellate review of those determinations in district courts. Real estate litigation, including financing issues, land use disputes, and appraisal matters, also comprise part of his practice. In personal legal matters, he has assisted individuals in disputes involving substantial assets and contested estate matters that entail challenges to estate-planning documents and trusts.

Another facet of Peter’s practice is the assessment of auditing services provided to public and private companies. In that context, Peter has substantial experience applying generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS) to evaluate the adequacy of auditing services.

Peter has appeared in federal and state courts, including bankruptcy courts, in each of the jurisdictions in which he is admitted, both in jury and non-jury trials and in appellate matters. He has also represented clients in mediations and arbitration and in proceedings outside the United States under the Hague Convention for securing testimony abroad.

Peter also has extensive experience in the criminal law area, having represented senior executives of publicly held and private corporations in federal criminal trials and in connection with securities, banking, and other financial investigations. The international dimension of this practice has included representation of executives in federal antitrust investigations involving multi-national corporations as well as representation of businessmen and women involved in transactions generating inquiries under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Peter’s commercial experience includes a wide variety of business transactions and he has facilitated the representation of executives with criminal law issues in both the domestic and international arenas. He has steered a number of executives through the shoals of federal investigations without prosecution.

Peter joined Zuckerman Spaeder after serving in the office of the Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC and gaining substantial criminal trial and appellate experience, principally at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia.

  • Represented an accountant in a federal trial in which the client’s activities were alleged to violate ERISA standards. After extensive pre-trial discovery, the case proceeded to trial in the U.S. District Court and the client was fully exonerated.
  • Represented a business against a major accounting firm whose audits failed to detect flaws in the company’s internal controls and accounting. The case was vigorously contested in state court, requiring extensive discovery concerning accounting and business matters and necessitating depositions in Europe and throughout the United States. A few weeks before a scheduled three-week trial, the case was resolved during a mediation.
  • Assisted a client in the valuation of a unique art collection incident to a marital dissolution. The case posed numerous difficult appraisal and valuation questions and was resolved and a trial averted after discovery illuminated deficiencies in the opponent’s contentions.
  • Represented members of a major law firm in legal malpractice litigation with embedded assertions of ethical misconduct. A range of depositions, including those of ethics experts, valuation experts, and experts in a regulatory field were required to position the client towards a favorable, mediated resolution of the case.
  • Represented an accountant affiliated with a major bank concerning adequacy of his analysis of a complex transaction criticized by regulators. A settlement of the proceeding was achieved that allowed the accountant to continue working without disruption to his career or license.
  • Represented a large nonprofit owner in a litigation and related arbitration over the construction of a large conference center. An arbitration was commenced involving construction experts testifying to the sequence and adequacy of construction techniques. Because of the high-stakes nature of the dispute, the parties were able to achieve a mediated solution of the dispute.
  • Represented a European-based executive of a major company in a complex antitrust investigation. We were successful in steering our client through the process without charges being filed.
  • Represented the CEO of a private company in an investigation under the FCPA, successfully resolving the inquiry.


Mentioned & Quoted

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Academic Appointments

  • Visiting Professor, Masaryk University (Brno, Czech Republic), October 2011
  • Visiting Professor, Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic), October 2012

Professional Affiliations

  • Fulbright Specialist Designation, U.S. Department of State, 2012
  • Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, Council for Court Excellence
  • Advisory Committee of the Board of Directors, Legal Counsel for the Elderly