Lord Peter Goldsmith QC, PC

UniCredit Visiting Professor of European Legal Studies (Fall 2013)


Areas of teaching and research

  • International dispute resolution
  • International corporate investigations and defense
  • White-collar criminal defense/internal investigations
  • Cambridge University, B.A. (with honors)
  • University College London, LL.M.

Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC, PC, is the chair of European and Asian litigation at Debevoise & Plimpton. He joined the firm as European chair of litigation in September 2007. Goldsmith served as the United Kingdom’s attorney general from 2001 to 2007.

Goldsmith was a barrister in private practice at Fountain Court Chambers from 1972 to 2001, specializing principally in commercial, corporate, and international litigation and appellate work. He became Queen’s Counsel in 1987 and has judicial experience as a Crown Court Recorder and a Deputy High Court Judge.

Appointed attorney general in 2001, Goldsmith acted as chief legal adviser to the government on matters of domestic, European, and international law. He represented the government in numerous cases in UK and international courts. 

He has appeared in many cases in the House of Lords, the Privy Council, and the Court of Appeal as well as international and European courts and in the courts of a number of other jurisdictions. Significant work includes leading cases on auditors’ liability, insurance and takeover law, banking law, company law, insolvency litigation, revenue cases, public law and public international law, and arbitration.

Appointments include council member of the International Section of the American Bar Association; Board Member of the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative; co-chairman of the ICC Task Force on States and State Entities; chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Access to Justice Foundation; chairman of the Bar of England & Wales (1995); chairman of the Financial Reporting Review Panel (1997-2000); co-chairman of the IBA’s Human Rights Institute (1998-2001); elected to membership of the American Law Institute (1997); and made a member of the Paris Bar (1997).

Goldsmith was a council member of the International Bar Association (IBA) and the Union Internationale des Avocats. He was made a Life Peer in 1999 and Privy Counsellor in 2001. In 1996, he founded the Bar of England and Wales’ Pro Bono Unit, of which he is now president. He is a bencher of Gray’s Inn. Goldsmith is a nominated member of the P.R.I.M.E. Finance Panel of Experts. P.R.I.M.E. is a panel of recognized international market experts in finance based in The Hague, established to assist judicial systems in the settlement of disputes on complex financial transactions. The panel of experts comprises some of the most senior people in the financial markets sector.

Goldsmith was a graduate in law from Cambridge University with double first class honours and a master’s from University College London. He was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales in 1972 and New South Wales in 2010.

Selected publications
  • “What The NY Convention Means For Myanmar” April 24, 2013, International Financial Law Review