James P. Peterson is a partner and a vice chair of the Business Law Department with Foley & Lardner LLP. His practice includes acquisitions, divestitures, investment of private equity and venture capital funds and general corporate law. James represents private equity acquirers as well as emerging and mature businesses. He is a member of the firm's Private Equity & Venture Capital, Transactional & Securities and International Practices.
Prior to practicing law, James represented the State of Wisconsin's interests at the State of Wisconsin Office of Federal-State Relations in Washington, D.C. and worked as a staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means.
- Peer review rated as AV Preeminent®, the highest performance rating in the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ system
- Selected by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading corporate and mergers and acquisitions attorney (2007 - 2022)
- Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of:
- Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law (2011 - 2023)
- Mergers and Acquisitions Law (2013 - 2023)
- Named the Best Lawyers® 2016 Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Milwaukee
- Recipient of Foley & Lardner’s Carl Hitchner Mentor of the Year Award, which is an annual award recognizing outstanding mentoring to young attorneys by partners and senior counsel (2016)
- Awarded the M&A Advisor “Deal of the Year” in the Industrial Manufacturing/Distribution Category for his work on the acquisition of the automotive industrial plastics business of Wicor Holdings AG. He led the multi-national team that advised the acquirer in this transaction (2014)
James is a member of the board of directors of Saint A, Inc., a non-profit organization which provides therapy, prevention, education, support services and case management for children and families, including kids in foster care and foster care families. Jim also serves on the Board of Trustees for Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee.
- Co-author, “The Impact of an Asset Purchase Transaction Structure on FCPA Risk,” Global Banking & Finance Review (August 2020)
- Northwestern University School of Law (J.D., 1995)
- Georgetown University (B.S., 1989)
- Member, State Bar of Wisconsin
- Member, Milwaukee Bar Association
- Member, American Bar Association