James P. Peterson



James P. Peterson is a business lawyer 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.


James has been Peer Review Rated as AV Preeminent®, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ and was selected by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2007 – 2020) as a leading corporate and mergers and acquisitions attorney. He was also selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2011 for his leveraged buyouts and private equity law, and mergers & acquisitions law work. James was named 2016 Milwaukee Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity Law “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers.

James is a 2016 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. In 2014, Foley was awarded the M&A Advisor "Deal of the Year” in the Industrial Manufacturing/Distribution Category for its work on the acquisition of the automotive industrial plastics business of Wicor Holdings AG. James led the multi-national team that advised the acquirer in this transaction.

Community Engagement

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.


  • Co-author, “The Impact of an Asset Purchase Transaction Structure on FCPA Risk,” Global Banking & Finance Review (August 2020)


James is a 1995 graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and earned a bachelor's degree in history at Georgetown University in 1989.

Admissions and Professional Memberships

James is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Bar Association and the American Bar Association.