Senior Counsel

Peter J. Kahn

Peter Kahn Photo

Peter Kahn has a diverse complex civil and criminal litigation practice in which he appears on behalf of clients in federal and state courts across the country, at both the trial and appellate levels, as well as in arbitrations, and before federal departments and agencies, and on Capitol Hill.

In his more than 45 years in practice, Mr. Kahn has represented a wide variety of clients, both corporate and individual, from large financial institutions to law firms, from companies involved in gaming and liquor production to individuals involved in will contests, from clients who are the targets of grand jury and other government investigations to those involved in complex civil litigation.  The cases he has handled cover a wide range of subject matters, including internal corporate investigations, fraud, RICO, espionage, tax evasion, medical and legal malpractice, employment issues, election law violations, personal injury, antitrust, government contracts, theft of trade secrets, breach of contract, economic sanctions, and money laundering.  Mr. Kahn has been recognized in the 2021-2022 editions of Benchmark Litigation as a "Local Litigation Star” in the areas of General Commercial Litigation, White Collar Crime, and International Arbitration.

Although Mr. Kahn purposefully has not specialized or limited his practice, he has spent considerable time focused on litigation involving international disputes, and co-chaired the Firm’s International Litigation Practice Group.  Mr. Kahn has extensive experience in such matters, both before United States and foreign tribunals.  Starting with his representation of the Israelis in the Jonathan Pollard spy case in the 1980’s, Mr. Kahn has handled numerous cases for American clients with interests in Israel, and for Israeli clients with matters pending in the United States, including, among others, the family of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.  More recently he represented Alan Gross, the United States government contractor arrested and convicted in Cuba for alleged crimes against the Cuban state.  The ultimate resolution of that case led to the beginning of a period of normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba in the Obama administration.  His international practice involves both civil and criminal matters including extradition and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases, as well as challenges to OFAC designations and cross-border commercial litigation. His cases have involved numerous foreign countries in addition to Israel and Cuba, including Italy, Switzerland, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, Thailand, Bolivia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Bulgaria, France, the United Kingdom, Ecuador, Colombia, Denmark, Russia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, the former Yugoslavia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Saint Maarten, Curacao, Mexico, Panama, and Guatemala.

Born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut, Mr. Kahn received his B.A., cum laude, from Yale University in 1973, and his J.D. from Duke University School of Law where he was Articles Editor of the Duke Law Journal.  He joined Williams & Connolly in 1976. 

Mr. Kahn is an emeritus member of Duke University's Board of Trustees, having completed 12 years of services as a Trustee in 2021. He chaired the Board’s Audit and Compliance Committee and served on its Executive Committee and Resources Committee, among others.  He is a senior member of Duke Law School's Board of Visitors, which he chaired from 2001 to 2007, and currently chairs the Advisory Board of the Bolch Judicial Institute at Duke Law School. He also has served as the National Chair of the Duke Annual Fund.



“Local Litigation Star” in International Arbitration, General Commercial Litigation, and White Collar Crime, Benchmark Litigation, 2021-2022

“Local Litigation Star” in General Commercial Litigation, White Collar Crime, Benchmark Litigation, 2020-2021

2007 Dean's Alumni Achievement Award for extraordinary service, commitment, and dedication to Duke Law School

2005-2006 Charles A. Dukes Award for outstanding volunteer service to Duke University


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