Peter is a dual qualified English solicitor and Illinois attorney specialising in technically complex aviation matters often involving multiple jurisdictions. He joined the Aviation department at Stewarts on its inception in 2006, and was featured in an article in The Times describing his ‘jump from paralegal to partner’, outlined in more detail in his career story here.

I am a partner in the Aviation team at Stewarts. I joined the firm in 2006 as a paralegal and with the exception of a brief six months spent abroad in 2007, have been at Stewarts ever since, training and rising through the ranks, and making partner nine years ago in 2015.


The path to partnership

My educational background was in theoretical physics, which I studied to master’s level at Durham University. After leaving, I knew I wanted to find a career which balanced physics with English skills. I recognised that compared to many I studied with, I always felt greater ease in understanding and explaining complex physics in simple terms. I thought law might be the answer, and quickly settled on energy law as an area of interest. To improve my prospects I learnt Russian and lived in Russia for six months (I also studied Arabic, though alas I have forgotten that language!).

After completing conversion and LPC courses, and while waiting for my training contract to begin at a big US firm specialising in energy law, I spoke to a friend who worked as a paralegal at Stewarts and suggested I might apply here to pass the time. Upon following his advice I was offered a paralegal role in the newly formed Aviation team, which happened to have a number of Russian cases. I immensely enjoyed being able to use my language skills, get to grips with complex aviation systems and explain them to families who desperately wanted to understand how their loved one died, but found the technical aviation safety reports impossible to grasp.

A year after joining Stewarts I was given the opportunity to work in a law firm specialising in energy work, based in Central Asia, and accordingly spent six months living and working in Kazakhstan. My time there taught me that energy law wasn’t for me, and I had already found my passion in aviation law and the perfect firm in Stewarts.

I returned to England to rejoin the firm, transferring my training contract to Stewarts, and I have never looked back. Since then I have studied an LLM in Advanced Air & Space Law; qualified as an attorney in Illinois (where Boeing was based until 2023); and studied a nanodegree in Artificial Intelligence Programming. I am currently studying a nanodegree in Computer Vision (how driverless cars and pilotless planes see the world).


Working at Stewarts

Covid was a difficult time for everyone, but for me it is a great example of how supportive Stewarts is to its staff. At the time of the first lockdown, my wife was working part time so she could collect our then-five-year-old daughter from school. When lockdown happened my daughter had about four-to-five hours supervised schooling per day, and was too young to be left to do it alone. Despite being a part time worker, my wife’s company had her on calls from 9am to 6pm, and she had to toil late into the evenings to finish her work. When she told her employer about the need to help her daughter she was told “to just put her in the corner”.

It fell upon me to help my daughter with most of her schooling at that time. I ended up being hundreds of hours down on my targets as I struggled to balance work and homeschooling, but I was only ever supported by my partners in my department and Stewarts as a whole until our situation at home changed and I was able to return to focus on work full time. Fortunately I was able to claw back that time deficit in the months that followed, but the support from the firm was there irrespective.

What I enjoy most about working at Stewarts has evolved over the years. When I first joined it was the collegiate atmosphere, the respect across all generations and positions within the firm, and being surrounded by genuinely good people who were brilliant at their jobs without being arrogant, rude or conceited.

As I have aged and risen in the firm I still love those things, but also the cutting edge nature of the work, and being surrounded by fiercely intelligent and innovative legal experts who are willing and able to test the boundaries of current legal thinking. I enjoy being challenged and my colleagues make me raise my game.


Lessons learned

I suspect if I wasn’t a lawyer I would have either been a robotics engineer, an artist or author. Fortunately, both robotics and art are passions which I still enjoy in my spare time, but I might need to wait until retirement before I can put pen to paper for a book!

I would offer two pieces of advice for those following in my footsteps. First, don’t be too rigid with your goals, plans and expectations. Life is a maze. Recognise that it is difficult to always see the right path. Keep an open mind and embrace possibilities.

Second, through my time at Stewarts, I have always found that the best way to further one’s career is to make yourself invaluable. That means being there when help is needed, understanding something others don’t, adding value where others can’t, and above all being available and willing to learn.



You can find further information regarding our expertise, experience and team on our Aviation page.

If you require assistance from our team, please contact us.



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