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Peter V. Nelson

Fax +1.202.778.9100

Peter Nelson is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, where he is a member of the public policy and law practice group. Drawing upon his experience as a start-up and venture capital lawyer, Peter advises clients at the leading edge of innovation about the impact of public policy on emerging technologies and business models. His experience covers a variety of policy areas, including federal taxation, communications, energy, and sustainability, among others.

Peter has a particular depth of experience in the transportation and infrastructure space, where he has represented clients before the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Federal Aviation Administration on a variety of legal, regulatory, and enforcement matters. As part of this work, he has counseled national trade associations and leading technology companies about the evolving policy environments for autonomous vehicles and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). He has also assisted clients on a variety of issues related to public-private partnerships and other innovative tools to facilitate private investment in infrastructure.

Peter’s experience has included work at every stage of the public policy lifecycle, from legislative analysis and drafting, to participation in the regulatory process, to interpretation and enforcement matters. At each of these stages, he has helped clients develop integrated advocacy strategies to support their objectives, incorporating Congressional and administrative outreach, as well as communications and new media tactics.

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mr. Nelson was an associate at another Washington law firm. He focused his practice on regulatory matters involving the aviation industry and corporate transactions for high-growth technology companies. While in law school, Mr. Nelson served as Executive Editor of the Virginia Journal of International Law and as a Dillard Fellow (teaching assistant for Legal Research and Writing). He won the Edwin S. Cohen Tax Prize for outstanding scholarship in the field of federal taxation.

Before pursuing a legal career, Mr. Nelson worked on tax policy matters as a member of a Fortune 500 company’s Washington government affairs team. He also researched foreign and domestic healthcare issues as an intern at a leading economic policy think tank. His background includes media and communications internships at a national television network and a global public relations firm.


  • Recipient, Edwin S. Cohen Tax Prize (University of Virginia School of Law, 2012)

Professional/Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Virginia State Bar

Speaking Engagements

  • “Look Mom! No Hands! Autonomous Vehicles Coming to a Stop Light Near You,” Leaders’ Policy Conference, Naples, FL, November 19, 2017
  • "U.S. Policy Workshop,” Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley, Mountain View, CA, September 19, 2017
  • “AV Regulatory Panel,” A T121.org Automated Vehicle Policy Series, Washington, D.C., June 21, 2017
  • “Safety Benefits and Legal Implications of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles,” Innovations in Transportation and Technology: County Leadership Peer Exchange, Allegheny County, PA, May 5, 2017

Additional Information

  • Note: Conflicts of Interest: Resolving Legal Barriers to the Implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, 32 VA. TAX REV. 387 (2012).