Skip to Main Content
Our Commitment to Diversity
Peter J. Kalis

Peter Kalis is a retired partner and the former chairman and global managing partner of K&L Gates During his tenure as chairman, the firm grew from under 400 lawyers in six offices in the Eastern Time Zone to over 1,800 lawyers in 46 offices on five continents. In that time, the firm’s revenue increased by 740%.

He is the only law firm leader to be recognized on three of the industry’s most prestigious lists, with The American Lawyer having identified Peter as among the 50 most influential innovators in the global legal industry in the last 50 years, The National Law Journal having included him on its inaugural list of the top 50 legal business trailblazers and pioneers, and a leading UK legal industry publication The Lawyer having named Peter as among the ten individuals in the global profession who will shape the international market for legal services in the next decade. He is the 2017 recipient of the Pittsburgh Business Times CEO Lifetime Achievement Award, a 2015 recipient of The Legal Intelligencer’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and also was named to Lawyers of Color’s Fourth Annual Power List of the most influential minority attorneys and non-minority diversity advocates.

Peter is a Rhodes Scholar, he received his Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil.) from Oxford University, and during law school at Yale he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal. After law school, Peter served as law clerk to J. Skelly Wright, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and for Associate Justice Byron R. White of the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of West Virginia University’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni.

Peter provides strategic advice to clients in the development and execution of proactive litigation strategies and strategies to preserve and access corporate insurance programs in response to a variety of novel and substantial claims. He also has served as an arbitrator in arbitrations sited in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Bermuda. Peter has been selected for inclusion in The World's Leading Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, and Euromoney's Expert Guides – Best of the Best.

Peter is a member of the American Law Institute. He has served on Task Forces of the American Bar Association, and routinely addresses professional congregations on both practice and law firm leadership topics.

He served as the ABA's National Law Day Chair and served ex officio on the ABA's Commission on Civic Education and Separation of Powers and the Standing Committee on Public Education.

He formerly served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors and chaired the Finance and Investment Committee of the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute. He is a past director of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, the Duquesne Club, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Museum of Art, the West Virginia University Foundation, Inc., The Children's Center of Pittsburgh, the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras, the National Kidney Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and the National Pancreas Foundation.

Peter has published over 50 articles in professional journals and in academic law reviews on a variety of subjects, and he is an author of Policyholder’s Guide to the Law of Insurance Coverage (with T. Reiter & J. Segerdahl) (Aspen Law & Business: 850 pp., 1997).

Publications include:

  • International firms in the post-Brexit world,” The Lawyer, 27 June 2016
  • Brexit Will Test the Mettle of Lawyers,” The Lawyer, 2 May 2016
  • Op-Ed: Like Father Like Son, Bar-Exam Ritual Is a Necessity of the Profession,” The National Law Journal, 11 May 2015
  • “If We Build It, Will the Clients Come?” Lawyers Weekly, April 5, 2013.
  • Foreword, “Growth Is Dead: Now What?: Law Firms on the Brink” (by Bruce MacEwen), published by Adam Smith, Esq., LLC. 2012
  • No Lawyer Left Behind,” The American Lawyer, July/August 2012.
  • The NLJ: Three Decades of Change,” The National Law Journal, April 9, 2012.
  • The Hadfield Tunnel: A Comment on ‘Legal Infrastructure and the New Economy’”, I/S: A Journal Of Law And Policy For The Information Society, Winter 2012
  • Peter Kalis on Lawyers as Leaders,” Serve to Lead® Insights, January 5, 2012
  • Chapter 51: USA, “The International Comparative Legal Guide to: International Arbitration 2011,” with Roberta D. Anderson, 2011.
  • Grand Illusion,” The American Lawyer, May 2011.
  • “Abolish NALP Now: Current Process Fails to Serve Interests of Students, Law Schools or Employers,” The National Law Journal, February 15, 2010.
  • “The Trials of Leadership,” SmartBusiness Pittsburgh, February 2008.
  • “Global Alignment,” American Executive Magazine, September 2007.
  • “A Diverse Workforce is in the Interests of Law Firms and Clients: Peter Kalis Provides a Blueprint for Developing Equal Opportunities within Your Law Firm,” Legal Business, September 2005.
  • “The Language of Law: Pox on a Litigation Tax,” Executive Counsel, May/June 2005.
  • “Easy Leap Over the Pond—Kirkpatrick & Lockhart's London Merger Taught Important Lessons,” Legal Times, March 7, 2005.
  • “Insurance: Keeping it Covered,” Legal Week, with Jane Harte-Lovelace, March 3, 2005.
  • “The Language of Law: Partnering at Market Rates,” Executive Counsel, January/February 2005.
  • “The Language of Law: Fault in Our Legal System,” Executive Counsel, Fall 2004.
  • “What is Wrong with the Legal Department-Law Firm Relationship?,” Corporate Legal Times, July 2004.
  • “Diversity Rites: Embrace Multiculturalism and Launch Initiatives Because They Are the Right Things to Do and Because They Will Make Better Law Firms,” Daily Journal Extra, June 28, 2004.
  • “The Critical Crossroads of Corporate America,” The Corporate Counselor, July 2005.
  • “Meeting the Environmental Challenge,” The Pennsylvania Lawyer, March 1988
  • “Daubert and Mass Tort Litigation,” published in materials for the Second Annual Mass Tort Litigation Institute, Continuing Legal Education Division, with David T. Case, November 7, 1997.
  • ‘A Theory of Conspiracy,’ eighteenth in a series entitled ‘Conversations on the Business of Law,’ Corporate Legal Times, October 1997.
  • ‘The Way We Think,’ seventeenth in a series entitled ‘Conversations on the Business of Law,’ Corporate Legal Times, September 1997.
  • ‘Of Empires and Platforms: Law Firm Expansion in the Age of Efficiency,’ sixteenth in a series entitled “Conversations on the Business of Law,” Corporate Legal Times, August 1997.
  • ‘Price Versus Value,’ fifteenth in a series entitled “Conversations on the Business of Law,” Corporate Legal Times, July 1997.
  • ‘Is Law a People Business?’ fourteenth in a series entitled “Conversations on the Business of Law,” Corporate Legal Times, June 1997.
  • ‘The End of Geography? The Emergence of a National Market for Legal Services,’ thirteenth in a series entitled “Conversations on the Business of Law,” Corporate Legal Times, May 1997.
  • ‘The Real Rainmakers,’ twelfth in a series entitled “Conversations on the Business of Law,” Corporate Legal Times, April 1997.
  • ‘Rainbow Circle: Law as a Language Art,’ eleventh in a series entitled “Conversations on the Business of Law,” Corporate Legal Times, March 1997.
  • ‘Eye of the Tiger: The General Counsel’s Big Game Hunt,’ tenth in a series entitled “Conversations on the Business of Law,” Corporate Legal Times, February 1997.
  • “Tobacco Litigation and Insurance,” American Bar Association, 1997.
  • ‘ADR and the Idea of Progress,’ ninth in a series entitled “Conversations on the Business of Law,” Corporate Legal Times, January 1997.
  • “Policyholder’s Guide to the Law of Insurance Coverage,” published by Aspen, with Thomas M. Reiter, James R. Segerdahl, 1997.
  • ‘You Can’t Hit What You Can’t See: The Case for Early Case Assessment,’ eighth in a series entitled “Conversations on the Business of Law,” Corporate Legal Times, December 1996.
  • ‘A Tribute to the Horseshoe Crab,’ seventh in a series entitled “Conversations on the Business of Law,“ Corporate Legal Times, November 1996.
  • “The Insurance Alternative: The Critical Path to Coverage,” presented at conference entitled “Insurance Coverage for Tobacco and Tobacco-Related Litigation and Liability,” in Washington, D.C., November 1996.
  • ‘The Technological Advantage,’ sixth in a series entitled “Conversations on the Business of Law,” Corporate Legal Times, October 1996.
  • “Disclosure of Environmental Liabilities: Accounting, SEC, and Insurance Perspectives,” Environmental Claims Journal, with Diane L. Olinger, Autumn 1996.
  • ‘Truth or Consequences: Proportionality in the Practice of Law,’ fifth in a series entitled “Conversations on the Business of Law,” Corporate Legal Times, September 1996.
  • “Emerging Areas of Insurance coverage Litigation,” International Insurance Law Review, with Matthew L. Jacobs, August 1996.
  • ‘Market Interactions: Quality and Fungibility in the Practice of Law,’ fourth in a series entitled “Conversations on the Business of Law,” Corporate Legal Times, August 1996.
  • ‘Market Interactions: Pricing Legal Services,’ third in a series entitled “Conversations on the Business of Law,” Corporate Legal Times, July 1996.
  • ‘Market Interactions: Defining the Client’s Needs,’ second in a series entitled “Conversations on the Business of Law,” Corporate Legal Times, June 1996.
  • ‘Partnering as Verb,’ first in a series entitled “Conversations on the Business of Law,” Corporate Legal Times, May 1996.
  • “Significant Recent Developments in Environmental Insurance Coverage Litigation: A Policyholder’s Perspective,” presented at Practising Law Institute: Environmental Insurance Coverage Claims and Litigation in New York City, May 1995.
  • “The Choice-of-Law Dispute in Comprehensive Environmental Coverage Litigation: Has Help Arrived from the American Law Institute Complex Litigation Project?,” Louisiana Law Review, with James R. Segerdahl, John T. Waldron, III, March 1994.
  • “New Frontiers of Coverage Litigation,” presented at American Bar Association, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, Mid-Year Meeting in Tucson, Arizona, March 1994.
  • “Insurance Coverage for Asbestos Liability,” presented at Andrews Continuing Education Institute in New York City, October 1993.
  • “Minimizing Professional Liability Risks: An Overview Of Professional Liability Insurance And Innovative Law Practice Structures,” presented at UIA - San Francisco Congress, August 1993.
  • “Covering the Fields: Accessing Historical General Liability Policies for EMF-Related Claims,” John Liner Review, with Thomas M. Reiter, Chris M. Temple, Summer 1993.
  • “An Overview of Professional Liability Insurance Policies,” presented at The Law Firm Management Institute in New York City, May 1993; San Francisco, October 1993.
  • “Settling Complex Environmental Insurance Litigation,” John Liner Review, Winter 1993.
  • “ABA Task Force on Insurance Coverage Litigation,” Prentice Hall Law and Business, 1993.
  • “The Settlement of Complex Environmental Insurance Coverage Litigation,” presented at conferences in New York and San Francisco, Fall 1992; Chicago,1993.
  • “How to Get to a Cost-Effective Settlement: Alternative Dispute Resolution,” paper presented at a conference entitled “Controlling Costs and Developing Trial and Litigation Strategies for Environmental Insurance Claims” in New York, November 9-10, 1992; San Francisco, December 10-11, 1992.
  • “Umwelthaftung in den USA (Teil 1),” Produkhaftpflicht International, 1992.
  • “Insurance Coverage for Natural Resource Damages Claims: Fundamental Principles and Litigation Strategies,” presented at a conference entitled “Natural Resource Damages Claims and Litigation,” with Patrick J. McElhinny, April 1991.
  • “Expected or Intended: A Policyholder Perspective,” presented at the Environmental Insurance Litigation Institute in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, 1989-1991.
  • “Forum Non Conveniens: A Case Management Tool for Comprehensive Environmental Insurance Coverage Actions?,” West Virginia Law Review, with Thomas M. Reiter, 1990.
  • “Overview of Appellate Procedure in Pennsylvania and Federal Courts,” Appellate Advocacy and Procedure (Pennsylvania Bar Institute), with Thomas M. Reiter
  • “Countering ‘Expected or Intended’ Defense Tactics in Environmental Coverage Disputes, John Liner Review, with Thomas M. Reiter, 1990.
  • “Environmental Trust Fund: A Bailout For Insurance Industry?,” Legal Times, December 18 and December 25, 1989.
  • “Examining Choice-of-Law and Choice-of-Forum Issues before Litigating Environmental Insurance Coverage,” Environmental Claims Journal, with Thomas M. Reiter, 1989-90.
  • “Strict Liability Comes to Europe,” presented at a Conference entitled “Pittsburgh and Europe: 1992 and Beyond,” Fall 1989.
  • “The Global Impact of Air Pollution and Accompanying Regulatory Developments,” paper presented at the Clean Air Legislation and Regulation Conference, Washington, D.C., Fall 1989.
  • “Insurers Run for Cover, Not Coverage,” Legal Times, July 3, 1989
  • “Insurance Aspects of Toxic Tort and Environmental Liabilities in the United States,” presented at The Forum Institute for Management International Product Liability Conference, Munich, West Germany, May 1989.
  • “An Unholy Alliance,” Best's Review, April 1989.
  • “Environmental Insurance Coverage Litigation: Pre-Litigation Considerations,” presented at the Environmental Insurance Litigation Institute in Chicago and New York, Fall 1988.
  • “Insurance Coverage for Mass Product Liability Litigation: Maintaining and Benefiting from Your Insurance Relationships,” Effective Coordination of Multiple Product Liability Litigation, 1988.
  • “Symposium: Insurance Coverage of CERCLA Cleanup Costs,” Chemical Waste Litigation Reporter, 1988.
  • “Attorney's Fee Act Should Be Curtailed,” Legal Times, October 13, 1986
  • “Sense and Censure (review of R. Berger, Death Penalties: The Supreme Court's Obstacle Course),” University of Pittsburgh Law Review, 1983.
  • “The Effectiveness and Utility of the Disputes Committee of the Trades Union Congress,” British Journal of Industrial Relations, 1977.
  • “The Adjudication of Inter-Union Membership Disputes: The T.U.C. Disputes Committee Revisited,” Industrial Law Journal, 1977.
  • “Interest Arbitration and the NLRB: A Case for the Self-Terminating Interest Arbitration Clause,” Yale Law Journal, 1977.
  • “Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation: Inter-Union Membership Disputes and Their Resolution by the Disputes Committee of the Trades Union Congress,” Bodleian Library, Oxford University, 1976
  • “Recent Cases--The Bridlington Principles and the Awards of the T.U.C. Disputes Committee,” Industrial Law Journal, 1976.
  • “Recent Cases--The right to work and the closed shop,” Industrial Law Journal, 1974.
  • “Private Litigation and the UMW,” Yale Review of Law and Social Action, 1973.
Additional News & Event Pages
Return to top of page

Email Disclaimer

We welcome your email, but please understand that if you are not already a client of K&L Gates LLP, we cannot represent you until we confirm that doing so would not create a conflict of interest and is otherwise consistent with the policies of our firm. Accordingly, please do not include any confidential information until we verify that the firm is in a position to represent you and our engagement is confirmed in a letter. Prior to that time, there is no assurance that information you send us will be maintained as confidential. Thank you for your consideration.

Accept Cancel