Peter Lax
  • Your advice and judgement was, as always, first class and I was impressed how well we all worked as a team

    - WK.

  • Peter Lax is a careful, considered and accurate thinker who wins cases through reasonableness and being right.

    Legal 500


Peter Lax


Peter is routinely recognised in Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 as a leading individual, including in 2017. The Legal 500 2017 states that Peter's ‘advice is always considered and correct" and previous years' comments about Peter include that he is ‘a careful, considered and accurate thinker’ who sources say wins cases through ‘reasonableness and being right.’ He is praised as an ‘extremely talented’ and ‘rigorous’ lawyer with a ‘superb analytical brain’ and a keen commercial awareness. Clients say that he is 'unstintingly hardworking' and an 'experienced' litigator with an impressively 'straightforward approach'.

Peter won a Scholarship to Barnard Castle School from where he went to Durham University and then the College of Law, Chester. He won the Stokes Memorial prize for the highest mark in the country for the litigation exam, so he was not going to be a domestic conveyancer in the long term! Peter spent most of his training contract handling corporate acquisitions and disposals and commercial conveyancing transactions, experience which has been invaluable for professional negligence claims.

After qualifying, Peter switched to commercial and insolvency litigation. Having been a partner in what is now Pinsent Mason he wanted to be free from the internal politics and restrictions imposed on litigators by a multi-practice firm. This led to Heather Bell and Peter founding Bell Lax whose purpose was to offer their clients city expertise, without the expensive overheads of a city-centre practice, and so find the best commercial and cost effective solution to resolve disputes.

An important part of that is looking at ways of helping clients fund claims which they could not otherwise afford to bring. This includes solutions like Conditional Fee – “no win, no fee” – Agreements and linking legal charges to what Peter wins – or saves – for his clients.

Peter now has some 30 years experience of all areas of general commercial contract and employment disputes. He regularly appears as an advocate and has considerable experience of arbitrations and mediations, particularly in the construction and mechanical engineering industry. He has advised on, drafted and negotiated contracts for numerous projects around the country for Bell Lax clients, and is familiar with construction and engineering industry standard contracts, their weaknesses, and how to improve them.

Peter has lectured extensively, including to the Society of Insolvency Practitioners and to insolvency lawyers on corporate and personal insolvency. He has a strong background in company law, and has resolved cases involving company dissolution and revival, directors’ duties and liabilities, shareholder and pension disputes, guarantees, banking, VAT and finance disputes.

His work also includes sorting out partnership problems, disputes over sale of goods and supply of services, passing off, professional negligence and civil fraud.

Peter recently headed the team handling a multi-million pound professional negligence claim arising out of a leveraged management buy in. The claim – funded by a “no win, no fee” agreement – required the Bell Lax team to extract the relevant accountancy and management information from dozens of boxes of documents, often working into the night as further evidence emerged during the course of the trial.


Fluent German and French. Working knowledge of Russian and Dutch.


Adding to his wine cellar, drinking good beer and watching cricket, weather permitting.