Peter Cummings SC


Peter’s main area of practice is in Family Law, both trial and appellate work.  He is a qualified Arbitrator under the Family Law Act and is a member of the NSW Bar Association’s Family Law Committee and represents that committee in the Family Courts Users Group.

In 2021 Peter was appointed to the Executive of Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia as the NSW Bar representative and currently serves in that position. He is, and has consistently been, rated in Doyle’s Guide to the Legal Profession as a leading Family Law Senior Counsel within NSW.

Peter was born and educated in Newcastle.  He began studying law by correspondence through Macquarie University in 1980 while working as a law clerk in a local firm.  He graduated in 1984 and was then admitted to practice as a solicitor.

For twelve years he was a partner in Thomas Laycock Solicitors and built up a substantial practice in personal injury, insurance, commercial and construction litigation.

In 1993 he underwent mediation training with LEADR and developed a practice in Alternative Dispute Resolution which he has carried on since.

The Law Society of New South Wales accredited him as a specialist in Commercial Litigation in 1994.

In 1996 he went to the Bar and commenced practice at Newcastle Chambers.  He rapidly developed a busy practice in a variety of areas including personal injury, family law, commercial litigation and crime.  He is on the panel of most major insurers.

Upon the introduction of the scheme in 2008 he became a Mediator accredited under the National Standards and is on the NSW Supreme and District Courts’ List of mediators.

After being elected as the President of the Newcastle Bar Association in early 2013, he held that position until 2017.

In 2013 he was appointed Senior Counsel for the state of New South Wales.

For five years he was the Head of Newcastle Chambers and maintains membership of those Chambers.

After four years of maintaining chambers in Phillip Street, Sydney, in 2018 he became a full-time member of Waratah Chambers and was appointed Head of Chambers in 2021.

He is a regular presenter at, and convenor of, domestic and international legal conferences and has guest lectured at Newcastle University Law School.