Peter C. Ward

Peter C. Ward has been practicing law in the areas of Real Estate, Construction, Insurance and Business Litigation for 30 years. After attending Yale University and then University of California San Diego for his undergraduate studies, Peter received his JD from University of San Diego School of Law in 1986. He became a partner at Chapin Fleming & Winet (later known as Chapin Shea McNitt & Carter) in 1991 where he headed up the Real Estate and Construction Litigation Department for over 10 years. During his early years in practice, Peter was fortunate to be mentored by and second-chair trials with distinguished trial lawyers including Edward D. Chapin, Robert S. Brewer and George E. Fleming. After helping build the firm from 5 lawyers to over 50 lawyers in four office locations, Peter moved into a smaller practice and in 2004 joined forces with Christopher H. Hagen and formed Ward & Hagen LLP.  In Fall 2019, Peter ventured back into solo practionership and formed The Law Office of Peter C. Ward, Inc.


Peterhas participated in a variety of jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations and has briefed and argued several cases before the California Court of Appeals. Peter has represented residential and commercial property developers, general contractors and virtually every sub-trade, from concrete to roofing, in matters including delay and disruption claims, insurance coverage and bad faith, Earthquake damage claims, professional negligence of civil engineers, architects, insurance agents/brokers, real estate licensees, EIFS litigation, mass torts, class-action, managed care/retirement projects, environmental clean-up, mold and contamination claims, fraud and non-disclosure and various business torts including breach of fiduciary duties. Representative matters include:


  • $7.5 million verdict for a client after jury trial in case arising out of fire loss to hotel property and claims against insurer and insurance broker. Mr. Ward was recognized with award as Outstanding Trial Lawyer by CASD for this verdict
  • $1.3 million arbitration award for client in case between joint venture partners in real estate development dispute
  • Seven-figure recovery for hotel owner after initial insurance coverage denial by insurer
  • Defense verdict with an award of all attorneys’ fees representing defendants in non-disclosure case seeking over $500,000 from clients
  • Mr. Ward’s transactional practice has included a variety of real estate development projects from single- family spec and custom homes to multi-family residential, mixed use and an emphasis on hotel/hospitality properties.  Mr. Ward has handled the negotiation and drafting of legal agreements for a variety of residential and commercial projects including sales, leasing, condominium formation and conversions, disputes regarding easements, property lines, encroachments etc
  • Mr. Ward has handled the drafting of contracts and documents for purchase and sale of operating hotel properties as well as acquisition, entitlements and construction agreements for branded hotel properties from raw land to finished product
  • Mr. Ward has handled all aspects of business entity formation and acquisitions and sales of hotel and mixed-use properties, including debt financing and private equity


Awards & Recognition


  • AV rated by Martindale Hubbell (Preeminent Highest Rating in Legal Ability and Ethical Standards) 20 years in a row.
  • Top Lawyers in San Diego – San Diego Magazine
  • Top Lawyers in Southern California
  • Award as “Outstanding Trial Lawyer” – Consumer Attorneys of San Diego


Professional Activities


  • Past-President, Board of Directors San Diego Defense Lawyers Association (1997-1999)
  • Completed Mediation training at Straus Institute Pepperdine Law School (#1 Ranked Program for dispute resolutions – regarded as nation’s premier institute for mediation, arbitration, dispute resolution).
  • Judge Pro Tem, San Diego Small Claims Court
  • Arbitrator, San Diego Superior Court
  • Licensed California Real Estate Broker (2003-2007)
  • Instructor, San Diego Inn of Court Trial Tactics and Techniques
  • Speaker on Construction Litigation Issues to various professional and trade organizations
  • Past member of San Diego Building Industry Association; Association of Building Contractors (Legislative Committee Member); Defense Research Institute (DRI); Association of Southern California Defense Counsel.
  • San Diego Barristers Club – Board of Directors


Civic/Community Activities


  • Chairman, S.D. County Bar Attorney Assistance Committee
  • Volunteers of America Board of Directors
  • Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce

image149