Peter R. Silverman


With more than 40 years of experience, Peter focuses his practice in the areas of commercial litigation and general business counsel. He is outside general counsel to a billion-dollar international beverage producer, and has specialties in franchising/distribution, alternative dispute resolution, and intellectual property.

As a neutral, Peter founded and is a trustee of the Early Dispute Resolution Institute ( He has been an active arbitrator since 1986 and a mediator since 1990. He is a fellow of the Commercial College of Arbitrators, a member of the American Arbitration Association Large, Complex Case Arbitration Panel, and the Ohio Chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. He was the first United States arbitrator appointed to the Chair/Sole Arbitrator Panel of the European Union-based International Distribution Institute, which offers expedited arbitration for international distribution and franchising disputes. He formerly chaired the Early Dispute Resolution Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution and the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Committee of the American Bar Association Franchising Forum. He teaches seminars nationwide and writes widely on alternative dispute resolution.

Clients look to Peter for his business experience. From 2013 to 2016, Peter was an active partner in the Oasis restaurant chain, which was elected to the Northwest Ohio Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence Hall of Fame in 2014. Between 2004 and 2010, Peter owned and was President of Hi-Genomics, a biotechnology company that genetically transformed plants. Committed to helping entrepreneurial businesses, he received the 1989 Ernst and Young/Inc. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his work in helping business owners start and grow their businesses. In addition, Peter is an individual member of The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence Hall Of Fame.

Peter also served two terms on the Toledo City Council, two terms on the Toledo School Board, and served on the Ohio Casino Commission in writing Ohio’s regulatory framework for casinos and granting licenses to operators.

Media Mentions:

  • General outside counsel to food-product business expanding manufacturing and distribution worldwide.
  • Arbitration panel chair of case regarding breach of franchise agreement with potential damages exceeding $10 million. 
  • Resolved class-action consumer fraud action for defendant in class-action-friendly district for de minimis payment.
  • Represented franchisee association and many individual franchisees in resolving claims in franchisor bankruptcy.
  • Attained 7-figure award in arbitration against breaching multi-unit franchisee.