Petra specialises in domestic and international human rights, public and private comparative law, and international commercial law with an emphasis on international commercial contracts and dispute resolution. In addition, she teaches and consults on the law of unjust enrichment. Petra has particular expertise in law reform and has lead the 2020 Commonwealth Secretariat study into international commercial arbitration.
Petra is a fully qualified German and New Zealand lawyer. She is admitted as a barrister to the High Court of New Zealand and regularly advises private and public clients in her areas of expertise. Petra is also the Director of the Institute of Small and Micro States (ISMS). ISMS' aim is inter alia to provide independent expert advice and the placement of (regional) experts. One of the signature events is the yearly Small States conference co-organised with Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law which discusses international dispute resolution in relation to a theme relevant for small states, such as climate change.
Petra is a visiting professor at the Universities of Navarra (Spain) and Bahir Dar (Ethiopia) and has held visiting positions on all five continents. She also has been associated with the Willem C Vis Moot for 20 years including coaching the winning Victoria University of Wellington team in 2009 and arbitrating the final of the Vienna competition in 2020.
Petra is New Zealand's CLOUT correspondent for the CISG and the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts.
Petra sits on advisory boards of a number of human rights NGOs and has received a number of prizes and fellowships, including in 2018/19 the scholar-in-residency at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP and being a guest of the Max Planck Institute, Luxembourg, for Procedural Law.