McHugh was head of Eversheds’ Birmingham commercial practice and left earlier this year after the corporate and commercial groups merged.
At Pinsents McHugh will head up the commercial practice, which forms part of the outsourcing, technology and commercial group led by Clive Seddon.
Seddon told The Lawyer McHugh will play a leading role in the firm’s push for new business.
“We’ve always regarded commercial work as being an important component in our relationships with our clients,” he added. “Peter has a strong track record in winning pitches and developing client relationships, which is critical to our business success. Eversheds’ loss is our gain.”