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Sheila Birnbaum

Dechert LLP

Sheila L. Birnbaum is a partner at Dechert. She is co-chair of the firm’s product liability and mass torts practice and focuses on complex product liability, mass torts and insurance litigation.


  • victory for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, when the U.S. SC reversed $145 million award against the company
  • national counsel for Dow Corning Corporation in the breast implant litigation
  • national counsel for Aventis Crop Science in several class actions and multidistrict litigation arising out of biogenetic corn
  • national counsel for Thompson-Delaco in the over-the-counter drug “PPA”
  • $500 million settlement for 92 families of 9/11 victim, distributed nearly $2 billion to additional claimants


  • was co-chair of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan’s practice
  • was chair of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom’s product liability group
  • was a professor of law and associate dean at New York University School of Law.
  • elected to the ALI in 1983, elected to ALI Council in 1998, ALI Emeritus in 2013
  • serves as Chair of the Regional Advisory Group for the Second Region and as an Adviser for the Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance project
  • was previously an Adviser on the Principles of the Law of Aggregate Litigation project and the Complex Litigation project
  • first woman to become a tenured professor at Fordham University Law School
  • served as NYWBA President
  • Founder and past Director of WBASNY, a founder of the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations, and the first Co-President of the Judges and Lawyers’ Breast Cancer Alert


  • ABA Commission on Women in the Profession’s Margaret Brent Women of Achievement Award
  • Milton S. Gould Award for Outstanding Appellate Advocacy
  • Hunter College Hall of Fame