Sheila L. Birnbaum


Sheila L. Birnbaum, Co-Chair of the Product Liability and Mass Torts Practice at Dechert, LLP, is one of the country’s preeminent product liability defense lawyers. She has served as national or lead counsel for many Fortune 500 companies and was previously head or co-head of the products liability practices at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Skadden, Arps. She has argued many appeals, including before the U.S. Supreme Court, where she won three major cases. She has been named one of the leading products liability lawyers in the world by The International Who’s Who of Product Liability, one of the ten most admired attorneys by Law 360, and one of the 25 most influential women by Crain’s New York Business. As a court-appointed mediator, she achieved a $500 million settlement for 92 families of 9/11 victims. In 2011, as Special Master of the September 11 Victims Compensation Fund, she distributed nearly $2 billion to additional claimants. Ms. Birnbaum was the first woman to become a tenured professor at Fordham University Law School and was a Professor and Associate Dean at New York University Law School. In addition to serving as NYWBA President and in other bar leadership positions, she is a 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.  Her innumerable awards include the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession’s Margaret Brent Women of Achievement Award, and the Milton S. Gould Award for Outstanding Appellate Advocacy. She is a member of the Hunter College Hall of Fame.