Deborah Bjornstad - Senior Associate

Profile: Deborah H. Bjornstad is an associate with 16 years of experience in both litigation and transactional practice. Deborah's experience in commercial litigation includes complex antitrust and commercial tort actions, professional and real estate partnership contract and fiduciary disputes, unauthorized practice of law, actuarial malpractice, civil RICO, common law fraud and intentional and negligent misrepresentation, defamation and Lanham Act, as well as common law false advertising claims. She also has substantial experience with executive severance and restrictive covenant disputes. Further, she has considerable experience in commercial and residential landlord tenant transactions and disputes. Deborah has negotiated and drafted contracts and performed and managed extensive due diligence, on major Philadelphia area mergers and acquisitions as well, including notable health care consolidations such as the formation of Virtua Health, the largest hospital system in Southern New Jersey. Some of Deborah's notable representations include:

Representation of an insurance and managed care consulting company in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania seeking emergency injunction relief and damages for former executive employee's violations of restrictive covenants.

Representation of an actuarial firm in a complex case involving liquidation of a New Jersey HMO.

Representation of a real estate developer in the Commerce Division of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in a construction contract dispute with subcontractor.

Representation of a major federal agency in federal receivership actions including related state court proceedings.

Representation of a major pharmaceutical distributor in the District of New Jersey in a complex contract dispute with a pharmaceutical manufacturer involving chargebacks and negative chargebacks, which was successfully settled. Handled complex issues and motion practice relating to accounting expert.

Representation of an insurance company in an age discrimination suit, resolved in mediation.

Representation of a major chemical company in Tennessee State Court, in which we obtained summary judgment on all claims, including religious discrimination claims and a claim brought under a state hate crime statute. Researched and drafted summary judgment motion.

Representation of a national bank in the Commerce Division of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, in which we sought emergency injunctive relief and successfully negotiated the favorable settlement of a restrictive covenant dispute.

Representation of a Bermudan reinsurer in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in which we obtained a TRO on 24 hours notice, enjoining an Australian reinsured from drawing down on a stand-by letter of credit in respect of an underlying claim which was disputed, and required to be resolved, in Australia.

Representation of a Netherlands company in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, in which we secured emergency discovery of documents located in Maryland, related to a dispute involving construction in Missouri, in the context of an international arbitration in Switzerland.

Representation of a Fortune 500 company in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in which we obtained the dismissal on summary judgment of securities fraud claims in connection with a public tender offer respecting convertible bonds.

Representation in which we obtained the dismissal of civil RICO, fraud, fraudulent misrepresentation, civil conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty claims, as well as a jury verdict in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on breach of contract claims involving a dispute between former law partners.

Representation of a company operating trash-to-steam plants and municipal waste incinerators in a complex case in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania involving intellectual property issues and Sherman Act, Lanham Act and common law false advertising, commercial disparagement, and tortious interference claims, that settled on the eve of trial.

Deborah enjoys performing legal work for area non-profits including the Bach Festival of Philadelphia, Choice, Inc., and Grace Temple Community Development Corporation. Deborah has been an associate at several notable Philadelphia- and Pittsburgh-based firms including Cohen, Shapiro, Polisher Sheikman & Cohen, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, Mann, Ungar, Spector & Labovitz, Pepper Hamilton and Buchanan Ingersoll before forming her own firm and later joining Binder & Canno as an associate.


  • University of Iowa College of Law, LL.M. International and Comparative Law, 1993
  • University of Iowa College of Law, J.D. with High Distinction, 1992
  • University of Iowa, M.A. Eighteenth Century French Literature, 1985
  • Oberlin College, B.A. French, 1980
Honors, Boards, Memberships:

  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Main Line Today – Top Lawyer (Labor and Employment) 2010