Deanna L. Koestel

Partner

Background

Deanna L. Koestel concentrates her practice on commercial litigation, construction law, and general business law matters in New Jersey and New York. She is co-chair of the firm’s Construction Law practice.

Deanna represents both individual clients and business entities in multiple industries including construction, pharmaceutical and healthcare, and food, beverage and hospitality, among others. She routinely handles business disputes including partnership and shareholder matters, business torts, breach of non-competition and non-solicitation actions, breach of contract actions, fraud and consumer fraud actions, and breach of fiduciary duty claims. She often acts as an “outside” general counsel to her clients and regularly assists clients with responses to non-party subpoenas. Given her broad experience with the New Jersey and New York courts, she often acts as “local counsel” for foreign firms. Deanna is experienced in all aspects of commercial litigation from commencement through trial, and has in-depth knowledge and experience advising clients regarding electronically stored information (“ESI” or “e-discovery”), which is a critical component of modern litigation.

Deanna has significant experience in all aspects of construction law. She routinely represents residential and commercial property and business owners, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and manufacturers in all phases of the construction process. She also assists clients with drafting construction contracts and with various construction litigation issues including breach of contract, warranty actions, building supply defects, and professional liability disputes. She handles construction and mechanic’s lien issues on behalf of both owners and contractors. Deanna’s experience on the litigation side of construction matters has provided her with valuable insight that she uses to work with her clients in drafting agreements or prelitigation negotiation settings in order to minimize litigation risks when possible.

Deanna has been named a New Jersey Rising Star by the Business Litigation section of Super Lawyers for 10 consecutive years. She currently serves as a Board Member for the non-profit organization Girls on the Run NYC. She proudly served as Board President of that organization from 2015-2019.  In 2013, the non-profit organization H.A.R.K. (Healthy Active Responsible Kids) honored Deanna as its Volunteer of the Year. She was also a founding board member of Girls on the Run of Central New Jersey. 

Representative Matters

Construction Industry Representative Matters

  • Represents residential property owners in a breach of contract and construction litigation matter.
  • Represents residential property owners in connection with their construction of a luxury home.
  • Represents residential property owner in construction defect matter.
  • Represents architectural firm as general outside counsel.
  • Represents engineering firm in multi-party construction defect matter.
  • Represents a manufacturer in a personal injury matter related to its construction contract.
  • Successfully defended a contractor against claims of breach of contract and construction defect.
  • Negotiated construction contracts for a retail business owner in state-owned rail station.
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of an international mineral processing company against a manufacturer and fabricator on projects in several states.
  • Negotiated a favorable early settlement for an international manufacturer in a multi-party construction litigation matter through alternative dispute resolution process.
  • Represented a premier commercial construction company as general outside counsel on many contract and litigation matters.
  • Obtained an early dismissal of a surveyor in a multi-party construction litigation dispute.
  • Obtained favorable jury verdict defending a public housing authority in a construction litigation matter (as second chair)
  • Obtained a favorable jury verdict on behalf of a commercial business owner in a construction litigation matter (as second chair).
  • Obtained a favorable arbitration award on behalf of a commercial business owner in a construction arbitration (as second chair).

Pharmaceutical and Health Care Industry Representative Matters

  • Represents a physical therapy practice as its general “outside counsel.”
  • Represents pharmaceutical company in connection with third party subpoena.
  • Represents pharmaceutical manufacturing company in breach of contract action.
  • Represented health care recruitment and workforce management company in breach of contract action.
  • Represented an international publicly held pharmaceutical company in connection with responding to third party subpoenas in a multi-district litigation.
  • Represented dental manufacturing company in review and negotiation of construction contracts for build-out of their facilities.
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement for a national pharmaceutical company defending against claims related to breach of a marketing agreement.
  • Negotiated a favorable early settlement for a large medical group-health care provider defending against breach of contract claims.

Food, Beverage & Hospitality Industry Representative Matters

  • Represents a restaurant group as general outside counsel.
  • Represents a start-up beverage wholesale business.
  • Represents restaurant owner in new restaurant start-up.
  • Represents an interior design business focused on the hospitality industry.
  • Represents food manufacturer in various business matters.
  • Represented wine importer and distributor in breach of contract action brought by wine producer.
  • Represented 50% owner of restaurant in shareholder dispute and negotiated favorable settlement without litigation.
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement for a wine importer in connection with a breach of contract action.
  • Represented a family owned winery in connection with creating business agreements and negotiating a favorable settlement to collect overdue accounts from distributors.
  • Represented restaurant owner and secured discharge of mechanic’s liens and settlement of construction ligation dispute.
  • Secured a refund of defectively manufactured equipment for a locally-owned distillery.

Shareholder Disputes/ Business Law Representative Matters

  • Represents a minority shareholder in a case involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract.
  • Represents minority member of LLC in connection with restaurant startup including contract review and negotiation.
  • Represents LLC in connection with shareholder dispute by minority member.
  • Represented 50% owner of restaurant in shareholder dispute and negotiated favorable settlement without litigation.
  • Represented a group of LLC-members in a complex international shareholder dispute.
  • Successfully represented a group of LLC members in a case asserting breach of fiduciary duty claims against the company’s managing member.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Board President, 2015-2019, Girls on the Run NYC
  • Board Member, New York County Lawyers Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association

Bar/Court Admissions

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court, District of New Jersey
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court, Southern District of New York
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

Education

  • B.A., University of Maryland, 1999
  • J.D., Temple University Beasley School of Law, 2002

Honors and Accolades

  • Super Lawyers. New Jersey Rising Star 2010-2020
  • Volunteer of the Year,2013, Somerset Hills YMCA for her work as a Founding Board Member and Trustee for H.A.R.K. (Healthy Active Responsible Kids)