Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C. Named New Jersey Law Journal’s Law Firm of the Year 2023*

Deanna L. Koestel, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C. Photo

Deanna L. Koestel

Partner and Chair, Construction Law & Executive Committee Member


Deanna L. Koestel is a highly accomplished attorney specializing in commercial litigation, construction law, and general business law matters across New Jersey and New York. As Chair of the firm's Construction Law practice and a partner in the Commercial Litigation practice, Deanna brings a wealth of expertise and a proven track record of success. She also serves as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.

With a diverse clientele encompassing individual clients and business entities, Deanna adeptly represents clients in various industries, including construction, pharmaceutical and healthcare, and food, beverage, and hospitality, among others. She skillfully handles complex business disputes, encompassing partnership and shareholder matters, business torts, non-competition and non-solicitation actions, breach of contract actions, fraud and consumer fraud actions, and breach of fiduciary duty claims. Deanna frequently serves as outside general counsel, providing strategic guidance to clients in developing business plans, managing risk, and efficiently resolving litigation matters. Her deep understanding of the New Jersey and New York courts enables her to act as local counsel for out-of-state firms and their clients.

In the realm of construction law, Deanna's extensive experience covers the representation of residential and commercial property and business owners, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and manufacturers throughout all phases of the construction process. She offers valuable assistance in drafting construction contracts and skillfully handles construction litigation issues, including breach of contract, warranty actions, building supply defects, and professional liability disputes. Deanna also specializes in construction and mechanic's lien matters, providing comprehensive support to both owners and contractors. Leveraging her litigation background, Deanna proactively advises clients on risk mitigation strategies during contract drafting and pre-litigation negotiations.

Deanna actively contributes to the advancement of women in the legal profession. She is a valued member of the firm's Women's Leadership Committee and holds the prestigious position of North American Chair for the Women of Interlaw Network, an affinity group within the globally recognized Chambers-rated Interlaw law firm network, of which the firm is a member.

Beyond her legal accomplishments, Deanna is an engaged member of several professional organizations, including Together Hospitality NYC and the New York City Hospitality Group. She currently serves as a Board Member for Girls on the Run NYC, where she previously held the position of Board President from 2015-2019. Deanna is also a valued member of the Rotary Club of New Paltz. In recognition of her dedication to community service, Deanna was honored as Volunteer of the Year by H.A.R.K. (Healthy Active Responsible Kids) in 2013. Additionally, she played a pivotal role as a founding board member of Girls on the Run of Central New Jersey.

Deanna L. Koestel's exceptional legal skills, extensive experience, and commitment to community engagement make her an invaluable asset to both her clients and the legal profession as a whole.


Representative Matters

Our firm is proud of the results it has achieved for clients, some of which are noted here.  Of course, each legal matter is unique on many levels, and past successes are not a guarantee of results in any other pending or future matters.

Construction Industry Representative Matters

  • Successfully represented residential property owners in a breach of contract and construction litigation matter against their general contractor.
  • Represents architectural firm as general outside counsel.
  • Represents engineering firm in multi-party construction defect matter.
  • Represents an environmental contracting firm in connection with payment claims against a New York City public agency.
  • Successfully defended and obtained dismissal of claims against a general contractor by a commercial business owner asserting breach of contract and construction defect.
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of an international mineral processing company against a manufacturer and fabricator on projects in several states.
  • Represented a premier commercial construction company as general outside counsel on many contract and litigation matters throughtout the Northeast region.
  • Represented a surveyor in a multi-party construction litigation dispute and through extensive negotiations secured an early pre-discovery dismissal of the client.
  • Represented a public housing authority in a construction litigation matter brought against it by a contractor seeking millions of dollars for a terminated contract for the construction of low income housing units before any units were constructed. After a three-week long trial, the jury returned a favorable jury verdict for the housing authority. 
  • Represented a commercial business owner in a breach of contract action brought against its general contractor for breach of contract, defective construction and fraud. The jury returned a favorable verdict on behalf of the company against the contractor.
  • Represented a commercial business owner in a complex construction arbitration against its general contractor, construction manager, and architect for breach of contract and defective construction.  After a multi-week arbitration hearing, the arbitrator returned an award in favor of the business owner.

Pharmaceutical and Health Care Industry Representative Matters

  • Represents several physical therapy practices as their general “outside counsel.”
  • Represented prominent cardiology group and individual cardiologists in a business tort case brought against them by a specialty hospital asserting claims of tortious interference and unfair competition relating to the group’s referral practices. Retained after the trial court had just denied defendants’ motions for summary judgment and facing a trial that was expected to last several months, we spearheaded the filing of new motions for summary judgment that raised dispositive issues that had not yet been addressed in the more than seven-year-old litigation. Following extensive briefing, the trial court dismissed all of the hospital’s claims with prejudice. The hospital had been seeking nearly $30 million in compensatory damages and an award of punitive damages. On appeal, the Appellate Division affirmed the dismissal of 99% of the hospital’s damages claim and remanded for further proceedings on claims valued at less than $300,000. The case settled during trial, shortly after the parties selected a jury and delivered opening statements. Represented an international publicly held pharmaceutical company in connection with responding to third party subpoenas in a multi-district litigation.
  • Represented an international publicly held pharmaceutical company in connection with responding to multiple third party subpoenas in a multi-district litigation.
  • Represented dental manufacturing company in review and negotiation of multiple construction contracts for build-out of their manufacturing facilities and handled variety of construction related matters for the client during construction, including lien, bond and insurance matters.
  • 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 shareholder dispute with the co-founder/owner of the business. 
  • Represents an interior design business focused on the hospitality industry as its general outside counsel.
  • Represents food manufacturer in various business and constuction matters.
  • Represented wine importer and distributor in breach of contract action brought by wine producer and successfully negotiated a settlement.
  • Represented 50% owner of restaurant in shareholder dispute and negotiated favorable settlement and buy-out terms without litigation.
  • 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 in connection with multiple mechanic’s liens filed by the general contractor and subcontractor and secured discharge of mechanic’s liens and settlement of construction litigation dispute.
  • Represented a locally-owned distillery in several contract actions, including securing a refund of defectively manufactured equipment critical to its business.

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.
  • Represented 50% owner and co-founder of skincare and beauty company in connection with claims of breach of fiduciary duty and negotiated favorable settlement without litigation.
  • Successfully represented a group of LLC-members in a complex international shareholder dispute where the clients won control of the LLC after a decade-long dispute.
  • Successfully represented a group of LLC members in a case asserting breach of fiduciary duty claims against the company’s managing member.


Honors & Recognitions

  • Selected for inclusion in the list of Best Lawyers in America, 2024
  • Selected for inclusion in the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers, 2023-2024
  • Selected for inclusion in the list of Super Lawyers New York Metro, 2022-2023
  • Selected for inclusion in the list of Super Lawyers New York Metro: Women's Edition list, 2022-2024
  • Selected for inclusion in the list of Super Lawyers, New Jersey Rising Star, 2008-2017
  • 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) 

The Best Lawyers list is issued by Woodward/White, Inc. A description of the selection methodology can be found at

The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at

The Rising Stars list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at

No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

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Community & Professional

  • Member, Together Hospitality NYC

  • North American Chair, Women of Interlaw Network
  • New York City Hospitality Group
  • New Paltz Rotary Club
  • Board Member, Girls on the Run NYC (Board President, 2015-2019) 

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit


B.A., University of Maryland, 1999

J.D., Temple University Beasley School of Law, 2002

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