Berglind Halldorsdottir Birkland is a member of the International Dispute Resolution Group and is based in the New York office. Ms. Birkland represents and advises both corporations and sovereign States in investor-State and commercial disputes in a range of industries, including mining, oil & gas, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, and financial services. She also advises investment firms and asset managers in evaluating investments in international claims or arbitration awards.

Ms. Birkland is actively involved in the firm’s pro bono practice, particularly in the areas of immigrant rights and media freedom. She is currently leading Debevoise’s representation of two dozen Afghan asylum seekers in the United States, including young female professionals and college students as well as journalists and media workers. In recognition of her commitment to such pro bono work, she has twice been awarded the Legal Aid Society’s Pro Bono Publico Award for outstanding pro bono service. She was also part of a team recognized by the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice at its Celebration of Pro Bono Excellence for work preparing submissions to the International Criminal Court.

Ms. Birkland joined the firm in 2009. She received a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 2009 where she was a notes editor of the New York University Law Review. She received a B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota in 2006.

Ms. Birkland speaks frequently on international investment law and has guest-lectured at NYU Law School and the University of Minnesota Law School. She has served as a faculty member at the ABA International Law Section’s International Arbitration Skills Masterclass and the Cross Examination Moot hosted by Sciences Po Law School. She served on the organizing committee for the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law.

Ms. Birkland’s recent publications include “Record-Breaking International Arbitration Awards – Is International Arbitration an Effective Remedy?” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Institute (2021) (with Natalie Reid) and “Key Duties of International Investment Arbitrators: A Transnational Study of Legal and Ethical Dilemmas,” ICSID Review (2019) (with Ina Popova).

Ms. Birkland is a member of the Bars of New York and Minnesota. She is a native speaker of Icelandic.


  • New York University School of Law, 2009, J.D.
  • University of Minnesota, 2006, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • Minnesota