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Zetlin & De Chiara LLP

Work +1 212 682 6800
Fax +1 212 682 6861
Caldwell, New York, Stamford

Zetlin & De Chiara LLP provides sophisticated, innovative legal representation and business counsel to some of the world’s most prominent architects, engineers, real estate owners and commercial and residential developers on all aspects of complex construction projects and disputes. The firm brings a rare blend of expertise from prior experience as in-house construction counsel, education in engineering and architecture and LEED accreditation. Zetlin & De Chiara has been involved with many iconic projects in the education, healthcare, hospitality, infrastructure, transportation, environmental and energy sectors. The firm provides counsel throughout the construction planning, design and building processes, from drafting and negotiating contracts to developing risk-management strategies. Well known for its courtroom prowess, the firm also represents clients in mediation and alternative dispute resolution. Zetlin & De Chiara represents domestic and international clients in high-stakes, bet-the-firm matters. Many of the lawsuits in which the firm has been involved concern projects outside the United States. Zetlin & De Chiara also assists clients with business formation, licensing, and corporate issues. Clients also seek the firm’s guidance on the benefits and challenges of new technologies, innovative methodologies, alternative construction delivery methods and industry trends.

Main areas of practice

Contract preparation and negotiation: Zetlin & De Chiara has long been recognized as the pre-eminent firm in the drafting and negotiating of construction agreements between design professionals/owners, design professionals/sub-consultants, owners/contractors, owners/construction managers and owners/owners’ representatives. The firm is also well-versed in project labor agreements. Its attorneys are highly skilled in navigating the nuances of all construction delivery methods, including design-bid-build, design-build, construction management and integrated project delivery. The firm has experience with the full range of public and private sector construction projects, including commercial, infrastructure, industrial, residential, institutional, retail and mixed-use.

Litigation and alternate dispute resolution: drawing on their prior experience in architecture, engineering, construction and real estate, Zetlin & De Chiara attorneys recognize issues quickly and advocate proficiently on technical matters. The firm brings this depth of expertise to courtroom trials, mediations, arbitrations, appeals and administrative proceedings. The firm advises on strategies designed to prevent lengthy and expensive trials and aggressively represents clients during unavoidable litigation matters at both the state and federal levels.

Risk management: the firm is skilled at devising strategies to reduce clients’ exposure and strengthen their position throughout all phases of projects. The firm has successfully pursued and defended claims under general liability, first-party property coverage, OCIPs, CCIPs, Subguard and professional liability policies. The firm also advises on the management of changing circumstances, appropriate documentation and project restructuring.

Corporate and employment: the firm acts as general business counsel, offering specific guidance on how to prevent legal problems and how to protect its clients when issues do arise.

Professional licensing: licensing and registration standards for architects and engineers are complex, and can vary between states and among countries. The firm ensures that clients meet the requirements unique to each project. The firm assists with offshore compliance issues through its long-standing relationships with global counsel.

Intellectual property and emerging technology: Zetlin & De Chiara alerts clients to potential intellectual property issues involving new technologies and delivery protocols, such as building information modeling and integrated project delivery. The firm also offers the technical knowledge and experience necessary to prepare its clients for the impact these advancements will have on the planning, design and building processes.

International projects: the firm is dedicated to helping clients navigate the increasingly complex landscape of international construction. The firm’s attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of intricacies involved in conducting business internationally. They also work closely with local counsel to enable clients to carefully evaluate international opportunities.

  • Co-Founding Partners
  • Michael K De Chiara
  • Michael S Zetlin
  • Managing Partner
  • Michael J Vardaro

Above material supplied by Zetlin & De Chiara LLP.

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