Firm Profile > Zetlin & De Chiara LLP > New York , United States

Zetlin & De Chiara LLP
801 SECOND AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10017
New York
United States

Construction (including construction litigation) Tier 2

Boutique New York construction firm Zetlin & De Chiara LLP acts for developers, owners, architects, engineers, construction managers and contractors. Founding partners Michael Zetlin and Michael De Chiara are 'superb litigators' and 'deliver results'; De Chiara recently represented Handel Architects and DeSimone Consulting Engineers in a high-profile construction dispute relating to the Millennium Tower in San Francisco. Issues with the tower are highly publicized, and the firm represents the clients in multiple actions totaling over $100m. The team includes 'excellent' managing partner Michael Vardaro, who is 'outstanding in his representation of clients and his knowledge of the law', in addition to of counsel Louis Dennis and associate Anthony Riverso. Vardaro also advised Shop Architects as one of the primary contractors on a new $1bn inner city mixed-use development project in Detroit. James Terry, who is 'extremely good at juggling a busy practice', was part of the team negotiating and drafting construction and lease agreements for the conversion of the former Bayview Women's Correctional Facility to a social services facility. He was supported by Carol Patterson, seen by some as 'one of the leaders in construction law'. Terry, as well as associates Richard Kalinowski and Chengdong Xing, was also part of a team led by Zetlin that represented a national real estate developer in disputes connected to the renovation of a transportation facility in Manhattan. Also highly recommended are senior associate Joeann Walker and Raymond Mellon, who has 'developed strong credentials with the design community', and Bill Chimos, Jaimee Nardiello and associate Roy Schwartz, who are 'all excellent and provide great value for their services'.

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.

Department Name Email Telephone
Contract preparation and negotiation
Litigation and alternate dispute resolution
Risk management
Corporate and employment
Professional licensing
Intellectual property and emerging technology
International projects
Photo Name Position Profile
 Michael Vardaro  photo Michael Vardaro
 Michael De Chiara  photo Michael De Chiara
 James Rowland  photo James Rowland
 Michael Zetlin  photo Michael Zetlin
 James Terry  photo James Terry
 Carol Patterson  photo Carol Patterson
 Raymond Mellon  photo Raymond Mellon
 Loryn Riggiola  photo Loryn Riggiola
 Timothy Hegarty  photo Timothy Hegarty
 Jaimee Nardiello  photo Jaimee Nardiello
 Bill Chimos  photo Bill Chimos
Co-Founding Partners : Michael K De Chiara
Co-Founding Partners : Michael S Zetlin
Managing Partner : Michael J Vardaro

Zetlin & De Chiara Partner James J. Terry to Present at the Practicing Law Institute’s 19th Annual

(New York, NY – Nov 27, 2017) Partner James J. Terry  of leading construction law firm Zetlin & De Chiara LLP will be a featured speaker at the Practicing Law Institute’s 19th Annual Commercial Real Estate institute in New York on December 4 and 5, 2017.


Zetlin & De Chiara Senior Partner Carol Patterson Named “Barrier-Breaker” by Commercial Observer

New York, NY (November 13, 2017) –  Carol J. Patterson, Senior Partner at construction law firm Zetlin & De Chiara LLP was honored by the Commercial Observer at its first-ever Women in Construction Awards for her precedent-setting achievements.


Joeann Walker of Zetlin & De Chiara LLP Selected As A Top Young Professional For 2018 By ENR

New York, NY (Dec 15, 2017) - Leading construction law firm Zetlin and De Chiara LLP announced today that Joeann Walker, an Associate at the firm, was named one of Engineering News Record’s (ENR) top young professionals in the New York region for 2018.


Zetlin & De Chiara Expands with Three New Hires

NEW YORK (January 29, 2018) – Zetlin & De Chiara LLP today announced that Elissa Rossi has joined the firm as an Associate Principal and Chengdong (C.D.) Xing and Anthony Riverso have joined as law clerks.


Zetlin & De Chiara LLP Partner Jaimee Nardiello Elected President of CREW New York

New York, NY (January 30, 2018) -  Zetlin and De Chiara LLP congratulates Partner Jaimee Nardiello on being elected 2018 President of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) New York, the region’s leading advocacy organization for professional women in real estate. Jaimee has been a member of CREW since 2012, serving on its special events and programs committees and as its President-Elect during 2017.


Zetlin & De Chiara LLP Promotes Roy Schwartz to Principal

NEW YORK (January 3, 2018) – Zetlin & De Chiara LLP is pleased to announce the promotion of Roy Schwartz to Principal.


Zetlin & De Chiara Llp Hosts “the Future Of Labor In Construction”

(New York – June 9, 2017) Zetlin & De Chiara, LLP hosted a panel of New York City’s leading real estate owners and developers, builders and union professionals on May 31, 2017 at the Union League Club to examine the state of union labor in New York and its impact on building.  The forum was moderated by co-founding partner Michael De Chiara.