Michael De Chiara > Zetlin & De Chiara LLP > New York, United States > Lawyer Profile
Zetlin & De Chiara LLP Offices
801 SECOND AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10017
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Michael De Chiara
Domestic and International Construction Disputes
Construction Contract Negotiation
Known for strategic thinking and successful representation of numerous clients in some of the most high profile construction cases of the last 20 years, Michael K. De Chiara is one of the pre-eminent construction lawyers in the country.
Mr. De Chiara regularly represents clients in domestic and international construction disputes where the hard dollar amounts in controversy exceed $100 million. For example, he defended the engineer in the collapse of a major casino, and the resultant claims of over $300 million. He prevailed on behalf of another (engineer) in a suit brought by a large California hospital where the claim exceeded $150 million. Mr. De Chiara is the only construction attorney in private practice who has represented the Federal General Services Administration, defending it against a claim in excess of $100 million in connection with a major Federal office building. Mr. De Chiara has also represented the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority in several major litigations. Mr. De Chiara is currently involved in the most high profile construction dispute in the United States involving a large condominium in San Francisco.
Mr. De Chiara is also highly regarded in the area of construction contract negotiation and drafting. For example, he represented the United Nations in developing their model design build agreement to be used throughout the world. He has drafted owner-contractor agreements for construction budgets up to $850 million on behalf of New York City’s most prominent real estate owners. Recently, Mr. De Chiara was retained to negotiate the largest private Project Labor Agreement for a single building in the history of the United States. He has been involved in Public Private Partnership ventures and has negotiated and drafted contracts for Integrated Project Delivery projects. Mr. De Chiara was involved in negotiating and drafting the engineering contracts for the rebuild of the World Trade Center buildings in New York, representing clients dealing with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Silverstein Properties. He negotiated the architectural contract for the World Trade Center Memorial, the engineering and architectural contracts for the Hudson Yards Development, the largest private building development in the history of the United States, and architectural and engineering contracts for virtually every other building type in the country
Mr. De Chiara is active in many organizations and serves on the Boards of Directors of The New York Landmarks Conservancy and The New York Building Foundation. In addition, Mr. De Chiara serves as the General Counsel for the American Institute of Architects, New York State and the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York. On a pro-bono basis, he litigated to protect and preserve the famous Picasso work Le Tricorne, which was located in the Four Seasons Restaurant in the Seagram Building in New York City.
Mr. De Chiara is a recipient of the AIA New York State President’s Citation for Outstanding Service, and the March of Dimes’ Thomas E. Diana Spirit of Volunteerism Award in recognition of his dedication to the community.
Vanderbilt University, J.D.
Columbia University, Graduate Program Architecture
SUNY Stony Brook, Quantitative Policy Analysis, M.S.
SUNY Stony Brook, Mechanical Engineering, B.E.M.E.
Lawyer Rankings(Leading lawyers)
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‘.