Michael Vardaro, Zetlin & De Chiara LLP Photo

Michael J. Vardaro

Managing Partner
LEED AP
  • New York, NY
    801 Second Avenue
    New York, NY 10017

Overview

Michael J. Vardaro, Managing Partner at Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, is a former construction worker with a degree in civil engineering who focuses his practice on construction litigation, drafting and negotiating construction contracts, and providing advice to a variety of construction industry clients.

Mr. Vardaro's unique background gives him the ability to understand the intricacies and nuances of the construction process and to provide focused and innovative counseling to clients ranging from construction companies to owners/developers to architects and engineers.

Mr. Vardaro successfully represents clients in complex commercial and construction litigation matters in venues across the country. He has extensive experience resolving claims through mediation as well as representing clients before administrative boards and arbitration panels. 

In addition to dispute resolution, Mr. Vardaro drafts and negotiates complex construction contracts for various project types around the world and regularly counsels clients with respect to professional licensing, corporate organization and transition, general business matters, risk management and insurance issues. He works extensively with regard to advancements in the construction process, including design build, integrated project delivery (IPD), building information modeling (BIM), and sustainable/green design and construction. Other relevant experience includes representing clients in international matters including in the Middle East.

Mr. Vardaro is well known for expertise on the ethics of construction, and is a frequent speaker on the topic. He has a particular interest in the Citicorp building in midtown Manhattan and the ethical issues that arose many years after that project was completed. He appeared on the Science Channel series Engineering Catastrophes ​to discuss problems with the building's design.

Mr. Vardaro was named a Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America. He was recognized for his experience and expertise as a leading construction lawyer by The Legal 500, Super Lawyers and has received the notable AV from Martindale-Hubbell.  Mr. Vardaro has also been a featured guest lecturer at Columbia University and New York Polytechnic University speaking about legal issues in the construction industry. 

Mr. Vardaro is a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Active Design. He is also a member of the New York Building Congress and the American Council of Engineering Companies.


​Michael Vardaro was featured in Engineering Catastrophes, Science Channel.

Experience

Representative Matters

Mr. Vardaro successfully represents clients in complex commercial and construction litigation matters in venues across the country. He has extensive experience resolving claims through mediation as well as representing clients before administrative boards and arbitration panels. 

In addition to dispute resolution, Mr. Vardaro drafts and negotiates complex construction contracts for various project types around the world and regularly counsels clients with respect to professional licensing, corporate organization and transition, general business matters, risk management and insurance issues.

The following are select representative matters:

Aviation

Commercial

Correctional Institutions

Environmental

Government

Hospitality

Commercial

Hospitality

Infrastructure

Manufacturing

Mixed-Use

P3, EPC & Design-Build

Power Generation & Distribution

Residential

Mixed-Use

Sports & Entertainment

Mixed-Use

Honors

Honors & Recognitions

News & Events

News

Speaking Engagements

  • event
    08.20.2019
    Center for Architecture

    Michael J. Vardaro - Managing Partner 

    Patricia A. Harris - Founder and CEO of LicenseSure LLC 

    State laws and regulations affecting architectural practice are voluminous, conflict from state to state, and can impact fundamental aspects of doing business—including licensing, entity formation, marketing, branding and solicitations. For those unaware of or failing to heed the rules, these laws and regulations can result in disciplinary proceedings. This seminar will highlight specific areas where firms, often inadvertently, breach local laws or ethical rules, and will address when regulatory authorities are likely to look for violations. 

  • event
    11.30.2018

    Michael Vardaro, Moderator

    Keith J. Stevens - L’Abbate, Balkan, Colavita & Contini, LLP; Vince Cammalleri - Simpson Gumpertz & Heger; Charles F. Boland - GREYHAWK; Nathaniel B. Smith - Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

  • event
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    2017
    Multijurisdictional Practices: An Exploration of the Financial, Legal and Marketing Issues related to Providing Services through Multiple Entities - CFO Forum
  • event
    09.19.2017

    Michael Vardaro, Moderator

  • event
    01.30.2017
    Michael Vardaro, Moderator
  • event

    Michael Vardaro, Moderator

    Patricia Harris - LicenseSure

  • event
    11.01.2016
    Michael Vardaro, Moderator
  • event
    11.2015
    Bisnow’s 6th Annual NYC Construction & Development Summit
  • event
  • event
    08.2013
    Ethics for Design Professionals Webinar
  • event
    06.2013
    AIA Trust RIsk Management
    AIA National Convention
  • event
    06.2013
    Legal Issues in BIM
  • event
    07.2012
    Ethics for Architects & Engineers
  • event
    04.2012
    Bada Bing, Bada BIM: Sorting Through the Sizzle to Draft Meangingful BIM Contract Terms
  • event
    03.2012
    BIM Legal Risk - Real or Imagined?
  • event
    03.2012
    The Legal Risk of BIM
  • event
    02.2012
    Engineering Ethics for International Projects
  • event
    11.2011
    Energy, Energy, Energy
  • event
    10.2011
    Fall Business Conference: Ethics for Engineers
  • event
    05.2011
    50th Annual Meeting of Invited Attorneys - The Citicorp Center Project: LeMessurier Stands Tall
  • event
    05.2011
    BIM Legal Risk – Real or Imagined?
  • event
    05.2011
    Engineering Ethics: Making the Right Choice
  • event
    01.01.2011
    Ethics for Engineers
  • event
    10.2010
    AIA New York State Convention: Is Your Firm Addressing Green Building Issues?
  • event
    07.2010
    The Virtual Contractor: The Next Generation of Construction Contractors
  • event
    07.2009
    Construction Contract Negotiations
  • event
    11.2008
     AIA/ACEC Special Advisory Risk Management Committee Meeting: Insurance Perspectives
  • event
    10.2008
    Architect Symposium: Ownership Transition 
  • event
    09.2008
    AIA New York State Convention - BIM: What Architects Need to Know
  • event
    08.2008
    It's a BIM New World: The Next Revolution in Design and Construction Technology
  • event
    06.2008
    AIA/ACEC Special Advisory Risk Management Committee Meeting: When the Crane Falls
  • event
    02.2008
    New Contract Form
  • event
    11.2007
    Second Annual BIM Symposium
  • event
    12.2006
    Construction Scheduling
  • event
    11.2006
    Design Build
  • event
    10.2006
    New York State Next Generation Housing Convention: Design Build Project Delivery Alternative
  • event
    05.2006
    ACEC Contracts Committee: Building Security Design

Publications

  • publication
    10.23.2018

    Summer turned up the heat at Zetlin & De Chiara LLP where we were involved in two of the most prominent construction cases in the nation. With attorneys airborne between the East and West Coasts, the office has been busy on the ground with client matters, fielding questions from the press, speaking at industry events and supporting community and professional organizations. Even as the temperature outside cools, our high level of activity shows no signs of chilling.

  • publication
  • publication
  • publication
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  • publication
    04.2012
    Bada Bing, Bada BIM: Sorting Through the Sizzle to Draft Meangingful BIM Contract Terms
    ABA National Convention
  • publication
    02.2012
    New York's Design Professional Service Corporations: The New Choice
    Zetlin & De Chiara LLP Review
  • publication
    07.2011
    Plugging Into Green To Power New York
    Real Estate Weekly
  • publication
    12.2010
    Construction and Corruption: The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
    Zetlin & De Chiara LLP Review
  • publication
    12.2010
    Greening the Globe: United Nations Developing Worldwide Building Emissions Monitoring Standards
    Zetlin & De Chiara LLP Review
  • publication
    11.2010
    USGBC Seeks Feedback on Proposed LEED Rating Systems
    Zetlin & De Chiara LLP News Bulletin
  • publication
    2009
    Weighing the Issues on BIM Technology
    Zetlin & De Chiara LLP Review
  • publication
    Spring 2008
    Doing Public Construction in NY? Wicks Law Changed Effective July 1st
    Hammer Magazine
  • publication
    11.2005
    NYC to Require LEED Certification on New Projects
    NY Real Estate Journal
  • publication
    01.2004
    Implications of NYC's Building Code Changes
    Real Estate Weekly
  • publication
    03.2003
    Design and Construction Entities and Licensing
    New York Construction Law, Aspen Publishers

Affiliations

Education

St. John's University, J.D.

Villanova University, B.C.E Civil Engineering

Admissions

  • New York
  • Florida
  • New Jersey

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of Vermont
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