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 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 recognized for his experience and expertise as a leading construction lawyer by The Legal 500 and Super Lawyers. He is also a member of the New York Building Congress and the American Council of Engineering Companies.
Mr. Vardaro successfully represents clients in complex commercial and construction litigation matters in various 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 litigating, 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 holds the notable AV rating for ethical standards and legal ability from Martindale-Hubbell, and has been recognized as a top construction litigation attorney in New York by Super Lawyers Magazine. He was also named a Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America. He has been a featured guest lecturer at Columbia University and New York Polytechnic University speaking about legal issues in the construction industry.
The following are select representative matters:
News & Events
Zetlin & De Chiara LLP has been recognized as a leading construction law firm by The Legal 500 US in its annual guide.
CREWNY, Commercial Real Estate Women New York, announced boutique construction law firm Zetlin & De Chiara LLP as the recipient of the 2018 Sponsor of the Year Award. For nearly 20 years, the firm has supported CREWNY’s dedication to the advancement of professional women in commercial real estate through networking, education and leadership development.
Those in the construction industry may see themselves as traditional practitioners of an ancient trade, but as modern technology increasingly finds its way into their work, construction lawyers and their clients...
Zetlin & De Chiara LLP has been recognized for as a leading construction law firm by Legal 500 US in its annual guide.
- ZETLIN & DE CHIARA CONSIDERS THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT OF HEALTHCARE AT CONFERENCES IN NEW YORK AND TEXAS
As the healthcare industry evolves and healthcare facilities become increasingly specialized, these hospitals, ambulatory centers and other tertiary facilities are among the most expensive buildings to construct. To address the issues, two of the firm’s attorneys, Michael Zetlin and Michael Vardaro, will participate in national healthcare conferences this month.
- 12.31.2011Super Lawyers
- 2009Building With BIMNew York Construction
An article titled “Building With BIM” was published in the July 2009 issue of New York Construction with commentary by Michael J. Vardaro.
- In the January 14th, 21st and 28th issue of Crain’s New York Business, the recent partner promotions of Lori Samet Schwarz and Michael Vardaro were announced.
In the January 14th, 21st and 28th issue of Crain’s New York Business, the recent partner promotions of Lori Samet Schwarz and Michael Vardaro were announced.
- 08.20.2019State of Confusion: Laws and Regulations Impacting Multijurisdictional PracticesCenter 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.
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
- 2017Michael Vardaro, Moderator
- 2017Multijurisdictional Practices: An Exploration of the Financial, Legal and Marketing Issues related to Providing Services through Multiple Entities - CFO Forum
Michael Vardaro, Moderator
- 01.30.2017Michael Vardaro, Moderator
Michael Vardaro, Moderator
Patricia Harris - LicenseSure
- 11.01.2016Michael Vardaro, Moderator
- 11.2015Bisnow’s 6th Annual NYC Construction & Development Summit
- 08.2013Ethics for Design Professionals Webinar
- 06.2013AIA Trust RIsk ManagementAIA National Convention
- 06.2013Legal Issues in BIM
- 07.2012Ethics for Architects & Engineers
- 04.2012Bada Bing, Bada BIM: Sorting Through the Sizzle to Draft Meangingful BIM Contract Terms
- 03.2012BIM Legal Risk - Real or Imagined?
- 03.2012The Legal Risk of BIM
- 02.2012Engineering Ethics for International Projects
- 11.2011Energy, Energy, Energy
- 10.2011Fall Business Conference: Ethics for Engineers
- 05.201150th Annual Meeting of Invited Attorneys - The Citicorp Center Project: LeMessurier Stands Tall
- 05.2011BIM Legal Risk – Real or Imagined?
- 05.2011Engineering Ethics: Making the Right Choice
- 01.01.2011Ethics for Engineers
- 10.2010AIA New York State Convention: Is Your Firm Addressing Green Building Issues?
- 07.2010The Virtual Contractor: The Next Generation of Construction Contractors
- 07.2009Construction Contract Negotiations
- 11.2008AIA/ACEC Special Advisory Risk Management Committee Meeting: Insurance Perspectives
- 10.2008Architect Symposium: Ownership Transition
- 09.2008AIA New York State Convention - BIM: What Architects Need to Know
- 08.2008It's a BIM New World: The Next Revolution in Design and Construction Technology
- 06.2008AIA/ACEC Special Advisory Risk Management Committee Meeting: When the Crane Falls
- 02.2008New Contract Form
- 11.2007Second Annual BIM Symposium
- 12.2006Construction Scheduling
- 11.2006Design Build
- 10.2006New York State Next Generation Housing Convention: Design Build Project Delivery Alternative
- 05.2006ACEC Contracts Committee: Building Security Design
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.
- 01.2017Real Estate Weekly
- 09.2013Mann Report
- 05.2013AIA Trust
- 04.2012Bada Bing, Bada BIM: Sorting Through the Sizzle to Draft Meangingful BIM Contract TermsABA National Convention
- 02.2012New York's Design Professional Service Corporations: The New ChoiceZetlin & De Chiara LLP Review
- 07.2011Plugging Into Green To Power New YorkReal Estate Weekly
- 12.2010Construction and Corruption: The Foreign Corrupt Practices ActZetlin & De Chiara LLP Review
- 12.2010Greening the Globe: United Nations Developing Worldwide Building Emissions Monitoring StandardsZetlin & De Chiara LLP Review
- 11.2010USGBC Seeks Feedback on Proposed LEED Rating SystemsZetlin & De Chiara LLP News Bulletin
- 2009Weighing the Issues on BIM TechnologyZetlin & De Chiara LLP Review
- Spring 2008Doing Public Construction in NY? Wicks Law Changed Effective July 1stHammer Magazine
- 11.2005NYC to Require LEED Certification on New ProjectsNY Real Estate Journal
- 01.2004Implications of NYC's Building Code ChangesReal Estate Weekly
- 03.2003Design and Construction Entities and LicensingNew York Construction Law, Aspen Publishers
- American Bar Association
- American Council of Engineering Companies - Member, Legal Counsel Forum
- American Society of Civil Engineers
- Center for Active Design - Board Member
- Florida Bar Association
- New York Building Congress - Member, Energy, Environment, Public Procurement, Healthcare Committees
- New York State Bar Association
St. John's University, J.D.
Villanova University, B.C.E Civil Engineering
- New York
- New Jersey
- 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