Michael De Chiara, Zetlin & De Chiara LLP Photo

Michael K. De Chiara

Senior Partner
Hon. AIA New York State
  • New York, NY
    801 Second Avenue
    New York, NY 10017

Overview

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 successfully 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, successfully defending it against a claim in excess of $100 million in connection with a major Federal courthouse. Mr. De Chiara has also successfully 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.

Mr. De Chiara has given numerous presentations on issues affecting construction projects, has co-authored a well-respected book on construction law and is a frequent contributor of articles and quotes on issues affecting the design, construction and real estate industries. 

Experience

Honors

News & Events

News

Speaking Engagements

  • event
    06.12.2019
    The Times Center

    Michael De Chiara, Moderator

    Joe Landolina - Cresilon; Brett Spector - Fesarius Thereapeutics, David McElligot, Petra Pharma; Anna Weber - Kallyope

    We invite you to the Second Annual NYC Builds Bio+ Real Estate Development Symposium to examine the progress and potential that New York City has for the life sciences. The Symposium is NYC Builds Bio+’s flagship event and was launched in 2018 as a catalyst for driving targeted life science initiatives in New York City. All proceeds from the Symposium will be dedicated to supporting NYC Builds Bio+, New York’s premier not-for-profit association connecting commercial life science opportunities to the City’s real estate development community.

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    06.12.2019
    Helmsley Building

    Michael De Chiara, Senior Partner, Moderator

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    05.31.2017
    The Union League Club

    Michael De Chiara, Moderator

    Richard T. Anderson - New York Building; Jay Badame - AECOM Tishman; Sabrina Kanner - Brookfield Properties; Gary LaBarbera - Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York; Steve McGinnis - The New York City C

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    06.2011
    AIA-ACEC Committee Meetings
    Zetlin & De Chiara LLP
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    02.2011
    Insurance Industry Summit
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    05.2010
    AIA/ACEC Special Advisory Committee Meetings
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    The State of the Insurance Industry Managing Risk and Protecting Profitability
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    11.2009
    The Contractual and Liability Issues of BIM and IPD Webinar
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    10.2009
    AIA/ACEC Special Advisory Committee Meetings 
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    09.2009
    An Introduction to IPD Seminar Series 
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    07.2009
    Energy to Build New York
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    05.2009
    AIA/ACEC Special Advisory Committee Meetings 
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    05.2009
    CASE Spring Risk Management Convocation Breakfast: 9/11 Responders and the Structural Risk Involved 
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    01.2009
    The State of the Insurance Industry and Implications for Building New York 
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    11.2008
    The Current Economic Crisis and Its Impact For Regional Construction and Development 
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    11.2008
    AIA/ACEC Special Advisory Committee Meetings
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    09.2008
    Second Annual Architects and Engineers Expert Retreat: Integrated Project Delivery and BIM
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    08.2008
    BIM Symposium 
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    06.2008
    AIA/ACEC Special Advisory Committee Meetings
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    12.2007
    Annual Joint Session on Current Issues for Design Professionals 
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    10.2007
    AIA/ACEC Special Advisory Committee Meetings
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    06.2007
    Retrofitting Green: Why It Makes (Dollars and) Sense!
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    05.2007
    Annual Joint Session on Insurance Issues
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    11.2006
    Annual Joint Session on Insurance Issues
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    10.2006
    It's a BIM New World—The Next Revolution in Design and Construction Technology
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    10.2005
    Annual Joint Session on Insurance Issues
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    10.2004
    Annual Joint Session on Insurance Issues
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    10.2003
    Annual Joint Session on Insurance Issues
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    05.2003
    AIA National Conference, "Owner-Drafted Contracts: Sign Here Stupid!"
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    09.2002
    Water Intrusion and Mold Remediation in New York: Seminar Series

Publications

Affiliations

Organizations

  • American Council of Engineering Companies of New York— General Counsel; Member, Legal Counsel Forum
  • American Institute of Architects New York State — General Counsel
  • AIA – ACEC/NY Special Advisory Committees — Chairman
  • New York Building Foundation — Board Member/General Counsel
  • New York Landmarks Conservancy — Board of Directors
  • New York Building Congress — Member, Energy; Healthcare; Planning, Growth & Sustainability; Public Building & Procurement; and Transportation & Infrastructure Committees
  • Society of American Military Engineers
  • Real Estate Board of New York
  • Construction Management Association of America
  • American Bar Association — Member, Construction Industry Forum
  • New York City Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association

Faculty Memberships

  • Cornell University

Education

Vanderbilt University, J.D.

Columbia University, Graduate Program Architecture

SUNY at Stony Brook, M.S. 

SUNY at Stony Brook, B.E.M.E. Mechanical Engineering

Admissions

  • New York
  • New Jersey

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, New York
  • 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
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