Contract Negotiation & Preparation


An effective and comprehensive contract is the foundation of a successful construction project. Zetlin & De Chiara has long been recognized as the preeminent firm in drafting and negotiating construction contracts and other agreements on behalf of Design Professionals, Real Estate Owners and Developers, Sub-Consultants, Construction Managers, and Owner's Representatives.

The contract development process begins with the client. We take the time to learn your objectives, concerns, and expectations. We thoroughly evaluate the implications, identify potentially unforeseen consequences of complex contract provisions, and capitalize on our clients' strongest points of leverage. The result is an agreement tailored to meet a client's needs in order to build a successful project.

Our attorneys produce contracts that allocate risks and responsibilities, anticipate and prevent ambiguities, as well as provide mechanisms to avoid disputes arising from contract performance. We are familiar with all construction delivery methods, including design-bid-build, design-build, construction management and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), as well as the full range of public and private sector construction projects, including commercial, infrastructure, industrial, residential, institutional, retail, and mixed-use.

Zetlin & De Chiara is also well-versed in Project Labor Agreements (PLAs), which are used by owners and their constructors to govern the workplace rules for all of the trades on a project.

PLAs help owners and their constructors avoid uncertainty, confusion and work stoppages. PLAs can also save money. On a typical construction project, an owner and its constructor will work with many trades (carpenters, iron workers, masons, etc.). Each of these trades would otherwise be governed by its own collective bargaining agreements (CBA), with its own set of work rules such as rates for overtime, shift time premiums, working hours and the number of holidays observed. The CBAs will likely expire or come up for renegotiation at different points during the construction of the project, thereby reinforcing uncertainty and non-uniformity.  Zetlin & De Chiara advises clients on the suitability and practicality of PLAs for particular projects.  Once the client decides to have a PLA govern the trades working on the project, Zetlin & De Chiara negotiates the terms and crafts the agreement.


Representative Matters

News & Events




  • publication

    The New York City Council passed Local Law No. 97 of 2019 on April 18, 2019 and Local Law No. 147, amending Local Law No. 97, on June 26, 2019, both of which became effective as of November 15, 2019 (collectively “LL97”). LL97 ushers in a new era of stringent climate control regulations for the City, applicable to both existing buildings and new buildings. Though LL97’s emissions limitations do not begin until 2024, real estate owners and design professionals are already busy considering how the new limitations will impact current buildings, as well as those being contemplated for the future. This client alert intends to summarize LL97’s emission standards so that our clients may consider them when conceptualizing new projects and, where feasible and appropriate, recommend design elements and building systems to assist owners in meeting their new obligations.

  • publication

    Following our webinar, COVID-19 Challenges to the Construction Industry, we assembled a Questions & Answers based upon questions participants posed and to issues we discussed.

  • publication

    As 2019 drew to a close, Governor Cuomo signed a bill on December 31st that had been passed by the New York State Legislature in June allowing certain New York City agencies to use the design-build project delivery system for construction projects.

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