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Michael J. Vardaro

Managing Partner, Zetlin & De Chiara LLP

Michael J. Vardaro is the Managing Partner of Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, a construction boutique law firm headquartered in New York City. Mr. Vardaro is a former construction worker with a degree in civil engineering who uses his practical experience in the industry to effectively provide 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 on a host of issues including business counseling, professional licensing, contract drafting and negotiating, joint venture agreements, design build agreements, BIM, corporate succession planning, grandfathered design professional corporations and dispute resolution including mediation, arbitration and litigation. Mr. Vardaro is well known for expertise on issues of ethics in construction, and is a frequent speaker on the topic. Of note, he has been invited by industry groups to lead a detailed seminar on the unique story of the Citicorp building in midtown Manhattan. Mr. Vardaro has successfully led litigation teams in complex commercial and construction litigation matters in various venues across the country and internationally. He has extensive experience resolving claims through mediation as well as representing clients before administrative boards and arbitration panels. Mr. Vardaro has litigated construction claims in various sectors including: infrastructure (bridges, highways, electric transmission, water distribution, water treatment, sewers), vertical building (commercial, residential, mixed use, corporate campuses), hospitality, healthcare, education, manufacturing, entertainment (convention centers, sports stadiums and arenas, theatres, museums), energy & power (power plants, cogeneration plants) and government. 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. 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 is a LEED accredited professional and has been a featured guest lecturer at Columbia University and New York Polytechnic University, speaking about legal issues in the construction industry.