Michael S. Zetlin
Zetlin & De Chiara LLP
Michael S. Zetlin, a founding partner of Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, is one of the country’s leading construction litigators and contract specialists who also serves as a strategic advisor to clients.
A graduate civil engineer and attorney, Mr. Zetlin has successfully litigated and arbitrated many multi-million dollar construction claims throughout the United States on projects ranging across all markets including institutional, commercial, residential, energy and infrastructure. He has also drafted and negotiated contracts on projects with construction values in the hundreds of millions of dollars within these sectors.
With over 30 years of experience, Mr. Zetlin’s knowledge of the built environment and the issues involved in design, construction, and project management make him a formidable advocate representing national and multi-national firms and a number of the premier owners, developers, design professionals, and contractors in the U.S. and internationally. He also provides legal counsel to private equity firms, hedge funds and lenders for their construction-related ventures.
He serves as the General Counsel to the New York Building Congress and to the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. An author and lecturer, he is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, teaching the graduate program Legal Issues in Building Construction, and is the co-editor of New York Construction Law, the definitive treatise on construction law in New York.
Mr. Zetlin brings his dual legal/engineering background to most effectively represent the firm’s clients in complex litigation and arbitration in sectors that include: energy and power (e.g., biomass fuels, solar power and cogeneration facilities), institutional (e.g., hospitals, education, museums and government), infrastructure (e.g., airports, highways, bridges, and tunnels), sports facilities (e.g., stadiums and arenas) and all aspects of the built environment. His experience also includes representing his U.S. clients involved in international projects (e.g., South Sudan and Indonesia) in U.S.-based dispute resolution forums.
Mr. Zetlin also routinely consults with his clients on risk management and other issues that arise in the day-to-day travails of a construction project, and his general counseling advice is often sought by his clients and by industry organizations.