Known for strategic thinking and successful representation of architects, engineers and owners in domestic and international, high profile matters, Michael K. De Chiara is one of the pre-eminent construction lawyers in the United States.
Mr. De Chiara built his reputation on resolving high-stakes, “bet the firm” litigations where the claims exceed $100 million. Notably, he is the only construction attorney in private practice to have represented the Federal General Services Administration, defending it in a construction case in connection with the headquarters of a Federal Agency. Currently, Mr. De Chiara is involved in the most high profile construction dispute in the U.S. involving a large condominium building in San Francisco.
Mr. De Chiara is also highly regarded for his acumen in contract negotiations and drafting. He represented the United Nations in the development of their model design building agreement used throughout the world. For New York real estate owners, he drafted owner-contractor agreements for construction budgets that reached $850 million. For the rebuild of New York’s World Trade Center buildings, Mr. De Chiara represented engineers in contract negotiations with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Silverstein Properties. He also negotiated the architectural contract for the World Trade Center Memorial. Mr. De Chiara negotiated both the U.S. record-setting engineering and architectural contracts for the Hudson Yards Development, the largest private building development and the largest private Project Labor Agreement for a single building.
Mr. De Chiara serves on the Boards of Directors of The New York Landmarks Conservancy and The New York Building Foundation. In addition, he serves as the General Counsel for the American Institute of Architects (AIA), 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 consistently recognized by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 USA, Super Lawyers Magazine, Best Lawyers of America and Martindale-Hubbell as both a leading litigator and a general practitioner in construction law. 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 at large.
Mr. De Chiara received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and his Masters of Science degree in quantitative policy analysis from SUNY at Stony Brook. He attended the Graduate Degree Program in Architecture at Columbia University and earned his Juris Doctorate from Vanderbilt University.