Michael S. Zetlin, a founding partner of Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, is one of the country’s leading construction litigators and contract specialists. During his distinguished career, he has successfully litigated and arbitrated many multi-million dollar construction claims in the institutional, commercial, residential, energy and infrastructure markets. Mr. Zetlin also devotes a considerable part of his practice to contract drafting and negotiation.
With over 30 years of experience identifying issues in design construction and project management, Mr. Zetlin is sought after by national and multi-national firms and a number of the premier owners, developers and contractors in the U.S. and internationally. His services are frequently called upon for construction projects valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. He also provides legal counsel to private equity firms, hedge funds and lenders for their construction-related ventures.
A graduate civil engineer and attorney, Mr. Zetlin brings his dual legal/engineering background to most effectively represent the firm’s clients in complex litigation and arbitration in 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., 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 construction projects.
A fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers and a member of the National Academy of Construction, Mr. Zetlin holds the notable AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and is consistently recognized by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 USA Guide, Euromoney’s Expert Guides, Who’s Who Legal, Super Lawyer Magazine and Best Lawyers of America as a leading litigator in construction law.
In 2014, he was inducted into the National Academy of Construction, an organization established to recognize industry leaders in engineering and construction and offer this reservoir of expertise as a valuable service to the nation.
Mr. Zetlin serves as General Counsel to the New York Building Congress, the American Institute of Architects, New York City. An author and lecturer, he is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, where he teaches 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 received his undergraduate degree in Civil
Engineering from Columbia University. He earned his J.D. from Fordham
University School of Law.