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Clifford Shapiro

Clifford J. Shapiro

Of Counsel (Retired)


One N. Wacker Drive
Suite 4400
Chicago, IL 60606-2833

P 312-214-4836

F 312-759-5646

Clifford Shapiro, former chair of the firm’s Construction Law Practice Group for 13 years, is retired of counsel who now works for Shapiro Dispute Resolution LLC as an arbitrator and mediator.


Clifford Shapiro, former chair of the firm’s Construction Law Practice Group for 13 years, is retired of counsel who now works for Shapiro Dispute Resolution LLC as an arbitrator and mediator.

In his practice, Clifford worked every day to resolve construction claims and disputes. He resolved construction related disputes through negotiation and mediation and, when necessary, through arbitration or litigation. His in-depth knowledge of construction-related insurance coverage issues further enabled him to help clients resolve claims.

With more than 36 years of experience, Clifford has been involved in virtually every kind of claim or dispute related to a construction project, and he has also handled virtually every kind of insurance coverage claim that arises in the construction claim context. He is now the proprietor of Shapiro Dispute Resolution LLC.

Construction Claims

Clifford helped clients resolve construction disputes in mediation, arbitration and litigation. He has represented owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors and design professionals in a wide variety of disputes related to construction projects, including construction and design defect claims; professional liability claims; delay, disruption and/or acceleration claims; extra work claims and mechanic lien claims. 


Well-known for his in-depth knowledge of construction-related insurance issues, Clifford used that knowledge to help clients resolve their construction claims. He has helped clients address and resolve complex coverage issues under commercial general liability (CGL) policies, builder's risk policies, professional liability policies and “wrap” insurance programs.

Arbitration and Mediation

In addition to being an experienced advocate, Clifford serves as a mediator and arbitrator to resolve construction, insurance and other commercial disputes. He is a formally trained mediator and arbitrator, and is listed on the American Arbitration Association’s national roster of arbitrators for construction, insurance and commercial claims.

He has served as mediator for complex construction claims, and successfully resolved numerous complex, multiparty construction and design claims as an advocate. Clifford’s arbitration experience includes serving as AAA arbitrator and as an arbitrator in the Cook County Circuit Court mandatory arbitration program. In addition, as an advocate, he has handled several multiparty, complex arbitration matters as first chair, all of which successfully resolved through mediation and/or settlement before hearing.

Clifford has published numerous articles and frequently speaks throughout the United States about how best to resolve construction claims and insurance related issues. His articles about insurance coverage for construction defect claims have appeared in several national publications, and have been cited in numerous court opinions (including several decisions issued by state supreme courts). 

Professional and Community Involvement

Fellow, American College of Construction Lawyers

Member, American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry

Member and past president, Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys

Inaugural member, American College of Coverage Counsel

Trained mediator, American Arbitration Association

Trained arbitrator, American Arbitration Association

Board of Trustees, Chicago Architecture Center


Chambers USA, Band 1, 2008-2020

The Best Lawyers in America, 2007-2021; Lawyer of the Year, Chicago-Construction, 2021

Leading Lawyers-Illinois, Top Ten List - Construction Lawyers, 2020-2021

American Arbitration Association - National Panel of Arbitrators (Construction, Insurance, Commercial), 2018-Present





  • Counsel for a multi-national chemical company as the owner in arbitration and mediation proceedings arising out of a modernization project for a U.S. production facility involving complex breach of contract, delay and disruption claims exceeding $40 million.
  • Multi-party mediation (and arbitration) of claims involving more than $100 million in damages arising out of the construction of a large Chicago hospital.
  • Counsel for a prime exterior cladding subcontractor. Ability to settle claims at mediation required resolution of related insurance coverage issues under CGL and professional liability insurance policies.
  • Counsel for a subcontractor in a federal court multi-party "bet the company" case arising out of the construction of a 16 acre standing seam metal roof on a warehouse that leaked. Settlement of construction claims required the resolution of related issues under client's CGL policy.
  • Counsel for a large German REIT owner in litigation and mediation of construction and design defect claims arising out of a unique and complex four story glass lobby wall supported by stainless steel cable cables. Successful resolution of all claims at mediation achieved, in part, due to ability to successfully resolve related insurance coverage issues under CGL and professional liability insurance policies.
  • Counsel for a large municipality in connection with hundreds of design claims arising out of a multi-billion dollar airport runway expansion project. Created, negotiated and implemented custom mediation process under which eight parties addressed and successfully resolved all claims within 18 months at a fraction of the cost of litigation. . Settlement also required resolution of complex issues under a $50 million wrap professional liability insurance policy.
  • Insurance coverage counsel for a large Japanese general contractor in connection with $100 million insurance claim under CGL policies for damage caused by the subcontractor's defective sub-surface concrete work at an automobile parts plant located in Indiana.
  • Counsel for developers, contractors and prime subcontractors in mediation, arbitration and litigation for construction and insurance claims arising out of the construction of high rise residential towers, condominiums, apartments and school dormitories, including claims for water intrusion, condensation and/or mold.
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