ACCL Membership Directory

Clifford J. Shapiro

  • National Arbitrator and Mediator Based in Chicago
  • Shapiro Dispute Resolution, LLC
  • 615 Elmwood Ave
  • Wilmette, Illinois 60091


  • Undergraduate: B.A. Economics Washington University in St. Louis 1978
  • Law School: JD George Washington University, Washington D.C. 1982

Honors and Activities

American College of Construction Lawyers (Board of Governors 2024 – Present; Membership Committee 2022-23)

Chambers USA, Band 1, Construction-Illinois, 2014-2021

Lawyer of the Year 2021 – Chicago-Construction – Best Lawyers

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

The Best Lawyers in America, 2007-2021

Order of the Coif (B.A. 1978)

High Honors (J.D. 1982)

Career History

Shapiro Dispute Resolution LLC – January 1, 2021 – Present (Owner)

Barnes & Thornburg, LLP – Chicago – 2007-2020 (Partner and Chairperson Construction Law Practice Group)

Sachnoff & Weaver, Ltd. –  Chicago – 1985-2007 (Partner and Chairperson Construction Law Practice Group) (merged with Reed Smith 2007)

Jenner & Block – Chicago – 1984-1985 (associate)

Weinberg & Green – Baltimore, MD – 1982-1984 (associate)



Clifford is a Chicago-based national arbitrator and mediator who has more than 36 years of experience resolving construction disputes and insurance claims, including 23 years as the leader of construction law practice groups at nationally prominent law firms.  He has handled and resolved virtually every kind of claim or dispute that can arise out of a construction project. He also has in-depth knowledge of insurance coverage issues, which often further enables him to help resolve claims.

Clifford serves on the American Arbitration Association’s National Roster of Neutrals for large, complex cases, including in particular disputes involving construction, insurance and commercial matters. He also provides self-administered mediation services.  Clifford regularly travels to provide mediation and arbitration services throughout the United States, and he also provides ADR services virtually via Zoom and other remote meeting platforms.  When he serves as a mediator, Clifford considers and utilizes Guided Choice Mediation principles and techniques when it is appropriate and will be helpful to resolving the parties’ dispute.

Clifford’s recent experience as a mediator and arbitrator includes the following:

Clifford recently served as the Panel Chair in a large, complex, multi-party AAA arbitration involving construction and design claims arising out of the construction of a landmark glass clad building erected on a college campus. The matter included pre-hearing discovery disputes and eight days of live hearings.  Clifford and the panel issued a 30 page reasoned final award.  Clifford also recently traveled and served as a mediator in several large, complex, multi-party construction disputes that arose out of projects located in Colorado, West Virginia, Ohio, Georgia and Minnesota. The claims in these cases ranged from $15 million to more than $40 million, and one of the matters that was successfully resolved involved 14 different parties.

In addition, Clifford recently served as a panel arbitrator in two different complex commercial disputes involving insurance coverage under first-party insurance policies. In each case the claim exceeded $10 million. He also recently served as a mediator in a first-party property coverage dispute between a policyholder and its insurance carrier where the claim exceeded $20 million.

More information is available at

Professional Activities

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Fellow, American College of Construction Lawyers (2012-Present)
  • 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
  • Member, Illinois Bar Association
  • Member, Chicago Bar Association

Representative Articles, Publications, Speeches and Seminars

Clifford has published numerous articles and he speaks frequently throughout the United States about arbitration, mediation and construction claims, and how best to resolve disputes short of trial.  Clifford’s articles about insurance coverage for construction defect claims have appeared in several national publications, and his articles have been cited in numerous court opinions (including several decisions issued by state supreme courts).  These decisions include:

  • K&L Homes, Inc. v. American Family Mutual Ins. Co., 2013 WL 1364704 (N. Dakota Sup. Ct. 2013 (majority decision; prior law overruled)
  • Westfield Ins. Co. v. Custom Agri. Sys., Inc., 979 N.E.2d 269 (Ohio Sup. Ct. 2012) (dissenting opinion)
  • Greystone Construction, Inc. v. National Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 661 F.3d 1272 (10th Cir. 2011) (applying Colorado law)
  • Sheehan Construction Company, Inc. v. Continental Insurance Company, 935 N.E.2d 160 (Ind. Sup. Ct. 2010) (majority decision; prior law overruled)
  • United States Fire Ins. Co. v. J.S.U.B., 979 So. 2d 871, 886 n.9 (Fla. 2007)
  • Lee Builders, Inc. v. Farm Bureau Mutual Ins. Co., 137 P.2d 486, 491-494 (Kan. Sup. Ct. 2006)
  • Lennar Corp. v. Great American Ins. Co., 200 S.W.3d 651, 672-673 (Tex. App. 2006)
  • General Security Indemnity Co. of Arizona v. Mountain States Mutual Cas. Co., 205 P.3d 529 (Colo. App. 2009)

Court Admissions

Illinois State and Federal Courts

Community Activities

Board of Directors, Chicago Architecture Center (2019 – 2023)

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