ACCL Membership Directory

Clifford Shapiro

  • Arbitrator, Mediator and Legal Counselor
  • 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

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 Shapiro is an arbitrator, mediator and legal counselor for construction disputes and related insurance coverage issues.  With more than 36 years of litigation experience, including 13 years as the Chair of the Barnes & Thornburg LLP Construction Law Practice Group, he has been involved in virtually every kind of claim or dispute related to a construction project, including claims for termination, delay and/or disruption, extra work, construction defect, warranty, and professional liability.  He is fully trained and has experience handling virtual hearings via Zoom and other platforms as both an advocate and as an arbitrator and mediator.

Clifford also has in-depth knowledge of construction-related insurance coverage issues, which further enables him to help resolve claims.  He has handled insurance claims for defense and/or indemnity under commercial general liability policies, builder’s risk policies, professional liability policies and “wrap” insurance programs.  His published articles about insurance coverage for construction defect claims are recognized nationally, and have been cited and quoted in numerous court decisions, including several issued by state supreme courts.

Specific Experience Includes:

  • Arbitrator for complex, multi-party claims arising out of construction of luxury apartment buildings in Missouri. More than 40 different defect and economic claims exceeding $35 million were presented during two weeks of live hearings and three weeks of virtual hearings via Zoom. Panel issued 46 page Award.
  • Panel chair for arbitration involving complex, multi-party construction and design defect claims involving a landmark glass clad building erected on a college campus.
  • Mediator for complex, multi-party construction dispute arising out of luxury apartment and retail high rise tower in Illinois with claims exceeding $36 million.
  • Mediator for complex, multi-party construction claims arising out of warehouse and office development in Illinois.  Conducted mediation via Zoom with more than 10 participants and obtained successful resolution.
  • 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 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.

Mr. Shapiro received his B.A. magna cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis and his J.D. with High Honors from George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C, where he was a member of the Law Review and awarded Order of the Coif.

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
  • Trained mediator, American Arbitration Association
  • Trained arbitrator, American Arbitration Association

Representative Articles, Publications, Speeches and Seminars

Clifford has published numerous articles and frequently speaks throughout the United States about how best to resolve construction claims and insurance related issues. Clifford’s 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).


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

Trial Bar N.D. IL

Community Activities

Board of Directors, Chicago Architecture Center (2019 to present)

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