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Government: Government Contracts — USA - Nationwide

Overview

NATIONWIDE: An Introduction to Nationwide Contributed by Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

NATIONWIDE: An Introduction to US Government Contracts Practice Nationwide

The outlook for public procurement in the United States changed significantly with the election of President Donald J Trump. In a shift from last year's more mixed outlook, President Trump's promises to increase defense spending and pass a massive infrastructure bill, combined with his highly engaged management style and pledges to "Buy American," have made US procurement markets more promising though, potentially, with more legal risk.

Defense and Cybersecurity in the Trump Administration

While the Trump administration had yet to deliver its first budget as of the time of this writing, President Trump has made plain that he intends to expand the Defense Department's budget. The Trump administration argues that the United States "cannot allow other nations to surpass our military capability," and has said that it will "pursue the highest level of military readiness." The new administration moved to meet those goals with an executive order issued on January 27, 2017, which called upon the Defense Department to undertake an immediate, and intensive, review of the Department's military needs.

How much defense spending will increase will turn, in part, on existing budget constraints. Under a prior legislative compromise, increases in defense spending are subject to budget caps, and there may be Congressional opposition to spending hikes that exceed those caps. The areas that may receive increased defense funding will likely be a source of consideration over strategic direction. The President has expressed wishes for more Naval ships, more troops, and more funding for nuclear weapons, but as of now details have yet to be presented.

Despite these potential budget battles, it is likely that the federal government will shift resources and attention to enhanced cybersecurity. A series of highly publicized "hacks" during the election prompted President Trump to meet with cybersecurity experts on January 31, 2017, as part of a broader effort to improve cybersecurity.

There may be an unforeseen obstacle to enhanced cybersecurity, however. Although effective cybersecurity in the federal government often depends on tightening rules, the Trump administration has tried in general to stem the growth of federal regulations. On January 30, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order directing that for every new regulation issued at least two prior regulations must be eliminated, and that the costs of planned regulations must be controlled. The order did not explicitly exempt cybersecurity, and in cybersecurity (as elsewhere) regulators may find it difficult to strengthen the regulatory regime without running afoul of White House opposition to new and expensive regulations.

Infrastructure Spending

The Trump White House has promised infrastructure legislation potentially worth hundreds of billions of dollars, and polls show very strong popular support for increased federal spending for roads, mass transit and other infrastructure. Federal infrastructure spending is often done through grants to states and other public and non-profit entities, which can add a layer of legal complexity – federal, state and local grant rules – to the spending process. In his first address to Congress, President Trump indicated that he would also look to private capital sources as part of the promised infrastructure spending boost, perhaps suggesting efforts to boost reliance on public-private partnerships.

Infrastructure legislation passed in the Trump administration also is likely to reflect the administration's strong commitment to "Buy American," discussed below. If the Trump administration follows the model of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the fiscal stimulus which passed in 2009, at the beginning of the Obama administration), then the Trump administration's infrastructure bill may include a provision calling for the use of US iron, steel and manufactured goods in projects funded by the legislation. Experience under the 2009 legislation showed that the domestic preference was complicated to apply, and often slowed procurements under the Recovery Act.

"Buy American" in the Trump Administration

Two cornerstone promises of the Trump campaign, which President Trump repeated during his inaugural address, were to "Hire American" and "Buy American." These commitments are likely to carry into new domestic preferences in the $500 billion federal procurement market. As discussed above, an infrastructure bill may include a domestic preference provision; after a recent executive order calling for a study on using exclusively US steel on private pipelines, some have asked whether federal grant rules might be rewritten to impose domestic preferences. The open question is how more vigorous "Buy American" policies might apply to other areas of procurement. Pressure for more reliance on waivers from these requirements may grow given increased reliance by US firms on global sourcing strategies.

As a start, one can anticipate what may not be affected by new domestic preferences: transborder procurement in defense materiel which is covered by existing reciprocal defense procurement agreements between the United States and its allies. Under those agreements, the US Defense Department and its counterpart ministries of defense agree not to discriminate when purchasing defense materiel from their counterparts' vendors. These agreements, which can cover billions of dollars in defense procurement, enhance interoperability among US allies and help bolster a common defense, which makes it less likely that the Trump administration will undo them.

It is possible that President Trump will admonish federal contracting officials to "Buy American" by favoring US firms; he may do so directly, by intervening in programs, or indirectly, for example through a public announcement. In either case, if a later award is diverted to a US firm as a result of the President's admonition, a disappointed foreign vendor may be able to challenge the award. Federal bid protest forums strictly enforce the award criteria set forth in a solicitation. If an awarding official deviates from published award criteria – to accommodate a demand from the President to "Buy American," for example – the award ultimately may be challenged and overturned.

Another option would be to slow or stop any new international trade agreements that would open US procurement markets. The Trump administration has already blocked the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would have opened US federal procurement to vendors from a number of Asian countries including (for the first time) Malaysia and Vietnam. The Trump administration has also signaled opposition to the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union, which similarly could have reduced barriers to procurement trade.

Perhaps the simplest option would be to slow accession negotiations with China, which seeks to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). Allowing China to join the GPA would open much of the US federal procurement market to Chinese competition. Because of President Trump's concerns with Chinese competition and the administration's general support for "Buy American" policies, it is possible that the new administration will seek to slow China's accession to the GPA.

Ethics, Compliance and Anti-Corruption How the Trump administration will approach issues of ethics, compliance and anti-corruption remains an open question. From early on, the Trump administration has been dogged by ethics questions stemming from the Trump Organization's worldwide businesses. At the same time, however, the President has vowed to "drain the swamp" in Washington by imposing new and stricter ethics requirements. In an executive order signed on January 28, 2017, the Trump administration called for stricter post-employment controls on executive branch employees, and for tighter regulation of registered lobbyists – both measures in support of tighter ethics enforcement.

As a practical matter, firms doing business with the new administration should recognize that many members of the Trump administration have limited experience in government, and so may not be steeped in the government's complex ethics requirements. Companies doing business with the federal government therefore may wish to strengthen their internal compliance systems, to ensure that they, and their government customers, remain above reproach in this time of rapid change and opportunity.

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Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Top-flight government contracts practice providing counseling and transactional services to clients. Frequently serves as litigation counsel in high-stakes protests as well as contracts claims and appeals, and FCA matters. Represents US and foreign companies from a wide variety of sectors, with particular expertise in national security, cybersecurity and privacy protection. Also adept at advising government contractors on specialized intellectual property matters and corporate transactions.

Strengths Clients agree that the firm is "virtually unrivaled in breadth and depth" and features "top-notch lawyers in a variety of areas."

An additional strength highlighted by clients is "the firm's ability to be responsive to unreasonably short timeframes with exceptional results."

Work highlights Represented Inchcape Shipping Services Holdings in high-profile False Claims Act litigation and related suspension proceedings involving the Department of the Navy.

Counseled Raytheon through a series of costs accounting disputes before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, which included overturning the government's previous approach to recovery under the Cost Accounting Standards rules.

Significant clients Booz Allen Hamilton, L-3 Communications, Motorola Solutions, Thales Defense & Security, Anthem Federal Government Solutions.

Notable practitioners

Mark Colley counsels government contractors through a broad range of contentious matters, including False Claims Act investigations and bid protests. He is described by one client as "one of the foremost experts in government contracts law," with others explaining that he is "strategic, an outstanding writer and a tremendous advocate."

Paul Pompeo is widely held as "one of the top government cost accounting legal experts." His broad expertise also includes corporate transactions involving government contractors. A client comments that he has "a good business mind. He cuts to the facts and doesn't get lost in the law," adding: "He understands business realities and I really value his judgment."

Craig Holman counsels clients in a broad range of government contracts matters, including challenging and defending sizable contract awards. Recently, he represented EY before the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a challenge to the DHA's award for a $58 million task order for professional services, which had been awarded to PwC. "He is very responsive, proactive and provides very practical, results-oriented advice," report clients.

Kara Daniels is "bright, thoughtful and a terrific strategic thinker," according to sources. She assists clients in a range of contentious and noncontentious government contract matters, including contract disputes and bid protests.

Kristen Ittig is noted for her diverse government contracts expertise, which encompasses compliance counseling, internal investigations and bid protests. Recently, she represented Algese in bid protests before the GAO and the Court of Federal Claims concerning the award of contracts for the provision of air terminal and ground handling services at certain overseas naval bases.

Ronald Schechter is described by clients as "a treasure trove of insight and experience." His background as a trial attorney at the DOJ makes him a strong choice for representing clients in False Claims Act proceedings and other government contracts litigation.

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Crowell & Moring LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Washington, DC is a key office.

What the team is known for Sophisticated federal and state government contracting group, providing expert advice on the full range of regulatory and transactional concerns. Fields a strong bench of seasoned practitioners with diverse litigation capabilities, notably in the areas of bid protests and costs disputes. Frequently sought out to conduct internal investigations and defend government contractors facing exclusion.

Strengths "The client service and value provided by this firm are particular strengths," states one client. "They have the expertise – a breadth and depth of knowledge that is unsurpassed in the legal market for government contracting related legal services."

Another source commends the firm's "really, really deep bench, combined with its reputation and ability to have quality legal work handled by very smart, very personable people."

Work highlights Successfully challenged the suspension of Cannon Design from contracting with the Department of Veteran Affairs on the grounds that the suspension was arbitrary and capricious.

Acted on behalf of Arctic Slope Technical Services in defending the award of a contract for software and information system engineering by NASA in bid protest litigation.

Significant clients Hewlett-Packard, TRAX International, Arctic Slope Technical Services, Lockheed Martin, SUFI Network Services.

Notable practitioners

Thomas Humphrey chiefly counsels government contractors in litigation, including challenging and defending contract awards. Clients commend that he is "proactive in his legal advice, and has great business acumen and judgment," adding: "He looks at the long-term picture."

The "extremely bright and knowledgeable" Peter Eyre specializes across a wide range of government contracting issues, including corporate transactions and internal investigations, as well as suspension and debarment. Clients praise his "excellent subject knowledge," with others noting that he is "very well rounded and understands how issues impact business."

Daniel Forman offers expertise in federal and state procurement, with a particular emphasis on litigation. "He is tremendously attentive and strategic minded," according to one client. "He understands not only the law, but also internal corporate dynamics and systems, allowing him to provide nuanced and tailored legal advice."

David Bodenheimer is widely regarded as "a cybersecurity guru." A client explains that "he is at the forefront of cybersecurity issues in government procurement." His wide-ranging experience also includes internal investigations, bid protests, and suspension and debarment proceedings.

Terry Albertson is "extremely knowledgeable about costs principles and rules implemented by the government." He advises government contractors on compliance and disputes involving costs allowability. Recently, he counseled Hewlett-Packard in negotiating a settlement agreement relating to its defined-benefit pension plan.

Nicole J Owren-Wiest is noted by clients as a "true government contracts expert, with a client-oriented style, focus on practical results and sensitivity to business priorities." She is gaining particular prominence for her knowledge of costs accounting standards.

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Wiley Rein LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Distinguished group focusing predominantly on government contracts litigation. Fields a market-leading bid protests practice, noted for its success in a number of high-profile disputes and claims. Deep bench of seasoned litigators and government contracts experts, including a raft of up-and-coming attorneys. Able to handle classified matters, sensitive false claims litigation and suspension and debarment proceedings.

Strengths Clients comment on the firm's "very deep government contracts practice group," with one source explaining: "They have the depth and resources and skills to take on big cases and win them."

The team is also noted for being "extremely responsive," "incredibly attentive" and "good advocates."

Work highlights Represented Supreme Foodservice in litigation before the Armed Services Board of Contracts Appeals concerning a number of consolidated claims worth $10.6 billion, in connection with reimbursement for its contract to provide food and other supplies to US troops in Afghanistan.

Defended the award of an EPA research laboratory support contract to Jacobs Technology, in bid protests pursued by the incumbent contractor before the GAO and the Court of Federal Claims.

Significant clients Boeing, General Dynamics, AECOM Technology, DynCorp International, Cubic Defense Applications.

Notable practitioners

Rand Allen receives praise from sources for his "practical intelligence," as well as his "knowledge of the statutes and regulations in this space." He is sought out by leading government contractors to advise on compliance and litigation.

Paul Khoury is singled out by clients and peers alike as a "top-flight protest lawyer." One client comments: "He is our first choice for high-stakes bid protests. He is very bright, knowledgeable, zealous, candid and well connected."

Scott McCaleb is "my go-to partner for all government contracts-related matters," comments one client; "he is an excellent lawyer all around." He is praised in particular for his "communication skills and persuasiveness." His strengths include high-stakes bid protests and complex contractual disputes.

Philip Davis chiefly counsels on contentious government contracts issues, with a particular emphasis on claims brought before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals. He recently advised Supreme Foodservice in relation to a dispute concerning reimbursement for supplying food and other provisions to US troops overseas.

The "excellent" John Prairie counsels government contractors of all sizes, including small businesses subject to specialist regulations. Recently, he represented TSymmetry in a number of protests before the GAO and Court of Federal Claims defending the award of a multimillion-dollar contract for the provision of technology services to the US Department of State.

Tracye Howard is regarded by clients as "a valuable partner." She provides "succinct advice and a really impressive work product," according to observers. Furthermore, interviewees enthuse: "She isn’t fazed by constant changes or being asked to do the near impossible." She assists clients with government contracts litigation and compliance.

Brian Walsh is "an excellent resource," report clients. He is involved in significant contentious matters arising in the government contracts space, including sizable bid protests.

Department profile by Wiley Rein LLP

The group handles every aspect of government contracting, including bid protests, disputes, commercial litigation, terminations, mergers and acquisitions, and regulatory issues. Clients rely on the firm for advice and representation on local and international procurement-related matters, and the firm’s attorneys regularly appear in every legal forum that addresses government contract issues, including the U.S. Government Accountability Office, U.S. district courts and courts of appeals, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the numerous agencies falling under the umbrella of the Boards of Contract Appeals.

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Covington & Burling LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Continues to increase in eminence within the government contracts market. Key areas of focus include bid protests, FCA investigations and government contracts dispute resolution. Also adept at specialized intellectual property and national security concerns encountered by government contractors.

Strengths Clients commend the firm's ability "to bring to bear expertise and horsepower in almost any topic area. At each turn, they can bring on really effective leaders so we are able to go to them with very difficult matters, involving lots of complexities and moving parts."

Another client praises the attorneys' "amazing knowledge of the area and relationships with the government agencies."

Work highlights Represented KBR in connection with proceedings seeking recovery of legal fees resulting from a series of tortious disputes amounting to a total of $30 million from the government under a contract for oil restoration services.

Provided compliance counseling to the Aspen Institute in connection with funding from the US State Department and a sub-award which would be used to fund exchange programs under the Stevens Initiative, a public-private partnership seeking to promote international diplomacy.

Notable practitioners

The "phenomenal" Jason Carey is particularly well known for his expertise in challenging and defending government contract awards. Clients comment: "He is extremely bright and well versed in the nuances of protest law. Jay is quick to assess a situation and give honest feedback in a way that is easily understood."

Ray Biagini's unique expertise encompasses national security concerns and tortious disputes relating to the performance of government contracts. A source reports that he was "always very responsive, provided useful information and helped us move the ball forward. He was absolutely amazing."

Cochair of the firm's government contracts practice Frederic Levy is "very, very strong in government contracting compliance and ethics." He focuses on suspension and debarment proceedings and False Claims Act investigations as well as procurement fraud disputes.

The "incredibly smart" Alan Pemberton receives praise for his "substantive expertise." His experience encompasses defending and challenging contract awards as well as regulatory compliance.

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Hogan Lovells US LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Washington, DC is a key office.

What the team is known for Highly regarded multidisciplinary group, adept at navigating all aspects of the government procurement process, including high-stakes internal investigations and bid protests. Counsels government contractors on complex business transactions, including M&A. Acts for a variety of multinational companies in the defense, technology, life sciences and energy sectors, along with a number of public sector clients.

Strengths Clients commend the firm's "deep knowledge of federal contracting, exceptional client service and very high-quality work product. Whenever we call on Hogan, we know we will get top-drawer legal support."

One client reports: "I was very impressed with the team overall. They are all high-quality." Another source states: "The team is an excellent choice for all government contracts work. They are particularly strong at representing protesters and interveners."

Work highlights Represented Google and its reseller, Onix, in a protest before the GAO concerning the Peace Corps' decision to adopt a Microsoft cloud-based e-mail service without holding a competition allowing Google's services to be considered.

Counseled Dell on the government contracts aspects of its sale of Dell Services to NTT Data, including securing the regulatory approvals process and providing national security advice.

Significant clients Airbus, Lockheed Martin, IBM, General Dynamics, PwC.

Notable practitioners

Michael Mason is "knowledgeable about many facets of government contract law," according to clients. "Whether the issue involves False Claims Act violations, ethics reporting disclosures, protests, Inspector General audits or GSA schedule contracting, he is a tremendous resource and offers dependable advice." He is particularly experienced in government contracts litigation, including business-critical bid protests.

Clients regard Thomas McGovern as "very bright, knowledgeable, creative, candid, and he has great connections." He is a seasoned government contracts litigator who has appeared in numerous bid protests, suspension and debarment proceedings, contract claims and appeals. Sources say: "He is very experienced and has good insights into how the government will react."

Agnes Dover is sought by government contractors to provide regulatory advice as part of significant M&A transactions and corporate restructuring. She also counsels clients on national security concerns. Commentators describe her as "very intelligent" and she also receives praise for her "great judgment" and "diverse skill base."

Michael McGill counsels clients on a diverse array of government contracts mandates, including challenging and defending government contract awards. Clients describe him as "really solution-oriented and very responsive. He's also really great at client service."

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Morrison & Foerster LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Washington, DC and Northern Virginia.

What the team is known for Significantly bolstered government contracts practice following the addition of a highly renowned team of attorneys to its DC office. Advises on all aspects of the government contracts process, including regulatory and transactional compliance. Notable dispute resolution capabilities, including bid protests, procurement fraud, contract claims and termination disputes.

Strengths Clients comment that "they are really good at understanding the area of law and they also understand the government's perspective."

The firm also receives praise for its high level of client service: "They are always available and responsive, and we are really pleased with the service they give us."

Another source adds that "one of their notable strengths is the size and diversity of their practice. Also, their geographic footprint. MoFo has a proven ability to pull in expertise beyond government contracts."

Work highlights Successfully represented Booz Allen Hamilton in proceedings before the GAO protesting the award of a support services contract to PwC, as well as defending the subsequent suit brought by PwC in the Court of Federal Claims challenging the GAO's decision recommending corrective action.

Acted for Honeywell International in breach of contract dispute involving a joint venture relationship and an unsuccessful bid for an Air Force operations, maintenance and sustainment contact.

Significant clients Defense Support Services, L-3 Communications, Space Exploration Technologies, DynCorp International, Syncom Space Services.

Notable practitioners

David Churchill is widely held to be "one of the deans of the federal government contracting Bar in Washington. There is nothing he hasn't confronted before." He counsels premier government contractors in a range of complex disputes.

Jay DeVecchio is sought out particularly for his expertise in intellectual property and data rights arising out of government contracts. Clients describe him as "one of the most seasoned government contract advisers and litigators in the industry. He has very broad and in-depth experience and knowledge that he brings to the table when seeking solutions to complex contracting issues," while also commending his "very good business orientation."

Sources commend Kevin Mullen as "superb, capable, dedicated, hard-working and highly respected." His public procurement practice encompasses transactional, regulatory and litigation counseling.

Richard Vacura is regarded by sources as "a very strong lawyer" and a "knowledgeable resource." Clients further describe him as "a levelheaded, calm and sound thinker." He is sought out by contractors in the defense, aerospace and IT industries to handle high-stakes litigation and internal investigations.

Bradley Wine receives praise for his "business savvy," "responsiveness and subject matter expertise." He offers strategic compliance and litigation counsel to government contractors from wide range of industries. Another notable strength of Wine's is internal investigations.

Damien Specht is a strong choice for advising government contractors on M&A transactions. Clients comment that "he's a very quick study. He turns work around very quickly and writes very well. He puts together good, cogent arguments in a short timeframe."

Department profile by Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster has one of the largest, most experienced and diverse Government Contracts + Public Procurement practices in the United States.  One thing that sets our team apart is our team’s depth and experience in handling classified matters.  We have more than a dozen lawyers with security clearances, including at the highest levels with all parts of the U.S. military and intelligence communities. 

We play a leading role in a wide variety of government contractsmatters, including bid protests, claims, internal investigations and FalseClaims Act cases, intellectual property and licensing matters, and corporatetransactions.  Our clients range fromFortune 50 companies to small- and medium-sized companies just enteringgovernment markets.  We advise both U.S.and non-U.S. companies involved in federal, state, and local governmentcontracting and related procurement matters.

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Rogers Joseph O'Donnell - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
San Francisco and Washington, DC are key offices.

What the team is known for Well-respected government contracting boutique capable of handling a diverse array of federal, state and local procurement mandates on behalf of domestic and foreign clients. Notable litigation and regulatory capabilities, which include internal investigations, false claims proceedings and bid protests.

Strengths Sources report that the "service is very good." One client comments that "what could be a high-pressure, painful process becomes a much easier enterprise when they are engaged."

It is further praised as "delightful," "efficient" and a "fantastic firm."

Work highlights Advised Northrop Grumman in relation to an action brought under the False Claims Act by a former auditor alleging that Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin had been involved in fraudulent accounting in connection with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter development program.

Represented AgustaWestland in a protest concerning the US Army's ability to procure 155 light utility helicopters for training new pilots on a sole source basis, a contract valued over $1 billion.

Significant clients Siemens Government Technologies, Obayashi Corporation, Honeywell, Blackboard, Kiewit.

Notable practitioners

The "exceptional" Neil O'Donnell chairs the firm's government contracts group. He is reported to be a "very smart and knowledgeable government contracts attorney." He is a seasoned litigator, with particular expertise in contractual terminations, bid protests and false claims disputes.

Robert Metzger maintains a particular focus on cybersecurity and supply chain security concerns faced by government contractors. Recently, he was part of the team that represented Siemens Healthcare in a successful protest to the award of a $42 million laboratory equipment contract.

Patricia Meagher concentrates her practice on government contracts litigation. She recently acted for Siemens Government Technologies in a dispute with a technology vendor which arose from Siemens's Energy Savings Performance Contract with the US Army. Sources enthuse: "She's very, very smart. A really, really good lawyer."

Department profile by Rogers Joseph O'Donnell

Government contractors face hard-to-navigate competitive, regulatory, political and performance challenges. Success in such a complex environment requires experience, expertise and often creativity.  RJO’s long-respected
government contracts practice provides focused and effective advice, strategy and creative solutions to these unique challenges.

FOCUSED  

We represent companies of all kinds in federal, state and local contracting matters, including very sophisticated multi-national aerospace and defense contractors, infrastructure and power contractors, technology and health care
companies as well as smaller companies venturing into public contracting for the first time.

EXPERT   

RJO is an elite boutique with capabilities that equal or exceed much larger firms but with fewer conflicts and a favorable value proposition.  We are perennially ranked among the top 10 government contracts practices in the
U.S. 

EFFECTIVE 

Our team of skilful and effective litigators has handled administrative and civil controversies of enterprise significance.  From day-to-day compliance advice to billion-dollar performance disputes, we have been there before and are agile and adept at guiding you to success in a constantly evolving  legal, regulatory, and business  environment.



 



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Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Highly regarded government contracts attorneys providing compliance and litigation counseling. Notable emphasis on bid protests, with experience before the GAO, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals and the Court of Federal Claims. Industry expertise across the spectrum of government contractors, acting for both domestic and international clients in the healthcare, aerospace, electronics and transportation sectors, among others.

Strengths Sources agree that "they are a good firm in this space." One client reports: "I was very impressed by the quick responses and very good legal advice."

Work highlights Successfully acted for Electronic Warfare Associates in a dispute with the Army Research Laboratory concerning the payability of outstanding funds which the ARL was refusing to pay on the grounds that the invoice was submitted after the funds had expired.

Represented Grainger in connection with a bid protest involving a contract for the management of supplies at the Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson in Alaska under a Fourth Party Logistics (4PL) distribution model, which was initially granted to a competitor.

Notable practitioners

The "absolutely fantastic" John Chierichella provides strategic advice in complex procurement litigation. He has extensive experience in bid protests, costs disputes and False Claims Act investigations. He is also adept at counseling government contractors on cybersecurity and data protection requirements.

Jonathan Aronie is "incredibly talented," according to sources. He is praised especially for his "good breadth of knowledge, common sense and good advice." He focuses on government contracts disputes, including challenging and defending government contract awards.

Anne Perry is widely regarded as an "excellent government contracting lawyer" and particularly praised for being "very responsive and extremely intelligent." She has considerable experience on bid protests and counsels successful and unsuccessful awardees in business-critical bid protests before the GAO and Court of Federal Claims.

Department profile by Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Sheppard Mullin attorneys on both coasts draw upon more than two centuries of combined experience to serve clients who receive federal and state funding, licenses and other government authorizations and have counseled clients and/or litigated virtually every issue that can arise in the government contracts and procurement realm.

We provide counseling and litigation services — both classified and unclassified in nature — in connection with:

  • Government Contracts Cost Accounting
  • Defective Pricing
  • Government Audits, Internal Investigations and Compliance Reviews
  • FAR Mandatory Disclosure Program
  • Ethics and Compliance Programs
  • False Claims Act Litigation
  • Crisis Management
  • Qui Tam and Other Whistleblower Disputes
  • Bid Protesting (GAO and COFC)
  • Rights in Patents, Data and Software
  • Claims and Appeals
  • Teaming Agreements and Subcontracts
  • Multiple Award Schedules
  • M&A – Due Diligence, FOCI, CFIUS and Assignments
  • Inspection, Testing, Warranty and Quality Assurance
  • Export Compliance - ITAR and EAR
  • Foreign Sales – FMS, FMF, Foreign Agents and FCPA
  • Foreign Purchases – Buy American and Trade Agreements Acts, Berry Amendment
  • Homeland Security
  • Cyber Security and Data Privacy Crisis Management
  • Labor

In addition to our government contracts experience, we also advise clients on complying with U.S. export controls under the ITAR and the EAR, U.S. sanctions regulations and we work with clients to understand their obligations under the anti-boycott rules, and under U.S. import law.

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The managing Partners in both our London and Brussels offices are members of our Government Contracts Practice Group. Partners in the group have developed and implemented international compliance programs and advised on complex questions of international compliance for companies with operations throughout the United States and the European Union as well as in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Assisting companies in complying with the detailed export controls on encryption and telecommunications technology is a significant part of our international practice, as is the regulatory compliance relevant to outsourcing of design and production activities to India and China.

We assist clients with their toughest issues under the FCPA, the U.S. anti-corruption law that is being enforced more aggressively now than ever before. We also have experience with many other countries' anti-corruption laws as well as OECD, UN and Council of Europe anti-corruption conventions.

Additionally,we counsel our international clients in the areas of economic sanctions, anti-boycott controls, anti-money laundering (AML), the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), trade remedies including antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) matters, and Customs.


Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Sophisticated government contracts group. Frequently retained for high-value cost accounting matters, with extensive experience before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals. Well known for its expertise in civil and criminal FCA matters, including suspension and debarment proceedings.

Strengths Clients praise the firm's "knowledge base, experience of counsel, work ethic and thoroughness of work product."

Sources also state: "Their service is spectacular," explaining that they are "always up to date and accessible. A formula that works."

Work highlights Counseled Raytheon in a series of appeals challenging cost disallowances and related penalties for noncompliance before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals.

Represented Southwest Research Institute, a subcontractor involved in a contract to replace the dynamometers at Corpus Christi Army Depot in Texas, in connection with an appeal against the Army's decision to terminate the prime contract.

Significant clients Boeing, Fluor, Northrop Grumman, DynCorp, Leidos.

Notable practitioners

Clients and peers agree that Karen Manos is "at the top of the ladder when it comes to government cost accounting litigation and general government contracts advice." She is sought out by many of the leading government contractors to handle high-stakes costs disputes and provide strategic counsel. She is particularly praised for her "great command of the law in this area" and "impressive courtroom presence."

Joseph West continues to act in civil and criminal litigation, including false claims as well as suspension and debarment proceedings. A client comments: "I was really impressed by his depth of knowledge and ability to use that knowledge to resolve the issues, as well as his outstanding negotiating and presentation skills," adding: "He is great at framing arguments in a way that gets us the results we are looking for."

Department profile by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

To learn more about our practice, please visit gibsondunn.com.

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Mayer Brown LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Impressive government contracts litigation and bid protest practice, experienced operating at the federal, state and local levels. Sought out by leading government contractors to challenge and defend contractual awards in a variety of forums, including the GAO and the Court of Federal Claims. Fields a broad range of industry expertise, acting for clients in the aerospace, defense, engineering, IT and healthcare sectors.

Strengths Clients commend the quality of the attorneys as well as the "outstanding service" received.

One source explains that they are "always responsive and provide substantive support and insight on our matters."

Work highlights Challenged the award of a $6.7 billion contract for manufacturing joint light tactical vehicles for the US Army to Oshkosh on behalf of Lockheed Martin, on the grounds that it was improperly awarded.

Advised QTC Medical Services, one of the successful bidders involved in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ contract for performing medical disability examinations, in a multiparty bid protest before the GAO.

Significant clients Booz Allen Hamilton, InterPatk Holdings, Walsh Construction, FlightSafety International, InSpace 21.

Notable practitioners

Marcia Madsen is widely regarded as "one of the leading subject matter experts on bid protests." Clients enthuse about "her knowledge of bid protests law, as well as the idiosyncrasies of each of the forums where bid protests are handled." She is also noted for her "good judgment" and "ability to craft a winning strategy."

David Dowd is described by sources as "sharp" and "smart." He is noted for his litigation skills, advising clients on contractual disputes, bid protests, defective pricing and costs allowability. In particular, he is well versed in federal healthcare and insurance plans.

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Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices are Los Angeles and McLean, VA.

What the team is known for Thriving government contracts practice, boasting a deep bench and wide geographic reach. Significant contentious and noncontentious capabilities spanning federal, state and local government. Notable strengths include M&A compliance, suspension and debarment, procurement fraud, bid protests and costs allowability.

Strengths Sources enthuse about the "great slate of US government contracts attorneys" as well as the "the level of support, timeliness and legal analysis."

Another client lists the firm's strengths as "firstly, the general quality. Secondly, their intimate knowledge of the nuances of the government contracting world. Thirdly, the service quality, productive nature and value add."

Clients further note: "The results we get are very favorable and impressive." One commentator notes that "the legal opinion and support provided by Pillsbury have always prevailed on the positive side."

Work highlights Counseled Boston Properties in a protest at the GAO and subsequently the Court of Federal Claims concerning the GSA's award of a 20-year lease for the Transportation Security Administration's headquarters and the termination-for-convenience clause included in the contract.

Represented the former employee of defense contractor, Yasser Ramahi, in Army debarment proceedings resulting from SEC findings of misconduct under the FCPA.

Significant clients EY, Embraer, Parsons Corporation, Fluor, Aerovironment.

Notable practitioners

Sources highlight Alex Tomaszczuk's "great courtroom demeanor and significant work ethic." Clients further comment: "He is very experienced, has very good judgment and knows the courts and judges well. He also understands the business issues related to our projects." He represents contractors in disputes with the government, bid protests and internal investigations.

The "extremely impressive" James Gallagher receives particular praise for his "extreme wealth of knowledge." He counsels clients in the aerospace, defense and IT sectors on a wide array of government contracts litigation, including False Claims Act matters and costs allowability.

John Jensen is "among the very best at small business contracting issues, including size protests, mentor-protégé agreements and joint venture agreements." Furthermore, clients commend his "extensive knowledge and very solid approach," adding: "He is unflappable and his imparting of knowledge is very clear."

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Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Tysons Corner, VA.

What the team is known for Well-respected boutique practice with a solid range of government contracts expertise including counseling, litigation, alternative dispute resolution and investigations. Significant capabilities in costs disputes and a notable emphasis on construction and infrastructure projects. Also represents clients in the aerospace and defense, electronics, IT and engineering sectors.

Strengths Interviewees state that the firm is made up of "good people" and features a "lot of great deans of the Bar."

Notable practitioners

Gregory Smith has extensive experience in litigation and alternative dispute resolution involving government contracts. He is especially noted for his expertise in costs allowability disputes before the Armed Services and Civilian Board of Appeals.

John Pachter provides "great overall strategy" on a wide range of government contracts matters. He is especially well known for a strong and long track record of appearing in bid protests before the GAO.

Jonathan Shaffer is regarded as "excellent" by clients, who explain: "He is a very, very good writer and able to communicate our position to the judge." He handles litigation at the federal, state and local levels and is especially well versed in bid protests.

Stephen Knight is sought out by leading government contractors for cost allowability disputes. Clients state: "He has a good perspective on what is happening legislatively and in the case law and regulations. He melds it all and is able to track trends, and helps clients with that."

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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 4

第四等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Broad multidisciplinary government contracts practice, handling qui tam FCA actions, investigations, claims and appeals. Fields a bench of counseling experts and seasoned litigators, with deep experience in civil, criminal and administrative proceedings. Extensive experience in intellectual property disputes involving government contracts.

Strengths One client reports: "My experience with them has been excellent."

Work highlights Represented Delaware North, the previous contractor providing concessions at Yosemite National Park, in a dispute with the National Park Service over ownership of the trademarks for relevant names and logos and whether the new contractor should be required to purchase the intellectual property from Delaware North.

Advised American International Contractors in a novel dispute before the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals involving a multimillion-dollar contract for the construction of a new US State Department facility in Taiwan.

Significant clients United Technologies Corporation, Raytheon, AM General, Pacific Architects & Engineers, Fluor.

Notable practitioners

Robert Huffman leads the firm's government contracts practice and is capable of steering clients through all aspects of the procurement process, including dispute resolution. He is a particularly strong choice for counseling and litigation involving intellectual property and data rights.

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Blank Rome LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 4

第四等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Experienced group, offering expertise in government contracts dispute resolution. Capabilities include bid protests, regulatory investigations and costs disputes. Also offers transactional and acquisition advice to clients doing business with government entities. Serves a broad range of government contractors in the professional services, healthcare, technology and defense sectors.

Strengths Clients praise the firm's "depth and breadth of expertise in the government area," adding: "Also, they provide practical guidance which works in the business context. They are good business and legal advisers in the government law arena."

Another client states: "They understand my company and business needs so they can anticipate what to do."

Work highlights Represented Oshkosh Defense in connection with a bid protest pursued by Lockheed Martin against the grant to Oshkosh of a $6.7 billion contract for the production of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles for the US Army.

Advised Accenture on various aspects, including the renewal, of its contract to manage the Federal Facilitated Marketplace, including the Healthcare.gov website.

Significant clients Baxter International, Sterigenics, Cardinal Health, Intel Security, HP Enterprise Services.

Notable practitioners

Chair of the firm's government contracts group David Nadler counsels clients on all aspects of procurement, including the negotiation and execution of contracts as well as litigation, audits and regulatory investigations. Clients appreciate that he is "extremely responsive, very knowledgeable and provides common-sense advice. He understands how to advise businesses in a way that is practical from both a business and legal perspective."

Richard Conway predominantly represents government contractors in the technology and IT sectors in litigation, including bid protests and DOJ investigations. Recently, he represented Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services in defending a protest filed by XTec concerning the award of a sole-source contract for U.S. Access Services, the federal government's security program.

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Dentons LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 4

第四等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices are Denver and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Offers a broad range of government contracting services including acquisitions advice and compliance review, as well as representing clients in procurement fraud proceedings, intellectual property claims and bid protests. Significant experience handling complex costs disputes. Regularly appears before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, the GAO, and federal and state courts.

Strengths One client reports that the "group is fearless and they go out on a limb to give you an answer."

Another states: "They are very informed, know their stuff and have been doing this work a long time."

Work highlights Represented Shaw Environmental, one of the defendants in two qui tam cases under the False Claims Act, which involved FEMA's procurement of emergency housing following Hurricane Katrina and allegations that the contractors had failed to comply with state regulations on liquefied petroleum gas.

Represented LinQuest Corporation and BTP Systems in a bid protest as well as a subsequent lawsuit alleging tortious interference and misappropriation of trade secrets, brought by a competitor after it failed to secure a US Navy contract.

Significant clients Chicago Bridge & Iron Federal Services, Thales North America, Harris Corporation, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Leidos.

Notable practitioners

Thomas Lemmer's disputes-focused government contracts practice involves a significant emphasis on costs claims and appeals. Clients and peers alike commend "his really in-depth knowledge of the cost accounting standards."

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Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 4

第四等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Operates a busy practice, frequently representing domestic and foreign private equity firms in the government contracts investment market. Regularly serves as counsel on high-value acquisitions. Substantial expertise in bid protests, as well as regulatory and criminal enforcement. Able to draw on significant multidisciplinary expertise, including premier corporate and white-collar practices.

Strengths One source appreciates the firm's "attention to detail; they're very thoughtful and they clearly know the subject matter. They are good writers and communicators."

Another commentator praises the firm's "judgment and good sense of how the government feels about an issue. They are able to take that perspective and translate it into practical advice for us."

Work highlights Counseled Leidos Holdings through its absorption into Lockheed Martin's Information Systems & Global Solutions business in the form of a Reverse Morris Trust transaction.

Advised Greenland Contractors on a series of protests and appeals concerning a $411 million contract for the management and operation of Thule Air Base, a US Air Force base located in Greenland, which was awarded to Exelis Services.

Significant clients Alion Science and Technology Corporation, Triumph Group, Wendel, FedEx, EnPro Industries.

Notable practitioners

James McCullough is sought for significant bid protests and strategic counsel in M&A transactions involving government contractors. Clients enthuse: "He's thoughtful, accurate and gives good advice based on years of excellence. He's seen every single thing in the government contracts space."

Department profile by Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Government Contracts: 
The practice counsels clients on complex statutes and regulations at each stage of the government contracting process, from solicitation, award, performance and termination to cost-performance liabilities and regularly supports merger and acquisition activity in the aerospace and defense arena.


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Holland & Knight LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 4

第四等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices are Tysons Corner, VA and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Regular player in the government contracts arena, recognized for its success in bid protests. Draws on substantial strength in its corporate and M&A practice, along with industry expertise in the construction and real estate sectors. Active at federal, state and local levels. Notable focus on counseling contractors in the defense, aerospace, IT and engineering sectors.

Strengths Sources report that "the quality of advice is first and foremost" in the team's mind and appreciate "their understanding of the legal area and their general ability to grasp and understand our business needs in context."

Others note that Holland & Knight's "greatest strength is their experience. They've had the toughest battles and as a result have a 360-degree perspective. Client service is outstanding. Strategic planning is top-notch."

Value for money Clients agree that "they are very value-oriented. They don't spend unnecessary effort, but achieve good outcomes." Furthermore, "they have very competitive rates. I like that it enables partners to work efficiently and play a primary role." Another client comments: "When it comes to value for money, they are at the top of the game. With Holland & Knight, you absolutely get what you pay for."

Work highlights Counseled Social Solutions International in a bid protest before the GAO relating to a $290 million human resources contract with the US Agency for International Development.

Represented Coastal International Security in a successful bid protest concerning a contract for the provision of security services at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC.

Significant clients AECOM Management Services, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Edaptive Systems, MSC Industrial Supply and Navigate Affordable Housing Partners.

Notable practitioners

David Black is "an acknowledged expert in federal government contracting law." Interviewees praise his "great command and knowledge of his area of expertise, which leads to thoughtful consideration and invaluable strategic advice for us as a client." He predominantly handles government contract controversies, including bid protests and claims under the Contract Disputes Act.

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Perkins Coie LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 4

第四等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Strong track record of winning business-critical bid protests before the GAO and Court of Federal Claims on behalf of protestors and intervenors. Additional capabilities include handling proceedings under the False Claims Act, contractual disputes and transactional counseling.

Strengths Clients describe the firm as "easy to deal with, responsive, flexible, intelligent and experienced. They understood our business and our needs, and crafted business-oriented solutions and workarounds that allowed us to meet our objectives while minimizing project risks."

Observers also explain: "The quality of work is high and we are always happy to keep working with them."

Work highlights Successfully represented Harris IT Services in a protest against the FBI's decision to procure its radio communications system on a sole source basis from Motorola, in violation of federal regulations.

Counseled Intelsat General in a protest concerning a $450 million commercial satellite services contract with the Defense Intelligence Services Agency, which the GAO sustained on the basis that DISA had incorrectly changed the terms of the solicitation during the process.

Significant clients Boeing, Wyle Laboratories, Northrop Grumman, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Permuta Technologies.

Notable practitioners

Lee Curtis is renowned for his "long history of big protests litigation, particularly before the GAO." Clients explain: "He knows the GAO case law inside out. He is also very efficient at what he does because he has done it for so long."

Jeff Eisenstein is a seasoned litigator with experience in sensitive investigation, False Claims Act litigation, and suspension and debarment proceedings. Sources report: "He is able to work closely with the lawyers and businesspeople and understand what they are trying to achieve," adding: "He is an engineer by training so understands the technical issues."

Department profile by Perkins Coie LLP



Perkins Coie’s nationally recognized team of experienced government contracts lawyers
helps our clients, including established government contractors and
commercially focused companies that do business with the government, navigate
the labyrinth of government regulations, negotiate contracts, defend and
prosecute bid protests, and litigate government contract claims.

For companies that conduct business with the government, our lawyers offer the
skill, experience and resources to successfully navigate complex federal
procurement law, negotiate and protect profitable contracts and resolve
contract disputes through litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Many
of our lawyers previously worked for federal and state government agencies,
courts and large, sophisticated contractors. Several lawyers in our practice
hold top-secret clearances.

Guided by an unwavering focus on client service, we work with clients in a variety of
industries, from defense and aerospace to semiconductors and information
technology, as well as communications, energy, nuclear, maritime,
environmental, construction and professional services.


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Venable LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 4

第四等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices are Tysons Corner, VA and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Compact but highly adept government contracts group offering a range of services to companies in the aerospace, defense, IT and engineering industries. Capable of counseling clients through all facets of federal, state and local procurement, including regulatory compliance and dispute resolution. Experienced in sizable bid protests before the GAO.

Strengths Sources state that "they have a good group" and "a quality operation."

Notable practitioners

Scott Hommer's expertise spans the full range of government contract counseling and litigation at the state and federal levels. He is especially adept at advising on cybersecurity and data protection issues arising in the context of public procurement.

Paul Debolt is regarded by interviewees as "a strategic thinker and very collaborative." His broad government contracts experience includes civil fraud, bid protests and contractual termination, as well as regulatory compliance.

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Vinson & Elkins LLP - Government: Government Contracts

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Band 4

第四等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Active government contracts firm, fielding deep experience in the bid protests arena. Additional expertise in procurement fraud matters and cross-border investigations. Acts for a variety of foreign and domestic clients, notably those in the healthcare, aerospace, defense, technology and logistics sectors. Increasing capabilities in costs accounting disputes and audits.

Strengths "V&E is a superb firm that is always responsive, pragmatic in its approach and simply has great lawyers with whom I enjoy working," comments one client.

Another interviewee notes they are "very knowledgeable in this area and very responsive to any issues or problems we have."

Work highlights Represented Noridian Healthcare Solutions in a dispute with the State of Maryland over technical flaws in its healthcare exchange website.

Represented Financial Management Systems in proceedings before the GAO and Court of Federal Claims concerning its renewed contract with the Department of Education for the rehabilitation and collection of student loans.

Significant clients Agility Logistics, BAE Systems, EmblemHealth, KBR, Noridian Healthcare Solutions.

Notable practitioners

Michael Charness is regarded as "a fantastic litigator" who handles sizable contract claims and bid protests. "From a subject matter standpoint, he's among the best I've ever worked with," reports one client.

Daniel Graham impresses interviewees with "his experience, innovative solutions and superior legal guidance." Sources also comment on his advocacy skills, particularly in bid protests. He also handles contractual and costs disputes, particularly in the healthcare insurance space.

David Johnson is "a subject matter expert," according to client commentators. "He is also a great partner for us and is responsive." He provides strategic counsel on all aspects of government contracts, including bid protests, termination and prime/subcontractor disputes.

Department profile by Vinson & Elkins LLP

·         Vinson & Elkins’ top-tier government contracts practice is known for handling high-stakes bid protest and claims litigation. V&E represents major contractors in the aerospace and defense, healthcare, engineering and construction, professional services and IT industries. In addition to protests and claims, V&E handles complex cost accounting matters, mergers and acquisitions, subcontract negotiation and prime/subcontractor litigation, suspension and debarment proceedings, export controls and economic sanctions matters, False Claims Act suits and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations. 

·         Our multidisciplinary approach leverages V&E’s deep bench of attorneys from the firm’s white collar, corporate, export controls/economic sanctions, international arbitration and antitrust law groups. Many of our clients choose V&E because we provide a “total solution” where other Chambers-ranked government contracts practices can only address the government contracting dimension.

·         V&E’s focus on client responsiveness, pragmatic legal solutions to business problems, and lean staffing sets us apart from other Chambers-ranked government contracts practice. Although we are prepared to take any claim or protest to a trial or hearing, we know when litigation will and will not achieve our client’s business needs and counsel them accordingly. 

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Overview

NATIONWIDE: An Introduction to Nationwide Contributed by Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

NATIONWIDE: An Introduction to US Government Contracts Practice Nationwide

The outlook for public procurement in the United States changed significantly with the election of President Donald J Trump. In a shift from last year's more mixed outlook, President Trump's promises to increase defense spending and pass a massive infrastructure bill, combined with his highly engaged management style and pledges to "Buy American," have made US procurement markets more promising though, potentially, with more legal risk.

Defense and Cybersecurity in the Trump Administration

While the Trump administration had yet to deliver its first budget as of the time of this writing, President Trump has made plain that he intends to expand the Defense Department's budget. The Trump administration argues that the United States "cannot allow other nations to surpass our military capability," and has said that it will "pursue the highest level of military readiness." The new administration moved to meet those goals with an executive order issued on January 27, 2017, which called upon the Defense Department to undertake an immediate, and intensive, review of the Department's military needs.

How much defense spending will increase will turn, in part, on existing budget constraints. Under a prior legislative compromise, increases in defense spending are subject to budget caps, and there may be Congressional opposition to spending hikes that exceed those caps. The areas that may receive increased defense funding will likely be a source of consideration over strategic direction. The President has expressed wishes for more Naval ships, more troops, and more funding for nuclear weapons, but as of now details have yet to be presented.

Despite these potential budget battles, it is likely that the federal government will shift resources and attention to enhanced cybersecurity. A series of highly publicized "hacks" during the election prompted President Trump to meet with cybersecurity experts on January 31, 2017, as part of a broader effort to improve cybersecurity.

There may be an unforeseen obstacle to enhanced cybersecurity, however. Although effective cybersecurity in the federal government often depends on tightening rules, the Trump administration has tried in general to stem the growth of federal regulations. On January 30, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order directing that for every new regulation issued at least two prior regulations must be eliminated, and that the costs of planned regulations must be controlled. The order did not explicitly exempt cybersecurity, and in cybersecurity (as elsewhere) regulators may find it difficult to strengthen the regulatory regime without running afoul of White House opposition to new and expensive regulations.

Infrastructure Spending

The Trump White House has promised infrastructure legislation potentially worth hundreds of billions of dollars, and polls show very strong popular support for increased federal spending for roads, mass transit and other infrastructure. Federal infrastructure spending is often done through grants to states and other public and non-profit entities, which can add a layer of legal complexity – federal, state and local grant rules – to the spending process. In his first address to Congress, President Trump indicated that he would also look to private capital sources as part of the promised infrastructure spending boost, perhaps suggesting efforts to boost reliance on public-private partnerships.

Infrastructure legislation passed in the Trump administration also is likely to reflect the administration's strong commitment to "Buy American," discussed below. If the Trump administration follows the model of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the fiscal stimulus which passed in 2009, at the beginning of the Obama administration), then the Trump administration's infrastructure bill may include a provision calling for the use of US iron, steel and manufactured goods in projects funded by the legislation. Experience under the 2009 legislation showed that the domestic preference was complicated to apply, and often slowed procurements under the Recovery Act.

"Buy American" in the Trump Administration

Two cornerstone promises of the Trump campaign, which President Trump repeated during his inaugural address, were to "Hire American" and "Buy American." These commitments are likely to carry into new domestic preferences in the $500 billion federal procurement market. As discussed above, an infrastructure bill may include a domestic preference provision; after a recent executive order calling for a study on using exclusively US steel on private pipelines, some have asked whether federal grant rules might be rewritten to impose domestic preferences. The open question is how more vigorous "Buy American" policies might apply to other areas of procurement. Pressure for more reliance on waivers from these requirements may grow given increased reliance by US firms on global sourcing strategies.

As a start, one can anticipate what may not be affected by new domestic preferences: transborder procurement in defense materiel which is covered by existing reciprocal defense procurement agreements between the United States and its allies. Under those agreements, the US Defense Department and its counterpart ministries of defense agree not to discriminate when purchasing defense materiel from their counterparts' vendors. These agreements, which can cover billions of dollars in defense procurement, enhance interoperability among US allies and help bolster a common defense, which makes it less likely that the Trump administration will undo them.

It is possible that President Trump will admonish federal contracting officials to "Buy American" by favoring US firms; he may do so directly, by intervening in programs, or indirectly, for example through a public announcement. In either case, if a later award is diverted to a US firm as a result of the President's admonition, a disappointed foreign vendor may be able to challenge the award. Federal bid protest forums strictly enforce the award criteria set forth in a solicitation. If an awarding official deviates from published award criteria – to accommodate a demand from the President to "Buy American," for example – the award ultimately may be challenged and overturned.

Another option would be to slow or stop any new international trade agreements that would open US procurement markets. The Trump administration has already blocked the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would have opened US federal procurement to vendors from a number of Asian countries including (for the first time) Malaysia and Vietnam. The Trump administration has also signaled opposition to the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union, which similarly could have reduced barriers to procurement trade.

Perhaps the simplest option would be to slow accession negotiations with China, which seeks to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). Allowing China to join the GPA would open much of the US federal procurement market to Chinese competition. Because of President Trump's concerns with Chinese competition and the administration's general support for "Buy American" policies, it is possible that the new administration will seek to slow China's accession to the GPA.

Ethics, Compliance and Anti-Corruption How the Trump administration will approach issues of ethics, compliance and anti-corruption remains an open question. From early on, the Trump administration has been dogged by ethics questions stemming from the Trump Organization's worldwide businesses. At the same time, however, the President has vowed to "drain the swamp" in Washington by imposing new and stricter ethics requirements. In an executive order signed on January 28, 2017, the Trump administration called for stricter post-employment controls on executive branch employees, and for tighter regulation of registered lobbyists – both measures in support of tighter ethics enforcement.

As a practical matter, firms doing business with the new administration should recognize that many members of the Trump administration have limited experience in government, and so may not be steeped in the government's complex ethics requirements. Companies doing business with the federal government therefore may wish to strengthen their internal compliance systems, to ensure that they, and their government customers, remain above reproach in this time of rapid change and opportunity.

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Senior Statesmen

Crowell & Moring LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Terry Albertson is "extremely knowledgeable about costs principles and rules implemented by the government." He advises government contractors on compliance and disputes involving costs allowability. Recently, he counseled Hewlett-Packard in negotiating a settlement agreement relating to its defined-benefit pension plan.

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Senior Statesmen

Marshall J Doke Jr

Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Marshall Doke of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP maintains a strong track record in government contracts matters, with a noted expertise in costs accounting standards. He is also experienced in contract disputes, protests, False Claims Act proceedings, suspension and debarment.

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Senior Statesmen

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC

From the Chambers USA guide

John Pachter provides "great overall strategy" on a wide range of government contracts matters. He is especially well known for a strong and long track record of appearing in bid protests before the GAO.

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Wiley Rein LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Rand Allen receives praise from sources for his "practical intelligence," as well as his "knowledge of the statutes and regulations in this space." He is sought out by leading government contractors to advise on compliance and litigation.

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John W Chierichella

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

The "absolutely fantastic" John Chierichella provides strategic advice in complex procurement litigation. He has extensive experience in bid protests, costs disputes and False Claims Act investigations. He is also adept at counseling government contractors on cybersecurity and data protection requirements.

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David A Churchill

Morrison & Foerster LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

David Churchill is widely held to be "one of the deans of the federal government contracting Bar in Washington. There is nothing he hasn't confronted before." He counsels premier government contractors in a range of complex disputes.

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Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Mark Colley counsels government contractors through a broad range of contentious matters, including False Claims Act investigations and bid protests. He is described by one client as "one of the foremost experts in government contracts law," with others explaining that he is "strategic, an outstanding writer and a tremendous advocate."

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Wiley Rein LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Paul Khoury is singled out by clients and peers alike as a "top-flight protest lawyer." One client comments: "He is our first choice for high-stakes bid protests. He is very bright, knowledgeable, zealous, candid and well connected."

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Mayer Brown LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Marcia Madsen is widely regarded as "one of the leading subject matter experts on bid protests." Clients enthuse about "her knowledge of bid protests law, as well as the idiosyncrasies of each of the forums where bid protests are handled." She is also noted for her "good judgment" and "ability to craft a winning strategy."

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Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Clients and peers agree that Karen Manos is "at the top of the ladder when it comes to government cost accounting litigation and general government contracts advice." She is sought out by many of the leading government contractors to handle high-stakes costs disputes and provide strategic counsel. She is particularly praised for her "great command of the law in this area" and "impressive courtroom presence."

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Wiley Rein LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Scott McCaleb is "my go-to partner for all government contracts-related matters," comments one client; "he is an excellent lawyer all around." He is praised in particular for his "communication skills and persuasiveness." His strengths include high-stakes bid protests and complex contractual disputes.

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James J McCullough

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

James McCullough is sought for significant bid protests and strategic counsel in M&A transactions involving government contractors. Clients enthuse: "He's thoughtful, accurate and gives good advice based on years of excellence. He's seen every single thing in the government contracts space."

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Rogers Joseph O'Donnell

From the Chambers USA guide

The "exceptional" Neil O'Donnell chairs the firm's government contracts group. He is reported to be a "very smart and knowledgeable government contracts attorney." He is a seasoned litigator, with particular expertise in contractual terminations, bid protests and false claims disputes.

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Band 2

Vinson & Elkins LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Michael Charness is regarded as "a fantastic litigator" who handles sizable contract claims and bid protests. "From a subject matter standpoint, he's among the best I've ever worked with," reports one client.

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Morrison & Foerster LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Jay DeVecchio is sought out particularly for his expertise in intellectual property and data rights arising out of government contracts. Clients describe him as "one of the most seasoned government contract advisers and litigators in the industry. He has very broad and in-depth experience and knowledge that he brings to the table when seeking solutions to complex contracting issues," while also commending his "very good business orientation."

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James J Gallagher

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

The "extremely impressive" James Gallagher receives particular praise for his "extreme wealth of knowledge." He counsels clients in the aerospace, defense and IT sectors on a wide array of government contracts litigation, including False Claims Act matters and costs allowability.

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Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Craig Holman counsels clients in a broad range of government contracts matters, including challenging and defending sizable contract awards. Recently, he represented EY before the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a challenge to the DHA's award for a $58 million task order for professional services, which had been awarded to PwC. "He is very responsive, proactive and provides very practical, results-oriented advice," report clients.

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Thomas P Humphrey

Crowell & Moring LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Thomas Humphrey chiefly counsels government contractors in litigation, including challenging and defending contract awards. Clients commend that he is "proactive in his legal advice, and has great business acumen and judgment," adding: "He looks at the long-term picture."

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Hogan Lovells US LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Michael Mason is "knowledgeable about many facets of government contract law," according to clients. "Whether the issue involves False Claims Act violations, ethics reporting disclosures, protests, Inspector General audits or GSA schedule contracting, he is a tremendous resource and offers dependable advice." He is particularly experienced in government contracts litigation, including business-critical bid protests.

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Thomas L McGovern III

Hogan Lovells US LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Clients regard Thomas McGovern as "very bright, knowledgeable, creative, candid, and he has great connections." He is a seasoned government contracts litigator who has appeared in numerous bid protests, suspension and debarment proceedings, contract claims and appeals. Sources say: "He is very experienced and has good insights into how the government will react."

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Blank Rome LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Chair of the firm's government contracts group David Nadler counsels clients on all aspects of procurement, including the negotiation and execution of contracts as well as litigation, audits and regulatory investigations. Clients appreciate that he is "extremely responsive, very knowledgeable and provides common-sense advice. He understands how to advise businesses in a way that is practical from both a business and legal perspective."

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Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Paul Pompeo is widely held as "one of the top government cost accounting legal experts." His broad expertise also includes corporate transactions involving government contractors. A client comments that he has "a good business mind. He cuts to the facts and doesn't get lost in the law," adding: "He understands business realities and I really value his judgment."

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DLA Piper LLP (US)

From the Chambers USA guide

Richard Rector of DLA Piper LLP (US) is a highly regarded "government contracts expert." He counsels clients on all aspects of federal and state procurement, including compliance, contract disputes and bid protests. Clients commend his "good business advice."

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Bracewell LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Angela B Styles of Bracewell LLP counsels clients on business-critical suspension and debarment proceedings. She is frequently sought by defense contractors. Sources state that she is "very sharp" and "extremely knowledgeable." She recently represented Cannon Design in connection with its suspension from contracting with the Department of Veteran Affairs.

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Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Sources highlight Alex Tomaszczuk's "great courtroom demeanor and significant work ethic." Clients further comment: "He is very experienced, has very good judgment and knows the courts and judges well. He also understands the business issues related to our projects." He represents contractors in disputes with the government, bid protests and internal investigations.

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Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Joseph West continues to act in civil and criminal litigation, including false claims as well as suspension and debarment proceedings. A client comments: "I was really impressed by his depth of knowledge and ability to use that knowledge to resolve the issues, as well as his outstanding negotiating and presentation skills," adding: "He is great at framing arguments in a way that gets us the results we are looking for."

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Covington & Burling LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Ray Biagini's unique expertise encompasses national security concerns and tortious disputes relating to the performance of government contracts. A source reports that he was "always very responsive, provided useful information and helped us move the ball forward. He was absolutely amazing."

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David Bodenheimer

Crowell & Moring LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

David Bodenheimer is widely regarded as "a cybersecurity guru." A client explains that "he is at the forefront of cybersecurity issues in government procurement." His wide-ranging experience also includes internal investigations, bid protests, and suspension and debarment proceedings.

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Covington & Burling LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

The "phenomenal" Jason Carey is particularly well known for his expertise in challenging and defending government contract awards. Clients comment: "He is extremely bright and well versed in the nuances of protest law. Jay is quick to assess a situation and give honest feedback in a way that is easily understood."

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Hogan Lovells US LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Agnes Dover is sought by government contractors to provide regulatory advice as part of significant M&A transactions and corporate restructuring. She also counsels clients on national security concerns. Commentators describe her as "very intelligent" and she also receives praise for her "great judgment" and "diverse skill base."

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Mayer Brown LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

David Dowd is described by sources as "sharp" and "smart." He is noted for his litigation skills, advising clients on contractual disputes, bid protests, defective pricing and costs allowability. In particular, he is well versed in federal healthcare and insurance plans.

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Crowell & Moring LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

The "extremely bright and knowledgeable" Peter Eyre specializes across a wide range of government contracting issues, including corporate transactions and internal investigations, as well as suspension and debarment. Clients praise his "excellent subject knowledge," with others noting that he is "very well rounded and understands how issues impact business."

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Crowell & Moring LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Daniel Forman offers expertise in federal and state procurement, with a particular emphasis on litigation. "He is tremendously attentive and strategic minded," according to one client. "He understands not only the law, but also internal corporate dynamics and systems, allowing him to provide nuanced and tailored legal advice."

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Vinson & Elkins LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Daniel Graham impresses interviewees with "his experience, innovative solutions and superior legal guidance." Sources also comment on his advocacy skills, particularly in bid protests. He also handles contractual and costs disputes, particularly in the healthcare insurance space.

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Venable LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Scott Hommer's expertise spans the full range of government contract counseling and litigation at the state and federal levels. He is especially adept at advising on cybersecurity and data protection issues arising in the context of public procurement.

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Band 3

Covington & Burling LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Cochair of the firm's government contracts practice Frederic Levy is "very, very strong in government contracting compliance and ethics." He focuses on suspension and debarment proceedings and False Claims Act investigations as well as procurement fraud disputes.

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Rogers Joseph O'Donnell

From the Chambers USA guide

Robert Metzger maintains a particular focus on cybersecurity and supply chain security concerns faced by government contractors. Recently, he was part of the team that represented Siemens Healthcare in a successful protest to the award of a $42 million laboratory equipment contract.

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Morrison & Foerster LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Sources commend Kevin Mullen as "superb, capable, dedicated, hard-working and highly respected." His public procurement practice encompasses transactional, regulatory and litigation counseling.

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K&L Gates

From the Chambers USA guide

The "fantastic" and "extremely bright" Stuart Nibley leads the government contracts and procurement policy team at K&L Gates. His expertise encompasses sensitive investigations, protests and compliance counseling. He recently represented ManTech in challenging the GSA's award to a competitor of a contract for provision of engineering services to the US Air Force.

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Band 3

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Anne Perry is widely regarded as an "excellent government contracting lawyer" and particularly praised for being "very responsive and extremely intelligent." She has considerable experience on bid protests and counsels successful and unsuccessful awardees in business-critical bid protests before the GAO and Court of Federal Claims.

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Morrison & Foerster LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Richard Vacura is regarded by sources as "a very strong lawyer" and a "knowledgeable resource." Clients further describe him as "a levelheaded, calm and sound thinker." He is sought out by contractors in the defense, aerospace and IT industries to handle high-stakes litigation and internal investigations.

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Band 4

Jonathan S Aronie

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Jonathan Aronie is "incredibly talented," according to sources. He is praised especially for his "good breadth of knowledge, common sense and good advice." He focuses on government contracts disputes, including challenging and defending government contract awards.

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Holland & Knight LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

David Black is "an acknowledged expert in federal government contracting law." Interviewees praise his "great command and knowledge of his area of expertise, which leads to thoughtful consideration and invaluable strategic advice for us as a client." He predominantly handles government contract controversies, including bid protests and claims under the Contract Disputes Act.

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Blank Rome LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Richard Conway predominantly represents government contractors in the technology and IT sectors in litigation, including bid protests and DOJ investigations. Recently, he represented Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services in defending a protest filed by XTec concerning the award of a sole-source contract for U.S. Access Services, the federal government's security program.

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Perkins Coie LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Lee Curtis is renowned for his "long history of big protests litigation, particularly before the GAO." Clients explain: "He knows the GAO case law inside out. He is also very efficient at what he does because he has done it for so long."

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Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Kara Daniels is "bright, thoughtful and a terrific strategic thinker," according to sources. She assists clients in a range of contentious and noncontentious government contract matters, including contract disputes and bid protests.

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Wiley Rein LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Philip Davis chiefly counsels on contentious government contracts issues, with a particular emphasis on claims brought before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals. He recently advised Supreme Foodservice in relation to a dispute concerning reimbursement for supplying food and other provisions to US troops overseas.

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Venable LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Paul Debolt is regarded by interviewees as "a strategic thinker and very collaborative." His broad government contracts experience includes civil fraud, bid protests and contractual termination, as well as regulatory compliance.

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Perkins Coie LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Jeff Eisenstein is a seasoned litigator with experience in sensitive investigation, False Claims Act litigation, and suspension and debarment proceedings. Sources report: "He is able to work closely with the lawyers and businesspeople and understand what they are trying to achieve," adding: "He is an engineer by training so understands the technical issues."

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Robert K. Huffman

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Robert Huffman leads the firm's government contracts practice and is capable of steering clients through all aspects of the procurement process, including dispute resolution. He is a particularly strong choice for counseling and litigation involving intellectual property and data rights.

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Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Kristen Ittig is noted for her diverse government contracts expertise, which encompasses compliance counseling, internal investigations and bid protests. Recently, she represented Algese in bid protests before the GAO and the Court of Federal Claims concerning the award of contracts for the provision of air terminal and ground handling services at certain overseas naval bases.

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Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

John Jensen is "among the very best at small business contracting issues, including size protests, mentor-protégé agreements and joint venture agreements." Furthermore, clients commend his "extensive knowledge and very solid approach," adding: "He is unflappable and his imparting of knowledge is very clear."

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Vinson & Elkins LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

David Johnson is "a subject matter expert," according to client commentators. "He is also a great partner for us and is responsive." He provides strategic counsel on all aspects of government contracts, including bid protests, termination and prime/subcontractor disputes.

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Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Stephen Knight is sought out by leading government contractors for cost allowability disputes. Clients state: "He has a good perspective on what is happening legislatively and in the case law and regulations. He melds it all and is able to track trends, and helps clients with that."

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Larkin Ferrell LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Sharon Larkin has recently moved from Steptoe & Johnson to Larkin Ferrell LLP. Her previous experience includes serving as a judge on the GAO Contracts Appeals Board, which makes her especially well placed for challenging and defending contract awards. While at her previous firm, she acted for Science Applications International in a bid protest challenging the award of a $1.2 billion contract for the development of the prototypes for a new amphibious combat vehicle to be used by the US Marine Corps.

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Dentons LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Thomas Lemmer's disputes-focused government contracts practice involves a significant emphasis on costs claims and appeals. Clients and peers alike commend "his really in-depth knowledge of the cost accounting standards." 

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Michael D. McGill

Hogan Lovells US LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Michael McGill counsels clients on a diverse array of government contracts mandates, including challenging and defending government contract awards. Clients describe him as "really solution-oriented and very responsive. He's also really great at client service."

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Rogers Joseph O'Donnell

From the Chambers USA guide

Patricia Meagher concentrates her practice on government contracts litigation. She recently acted for Siemens Government Technologies in a dispute with a technology vendor which arose from Siemens's Energy Savings Performance Contract with the US Army. Sources enthuse: "She's very, very smart. A really, really good lawyer."

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Band 4

Nichols Liu LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Robert Nichols is experienced across a broad array of government contracts mandates, including regulatory compliance and M&A transactions. A client comments: "He was outstanding, knowledgeable and very strategic," adding: "He had creative ideas." He is a founding member of Nichols Liu LLP.

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Nicole J Owren-Wiest

Crowell & Moring LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Nicole J Owren-Wiest is noted by clients as a "true government contracts expert, with a client-oriented style, focus on practical results and sensitivity to business priorities." She is gaining particular prominence for her knowledge of costs accounting standards.

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Covington & Burling LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

The "incredibly smart" Alan Pemberton receives praise for his "substantive expertise." His experience encompasses defending and challenging contract awards as well as regulatory compliance.

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Reed Smith LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Holly Roth recently joined Reed Smith LLP's government contracts and grants practice. She counsels clients on a diverse array of issues, including compliance, investigations and contract disputes. Sources comment that she is "very responsive, has a sound approach and is easy to communicate with."

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Ronald A Schechter

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Ronald Schechter is described by clients as "a treasure trove of insight and experience." His background as a trial attorney at the DOJ makes him a strong choice for representing clients in False Claims Act proceedings and other government contracts litigation.

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Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Jonathan Shaffer is regarded as "excellent" by clients, who explain: "He is a very, very good writer and able to communicate our position to the judge." He handles litigation at the federal, state and local levels and is especially well versed in bid protests.

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Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Gregory Smith has extensive experience in litigation and alternative dispute resolution involving government contracts. He is especially noted for his expertise in costs allowability disputes before the Armed Services and Civilian Board of Appeals.

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Band 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Bradley Wine receives praise for his "business savvy," "responsiveness and subject matter expertise." He offers strategic compliance and litigation counsel to government contractors from wide range of industries. Another notable strength of Wine's is internal investigations.

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Up and Coming

Wiley Rein LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Tracye Howard  is regarded by clients as "a valuable partner." She provides "succinct advice and a really impressive work product," according to observers. Furthermore, interviewees enthuse: "She isn’t fazed by constant changes or being asked to do the near impossible." She assists clients with government contracts litigation and compliance.

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Up and Coming

Wiley Rein LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

The "excellent" John Prairie counsels government contractors of all sizes, including small businesses subject to specialist regulations. Recently, he represented TSymmetry in a number of protests before the GAO and Court of Federal Claims defending the award of a multimillion-dollar contract for the provision of technology services to the US Department of State.

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Up and Coming

Morrison & Foerster LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Damien Specht is a strong choice for advising government contractors on M&A transactions. Clients comment that "he's a very quick study. He turns work around very quickly and writes very well. He puts together good, cogent arguments in a short timeframe."

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Up and Coming

Wiley Rein LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Brian Walsh is "an excellent resource," report clients. He is involved in significant contentious matters arising in the government contracts space, including sizable bid protests.

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