Government Contracts

Businesses contracting in the public sector have significant opportunities – which come with significant compliance risks and pitfalls. Attorneys in McGuireWoods’ Government Contracts Practice have detailed knowledge of government regulation, a broad understanding of public procurement strategy, and critical expertise engaging with government agencies to provide clients with the confidence to engage and, if necessary, confront the government on their home turf. Based in the Washington, DC, metro area, McGuireWoods Government Contracts Practice attorneys leverage strong defense and national security credentials to provide full-service government contracting services across the spectrum of the procurement process.

Our team, which includes former senior officials at the Department of Justice, former U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps litigators, and other former military services members, has substantial operational experience, attorneys maintaining active security clearances, and the legal know-how to efficiently achieve outstanding results for clients. The capabilities of our full-service Government Contracts Practice include all types of government investigations and enforcement matters, including False Claims Act investigations; Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) and other audit assistance; bid protests; government contract claims; classified defense and intelligence contract negotiations and counseling; procurement counseling; cybersecurity counseling, and export control counseling and enforcement. And we provide these services to clients ranging from the largest top defense contractors to small businesses and startup technology firms across the defense and national security, intelligence, aerospace, service, technology, construction, energy, and other sectors.

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Government Investigations and Enforcement

We leverage the enforcement expertise within McGuireWoods’ nationally recognized White Collar and Government Investigations Group to offer clients comprehensive representation on government contract-related investigations and enforcement actions involving the Department of Justice, agency inspectors general, and military criminal investigative services.

  • Jointly selected by two top defense contractors to defend their joint venture in a qui tam whistleblower lawsuit alleging $90 million in over-charging on national security satellite launch service contracts, resulting in a full resolution and dismissals with prejudice against Air Force and NRO for a false claims act settlement payment of less than $1 million.
  • Resolved a qui tam action with the DOJ and Army relating to testing certifications on a $250 million telecommunications system in Iraq, including full and complete resolution with the Army SDO with no administrative commitments.
  • Secured a settlement with DOJ and GSA in a qui tam action relating to allegations of non-compliance with a federal supply schedule contract.
  • Investigated the false certification of Buy American Act compliance for products delivered to DOD customers, to include a voluntary self-disclosure and negotiated settlement with DOJ.
  • Successfully defended a top defense contractor in a high-visibility, congressionally-requested DOD OIG inquiry of alleged improprieties in the U.S. Air Force space launch competition with no findings of wrongdoing.
  • Represented a medical services contractor in connection with parallel DOJ OIG investigations of Federal Bureau of Prisons billings and subcontractor charging practices.
  • Assisted a large construction contractor on an SIGAR inquiry involving alleged bribery and anti-kickback violations by a subcontractor.
  • Represented a FBOP contractor in a DOJ OIG audit of contract compliance and performance under a services contract.
  • Assisted a DOD and NASA subcontractor respond to a DOD OIG audit related to a commercial item determination and commercial pricing negotiations for propellant used in national security applications, including discussions with senior DOD OIG personnel regarding audit conclusions.
  • Conducted an internal investigation regarding procurement integrity matters associated with competitor pricing data, including engagement with government customers, development of firewalls, and remedial actions.
  • Led an internal investigation involving the treatment of health insurance premium costs under the Cost Accounting Standards for a large government contractor, including a mandatory disclosure and discussions with contracting officials related to remedial actions.
  • Assisted a GSA schedule information technology contractor with an internal investigation of various pricing issues.
  • Conducted internal investigations of alleged bribes and improper gifts and gratuities involving international subsidiaries of U.S.-based contactors.
  • Assisted multiple federal contractors respond to DOJ criminal inquiries related to the recruitment, hiring, and work of former government officials.
  • Successfully advised a federal contractor on presentations to Suspension and Debarment officials following the conviction and debarment of a senior corporate executive, avoiding SDO action against the corporation

Bid and Size Protests

Our lawyers understand the importance of challenging flawed agency solicitations at the earliest stage. We regularly try to resolve potential disputes over procurements through informal means with the contracting officer and other source-selection officials, and our team has extensive experience with protests at procuring agencies and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), as well as at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the Small Business Administration’s Office of Hearings and Appeals, and state fora.

  • Represented a small business protesting the award of a task order under a DHS IDIQ contract, with the agency taking corrective action based on the awardee’s improper “bait and switch” of proposed key personnel.
  • Intervened on behalf of a top defense contractor in a GAO bid protest challenge to an Air Force award valued at more than $500M for the operation and maintenance of a critical early warning radar system.
  • Intervened at the GAO to defend the award of a classified IDIQ contract with a federal intelligence agency with a proposed task order value of $120M against two simultaneous but separate bid protests.
  • Represented an IT services contractor in seeking a permanent injunction against the GSA at the Court of Federal Claims to enjoin the agency from improperly removing the company from the Alliant contracting vehicle, with the agency taking corrective action to reverse the proposed off-ramp action.
  • Represented a leading Afghan national fuel service provider before the GAO while simultaneously negotiating a reversal of a U.S. Government installation bar, allowing our client to receive a contract extension while the agency pursued corrective action.
  • Defended one of the country’s leading FFRDC’s in a bid protest proceeding involving various allegations of an organizational conflict of interest and procurement irregularities.
  • Represented a defense contractor in a GAO protest of a DOD cyber-forensic services contract valued at more than $450M, including post-protest negotiations with the agency and awardee on mutually-agreeable corrective action.
  • Defended an Alaska Native-owned 8(a) contractor against a size challenge and subsequent appeal to the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals on a large NASA contract against various allegations of improper affiliation, reliance on non-small or affiliated entities, and non-small status, among other issues.
  • Successfully defended a small business client against the simultaneous filings of two separate size protests, a HUBZone protest, and a GAO protest, protecting two significant contract wins.
  • Successfully represented a significant healthcare and research company in a protest in the Commonwealth of Virginia, resulting in the agency’s cancellation of its intent to award and announcement that it would issue a re-solicitation of proposals under the terms requested in the protest.
  • Successfully represented a state service provider in a protest in the State of Florida relating to the statewide delivery of concessions.

Government Contract Claims and Other Litigation

Our attorneys have engaged in significant litigation with defense and civilian federal agencies, including in matters filed at the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals and at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

  • Secured a $50M settlement with the US Army and Department of Justice in Court of Federal Claims litigation regarding copyright infringement of a sophisticated logistics software package.
  • Conducted 3-week trial before ASBCA in a $400M breach of contract case against the Air Force regarding a space launch services contract.
  • Successfully negotiated a termination settlement proposal for a major contractor resulting in a multi-million dollar recovery for the client without the need for costly litigation.
  • Successfully resolved a government claim based on a DCAA audit against a small business client alleging more than $2M in unallowable costs, resulting in payment to the client of more than $50,000.

Procurement Counseling and Transactional Support

We help clients win government contracts, comply with an extensive array of regulatory requirements, negotiate teaming agreements and subcontracts, and defend DCAA audits and other agency inquiries. With several attorneys holding active clearances, we also regularly advise clients on matters involving intelligence community platforms and contracts.

  • Represented large government contractor with multiple operating subsidiaries in resolving numerous incurred cost audits, including negotiating the first tolling agreement ever agreed to with the DCMA office responsible for the negotiations.
  • Assisted a green energy company establish a government contract compliance and subcontracting program related to a multi-phase development, construction, and energy generation contract.
  • Represented a leading government contractor in the technical, engineering, intelligence, and enterprise information technology markets in its $800M acquisition of a preeminent national security firm focused on classified military and intelligence community programs.
  • Advised multiple companies contemplating various acquisition and divestiture options regarding compliance and risk issues for government contracts and Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
  • Substantial involvement in numerous merger and acquisition deals, including conducting due diligence, negotiating purchase terms, and advising on government notification and consent requirements, including deals involving classified contracts.
  • Negotiated an advance agreement with DCMA allowing a client to recover more than $6M in indirect costs previously questioned by DCAA