The attorneys on our Government Contracts team have deep experience in all areas of this highly regulated and often strategically critical area of practice. Whether at the federal, state, or local level, we routinely assist clients with the procurement, administration and regulation of government contracts, as well as with mediation, arbitration and litigation of those processes when necessary. Indeed, close coordination with O’Hagan Meyer attorneys from other practice teams—colleagues focused on corporate law, securities, government relations, technology, intellectual property, financing, employment, taxation, immigration, litigation, bankruptcy and more—puts our Government Contracts team in an optimal position to effectively meet our clients’ needs.
Our attorneys frequently provide legal advice tailored to our clients’ individual business priorities. We serve as advisors in explaining the legal framework to our clients, as counselors in helping them develop appropriate business processes, including compliance programs, and as advocates when the need to resolve matters before a tribunal is required. Regardless of the task at hand, we offer effective solutions that directly translate into business value.
Our Government Contracts team has experience in the following areas:
- Procurement, administration and compliance
- Bid protests
- Program modification and termination
- Governmental inquiries and investigations
- Business formation and transactions
- Intellectual property
- Local and state government contract matters
- Employment, labor and immigration
- Import/Export issues
Procurement, administration and compliance
We advise clients regarding the procurement process and regulations in seeking to obtain business opportunities from federal, state and local governments. Our attorneys understand both the opportunities and risks associated with obtaining and administering business opportunities through governmental entities. We assist clients in responding to particular governmental inquiries, such as Defense Contract Audit Agency audits, and work with clients to ensure that their internal business processes are in compliance and aligned with regulatory and certification requirements. During contract performance, our attorneys help prepare and negotiate contract-related agreements with the government, including confidentiality agreements, non-disclosure agreements and teaming agreements. In addition, we help clients negotiate claims for changes in scope of work and other changed conditions. If necessary, we prepare certified claims, requests for equitable adjustment, termination for convenience claims, and other matters within the purview of the Contract Disputes Act. The attorneys on our Government Contracts team have the experience to pursue any claims denied by contracting officer final decisions in the appropriate Board of Contract Appeals, the United States Court of Federal Claims, or the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
In addition to our experience before the Boards of Contract Appeals and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, our team has significant experience in litigating and taking to trial the full array of government contract matters, including bid protests, contract claim disputes, and termination for convenience/termination for default claims. We are also proficient in Miller Act and Little Miller Act claims. Despite our trial experience, however, we strive to resolve government disputes through negotiation or the formal mediation process.
Governmental inquiries and investigations
Our Government Contracts team is experienced in advising clients in assessing how best to respond to governmental inquiries and investigations. Our attorneys are versed in the appropriate techniques for resolving governmental concerns while maintaining business opportunities. We counsel clients with respect to good business practices, as well as responding to issues such as compliance with ethics, including the Contractor Code of Ethics, and procurement regulations. We provide representation to clients that are being informally pursued or formally charged with civil or criminal breaches of procurement-related laws by federal and state prosecutors, or by departmental or agency inspector generals, including investigations of potential False Claims Act violations.
Business formation and transactions
We assist clients in the formation of new business entities that will allow them to compete for government contracts and advise them on issues ranging from the requirements for establishing a small business, a Section 8(A) contracting business or one of the many other entities that qualify for certain advantages in the bidding process, including veteran-owned small businesses; service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses; small disadvantaged businesses, and women-owned small businesses. We also advise clients regarding “small business” size determinations. In addition, we assist clients in the purchase or sale of government contracting entities, which typically involve specific government requirements, including the preparation and negotiation of novation agreements to effect such business transactions.
Finally, our team has the experience and knowledge to advise clients regarding compliance with Buy American Act and Trade Agreement Act regulations, as well as customs and U.S. Export regulations, including the Export Administration Regulations, and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, which frequently impact both the purchase and subsequent operation of many business entities.
We realize that in today’s global business environment, intellectual property can be among the most critical assets of a successful business. We also realize the importance of maximizing the value of those assets and of protecting them from misuse, misappropriation and infringement, particularly in the government contracting arena. We learn our clients’ businesses and work to maximize the contribution of intellectual property to those businesses and our clients’ growth.
In conjunction with our IP attorneys, our Government Contracts team has experience in providing intellectual property counseling and advice to many different kinds of clients, including pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical device manufacturers, financial institutions and investors, telecommunications firms, consumer and professional products companies of many types, retail and other service providers, national and international franchisors, distributors, trade associations, educational entities, software and hardware vendors, database service providers, Internet service and content providers, e-commerce companies, developers and systems integrators, and other technology service organizations. Our attorneys have assisted clients with the protection of data rights in federal contracts, and have advised them with regard to software licensing agreements to ensure that they protect all intellectual property rights in their dealings with the federal government, as well as with state and local governments.
Local and state government contract matters
Our Government Contracts team works closely with fellow attorneys from the firm’s administrative and regulatory practices to advise clients on a wide array of local and state procurement-related issues. Our goal is to devise and advocate practical solutions for complex legal issues before regulatory and administrative agencies of state government, as well as in the highly charged political environment of elected state and local governments. While we strive to avoid the courtroom if possible, when required we have successfully litigated cases in the trial and appellate courts, as well as before any number of state and local boards.
Employment, labor and immigration
We counsel our clients on the complex and manifold issues involved in complying with laws and regulations governing employees and employment relationships. Many of these issues center on the Department of Labor’s equal opportunity and affirmative action requirements, as enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. In addition, our attorneys advise clients regarding the many employment laws that typically arise in the government contract context, including the Service Contract Act, the Davis Bacon Act and the Walsh Healey Act. Our Government Contracts team is able to assist clients in establishing appropriate employment policies and practices to satisfy all federal employment requirements. We vigorously defend clients that may be the object of suits for alleged violations of labor and employment laws and regulations. We also work with clients to ensure that they have available appropriate personnel resources, including personnel that may have particular immigration requirements.
We have experience in handling a variety of import issues, including classification of merchandise, country of origin designations, and claims/protests against U.S. Customs and Border Protection in both the administrative process and in the Court of International Trade. We also have experience counseling clients regarding export issues, including compliance with the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) and the International Traffic in Arms (“ITAR”) regulations.