Government Contracts

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The government is the largest single consumer of goods and services in the world and its business activities are regulated by numerous laws and statutes unlike anything in the commercial marketplace. That’s why organizations contracting with the government on state, local, federal, or foreign levels need a legal partner with experience navigating this sector.

Dickinson Wright has an established national and international government contracts team that incorporates knowledge and experience from multiple practice areas to help companies manage the unique risks they face. We understand federal contracting rules and advise clients involved in the industry on the impact these rules have on their overall business interests.

In addition to serving as general counsel to a variety of companies, our team represents clients from a vast array of industries, including health care, defense, information technology, business consulting, energy, and security. Our team also holds various levels of security clearances, enabling us to represent clients on a broad range of classified national security matters.

Awards and Recognitions: Our lawyers are esteemed by our clients and peers for their industry experience and commitment to excellent representation, as well as their significant appointments to bar associations and the judiciary. Many of our government contract lawyers are also regularly cited for their work by Chambers®, Super Lawyers® and Best Lawyers®.

Our Services

  • Claims & Dispute Resolution 
  •  Corporate & International Transactions
  •  Cost Accounting
  •  Small Business Matters
  •  State and Local Procurement
  •  Suspension & Debarment
  •  Transactional Support, Compliance & Risk Management
  •  International Procurement

Government Contract Disputes: We represent government contractors in litigation and adversarial administrative proceedings such as debarment submission, negotiation over REAs, internal investigations, and government investigations. Our team has represented the United States and its agencies in numerous government contractor disputes and has prosecuted fraud related to those disputes. They have also represented the United States in contractor bid protests and in investigations involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and contract fraud investigations and prosecution. Further, we have engaged in significant litigation with defense and civilian federal agencies, including in matters filed at the Government Accountability Office and the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals as well as at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Additionally, we have argued numerous government contract appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Ultimately, we understand the importance of challenging flawed agency solicitations at the earliest stage. As a firm, we regularly resolve potential disputes over procurements through informal means with the contracting officer and other source-selection officials as well as agency level counsel and the Department of Justice. And, we have extensive experience with preparing certified claims, REAs, and protests at procuring agencies and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) as well as at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and various state level agencies. Our assistance with early resolution is not limited to agency discussions – we have assisted clients in immediate and comprehensive resolution in disputes with short and long term sub-contractor claims.

Importantly, we have experience on both sides of this equation. Our prior representation of the United States as Department of Justice attorneys gives us useful insight into the government’s perspective, processes, and objectives which we use on behalf of our private sector clients. We represent private sector clients in contract disputes using an in-depth understanding of not only the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and agency supplemental regulations such as the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation (DFAR), but also of the impact the dispute has on their business model – in terms of risk tolerance and long-term business impact.

For example, we advise our government contract clients on:

  • Determining the proper forum for dispute resolution: Agency, GAO, or the Court of Federal Claims, as well as whether to appeal adverse decisions and analyzing the likelihood of success.
  • Determining whether to intervene on a bid protest while representing a successful bidder.
  • Potential claim evaluation, preparation of REAs, and subsequent appeals of adverse contracting officer decisions.
  • Counseling government contractors on cost accounting matters, including cost and pricing issues, cost principles, defective pricing under the Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA) and Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) audits.
  • Addressing issues related to suspension and debarment or other forms of exclusion from participation in government contracting, including responding to show cause notices, developing corrective action plans, and negotiating administrative agreements with agency suspension and debarment officials.

Government Contracting Transactional Services: Our work for government contractors includes advisory services related to transactional support, compliance, and risk management. We regularly assist with day-to-day contract engagement and management, including:

  • Government representations and certifications compliance.
  • Identifying and analyzing mandatory and discretionary subcontract flow down provisions, including FAR and agency FAR Supplement flow down provisions and provision compliance, supervision of subcontractor performance and compliance, protection of proprietary data, and anti-kickback act audits and compliance.
  • Overall review of solicitations and identification of “red flag” regulatory and statutory compliance issues, business risks, and contractual terms and conditions.
  • Assisting with drafting questions to submit to the government to clarify solicitation content.
  • Assisting with preparation of terms and conditions exceptions for inclusion in proposals.
  • Drafting, reviewing, revising and negotiating teaming agreements, non-disclosure agreements, license agreements, contracts, subcontracts, and modifications.
  • Identifying and interpreting relevant terms and conditions with respect to issues that arise during contract performance, including those associated with terminations.
  • Supporting internal and external audits, Business Systems Reviews, and Contractor Purchasing System Reviews.
  • Providing advice regarding commerciality, sole source awards, CAS and TINA applicability, subcontractor responsibility, price reasonableness, and adequate price competition.
  • Reviewing contract and subcontract files for documentation adequacy pursuant to internal policies and applicable regulatory requirements.
  • Supporting in-house government contracts and corporate lawyers with mergers and acquisitions due diligence by reviewing and analyzing key terms and conditions in contracts, subcontracts, purchase orders, and other agreements.

Representative Case Matters

Represented U.S. foreign-owned company in importation and sale to the United States of satellites developed by foreign affiliates.

Represented both buyers and sellers in corporate transactions involving government contractors, including a number of international transactions.

Counseled government contractors on cost accounting matters, including cost and pricing issues, cost principles, defective pricing under the Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA) and Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) audits.

Represented a leading government IT/communications provider in the acquisition of a major video teleconferencing service provider, including negotiations with lenders, vendors, and government contracting officers regarding the novation of the government contracts.

Represented a U.S. broadband satellite and terrestrial communications service provider in acquisition of international assets, including ground stations, leases, IP, and employees.

Advised small businesses on Small Business Administration (SBA) rules governing federal procurement and preference programs.

Counseled clients in the negotiation of contracts, subcontracts, and cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs), other transaction agreements (OTAs), and cooperative agreements.

Advised clients on government intellectual property matters including the Bayh-Dole Act, the FAR, and DFARS requirements.

Advised clients on contracts and grants awarded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding including ARRA's statutory compliance and reporting requirements.

Defended clients’ interests in litigation, including claims, bid protests, prime/subcontractor disputes, audits, investigations, and enforcement actions.

Represented clients in False Claims Act (qui tam) cases and investigations.

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