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Housing around 30 partners in its government contracts group, Arnold & Porter has the depth to represent clients from across all relevant industry sectors. The team successfully defended Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services against three bid protests brought by Northrop Grumman pertaining to the award of a $1bn contract by the Department of Homeland Security to provide cybersecurity defense services for all civilian Federal government networks; the challenge pertained to alleged organizational conflicts. In another matter, the team defended L3 Technologies against challenges brought by Boeing and Bombardier concerning the award of an Air Force sole source contract in connection with the Compass Call program. Other key clients include Ernst & Young and Dell. The firm is also noted for its strength in False Claims Act (FCA) matters as well as classified projects and investigations, such as acting for former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a State Department Inspector General investigation. Government contract transactions feature prominently in the group’s workload, where it draws upon the wider government contract-specific expertise of members of the firm’s intellectual property, employment and corporate teams to handle such matters. Craig Holman chairs the practice, which includes Charles Blanchard and Ronald Lee, both experts in advising IT service providers on protection requirements and regulatory constraints. Paul Pompeo has expertise in cost and pricing matters. Mark Colley is noted for his experience in FCA claims and bid protests. Kara Daniels, Steven Diamond and Dominique Casimir are also recommended.

Noted for its traditional strength in assisting aerospace and defense industry clients, Crowell & Moring LLP’s practice continues to expand into other sectors, particularly technology and healthcare. The group defended Health Net Federal Services in litigation concerning two healthcare contracts worth $58bn for managed care services for the western region of the US. In another example, the team successfully assisted AT&T with the acquisition of a $46.5bn contract to build a nationwide public safety broadband network for first responders. In another matter, the group advised Accenture Federal Services on government contract matters pertaining to its acquisition of three cybersecurity companies. Daniel Forman and Peter Eyre co-chair the practice, which includes David Robbins, who specializes in investigations, suspension and debarment, and Robert Burton, who combines public procurement and public policy expertise. David Bodenheimer and senior counsel Thomas Humphrey are noted for bid protest matters. Senior counsel Terry Albertson stands out for his cost and pricing expertise. Adelicia Cliffe and Lorraine Campos are also recommended. Recent additions to the group include former Department of Homeland Security Chief of Staff Paul Rosen, who has expertise in cybersecurity and procurement fraud matters and joined in May 2017, and Nicole Owren-Wiest, who was a new arrival from Wiley Rein LLP in November 2017.

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Wiley Rein LLP’s client roster includes some of the largest government contractors and it regularly acts for aerospace and defense sector clients, including Orbital ATK, Boeing and DynCorp. The group is representing BAE Systems in a dispute against South Korea concerning a canceled $1.7bn contract to upgrade South Korea’s F-16 fleet; the contract was terminated following an increase in the initial price of the contract. In another matter, the team successfully defended AECOM against a claim for alleged breach of contract and fraud related to a tender for a classified contract with the intelligence community; the US Department of Justice intervened in the matter to assert state secrets privilege and to dismiss the case. Practice co-heads Scott McCaleb and Paul Khoury, along with Jon Burd, who is ‘focused on achieving the best results for the client’, acted on the aforementioned matter. The practice also houses Rand Allen, Philip Davis, John Prairie and Brian Walsh. Nicole Owren-Wiest moved to Crowell & Moring LLP in November 2017.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s government contracts group handles the whole spectrum of matters, with a strong profile for contentious work. Practice head Karen Manos is highly regarded for her expertise in cost, pricing and accounting matters, and is well known for defending contractors against government claims in cases concerning alleged non-compliance with different cost accounting standards. A recent example was successfully defending KBR against a $14.7m government cost disallowance concerning the Emergency Construction Capabilities Contract Worldwide contract awarded by the US Navy for hurricane response work. John Chesley specializes in white-collar criminal enforcement and investigation work, and frequently represents clients before the US Court of Federal Claims and the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals. Joseph West and Los Angeles-based duo Timothy Hatch, who is noted for his experience in FCA and qui tam matters, and litigator James Zelenay are other names to note.

Housing ‘a deep bench of attorneys’, Hogan Lovells US LLP’s ‘excellent’ government contracts practice assists clients across a wide range of industries, with notable expertise in the healthcare, aerospace, defense, technology and education sectors. In the healthcare area, the group defended Optum Healthcare against a bid protest brought by Leidos concerning the award of a $200m Defense Health Agency contract to provide global nurse advice line services. On the aerospace and defense side, Michael Mason defended GE Inspection Technologies in a bid protest filed by Olympus America challenging the US Air Force’s award to the client of a five-year contract for the supply of borescopes. In another matter, the team represents VITA in litigation against Northrop Grumman over performance of a $2.4bn contract concerning the management of state-wide information technology resources. Michael Vernick, who is well known for advising leading universities on grant-related investigations and federal research matters, recently took over the practice lead from senior counsel Thomas McGovern, who remains active. Other key names include Michael McGill, Joy Sturm and Agnes Dover.

The nine-partner team at Morrison & Foerster LLP handles the full gamut of government contracts matters, particularly high-stakes bid protests. Alex Ward led a team representing K2 in a successful challenge to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s decision to award a multimillion-dollar contract to a competitor, which was reversed due to the competitor’s failure to comply with regulations. Kevin Mullen and Jay DeVecchio led the team defending ManTech International against a bid protest filed by a competitor challenging the award of a multimillion-dollar contract for technology security services to the client; the competitor had been the original recipient of the award but the decision was reversed due to proposal re-evaluations. Other areas of strength for the team include FCA issues, investigations, intellectual property matters and corporate transactions. David Churchill and McLean-based partners Daniel Chudd, Tina Reynolds, Bradley Wine, Richard Vacura and government contractor transaction specialist Damien Specht are other names to note.

Boutique firm Rogers Joseph O’Donnell is ‘excellent’ in the government contracts-related litigation space. Recent highlights include the ‘responsive’ team representing T.Y. Lin International in litigation regarding the Bay Area Rapid Transit Silicon Valley Extension project, concerning issues of alleged liability and damages during the design and build process. Bid protests remain prominent in the group’s caseload; representative clients include CGI, CBE, Siemens Government Technologies, McKesson and Northrop Grumman. FCA issues are another area of strength. Head of the Washington DC office Robert Metzger has ‘an uncanny ability to have his next several devastating arguments lined up in advance’; Brian Miller, also based in Washington DC, is ‘very knowledgeable’ and ‘knows the industry inside out’. Firm head Neil O’Donnell, Patricia Meagher, Lauren Kramer and Mark Linderman operate from the firm’s San Francisco office. Linderman co-chairs the practice group with Washington DC-based Jeffery Chiow.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s team is noted for its extensive experience in procurement matters; recent work includes handling bid protests, FCA matters and investigations. Los Angeles-based Bryan Daly leads the group of mostly Washington DC-based lawyers, such as John Chierichella, Anne Perry, Jonathan Aronie and the ‘diligentKeith Szeliga. A recent victory in a bid protest was achieved for SBD Alliant concerning a $47m Defense Health Agency contract to perform independent developmental test and evaluation services, which had been awarded to a competitor. In another matter, the group successfully represented Pacific Pulmonary Services in a FCA suit concerning an alleged bribery scheme.

Blank Rome LLP’s team has excellent experience in litigation and handles the gamut of advisory work, with a recent uptick in transactional matters; an example was successfully assisting Aquilent with its $250m acquisition by Booz Allen Hamilton. The group regularly assists clients from the defense, aerospace, technology, healthcare and maritime sectors. It recently scored a victory defending Columbia Helicopters in a bid protest brought by a competitor concerning the award of a $1bn contract by the Department of Defense to provide and operate rotary aircraft on behalf of US armed forces in Afghanistan. David Nadler leads the team, in which Richard Conway, Justin Chiarodo and Scott Arnold are key names.

Jessica Abrahams leads Dentons’ government contracts practice, which is particularly active in FCA matters; the group represented Shaw Environmental in two qui tam cases concerning alleged failure to comply with Louisiana liquefied petroleum gas laws and alleged wrongful billing in the provision of temporary housing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The practice has seen a significant uptick in bid protest work, including recently prevailing in a challenge on behalf of unsuccessful offerors Strategi and VariQ Conviso against awards worth $30m by the US Department of Health and Human Services under Strategic Partners Acquisition Readiness Contract (SPARC) procurement; the clients’ bid protest was successful, resulting in corrective action being taken. In Washington DC, Safety Act applications expert Dana Pashkoff and cybersecurity expert Erin Sheppard are names to note. In Denver, litigator Thomas Lemmer and Steven Masiello are recommended.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP provides ‘a superior service’ in the field of M&A transactions for government contractors, notably in the aerospace and defense sectors. The group has an established reputation for handling some of the most high-profile transactional deals; a recent example was advising Jacobs Engineering Group on its successful $3.3bn acquisition of CH2M. Bid protests and FCA cases are other cornerstone areas of expertise for the team; Douglas Baruch, who heads the firm’s False Claims Act practice, defended military container subtractor Advanced Containment Systems in an FCA investigation and qui tam suit concerning allegations of falsely certified quality assurance standards. In July 2017 Jerald Howe left to join Leidos and of counsel James McCullough, who is ‘very precise’, took over as head of the government contracts practice. Michael Anstett is another name to note.

Mayer Brown’s government contracts practice has a solid track record in assisting contractors from a wide spectrum of industries across the entire life cycle of the awarding process and throughout contract performance. The team advises clients on bid protests, litigation, FCA issues, regulatory matters and compliance. It represented QTC Medical Services as an intervenor in a bid protest concerning the award of a $6.8bn contract by the Department of Veterans Affairs for the provision of medical disability examination services. Washington DC-based Marcia Madsen, who heads the practice, Cameron Hamrick and David Dowd are key names. The group also attracts praise for its notable state and local government contracts practices in Chicago and Los Angeles.

From its offices in Los Angeles, Northern Virginia and Washington DC, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s government contracts practice provides coast-to-coast coverage of the full range of government contract matters. The group’s workload remains dominated by contentious work; it successfully represented Next Phase and two other offerors in a bid protest challenging the clients’ exclusion from a $25bn award to support the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services SPARC program. McLean-based John Jensen and Los Angeles-based Michael Rizzo lead the team. James Gallagher and Alex Tomaszczuk are names to note in the Los Angeles office, while counsel David Dixon is recommended in the Northern Virginia office.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s team provides ‘high-quality advice’ on, among other areas, bid protests, litigation, investigations and contract claims. A recent victory in the bid protest sphere was achieved for longstanding client Humana concerning a $40bn Defense Health Agency contract to perform the TRICARE East Region Managed Care Support services, which was being challenged by multiple competitors. The team also defends CACI against claims brought by Iraqi citizens held by the US at Abu Ghraib prison of alleged mistreatment under theories of co-conspirator liability. The ‘always available’ Paul Hurst, who attracts praise for his ‘deep knowledge’ and ‘keen analysis of the issues’, heads the practice.

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s government contracts practice provides ‘a top-notch service’, with deep expertise in high-value bid protests and claims litigation; FCA issues are another cornerstone area for the group. The team represents Boeing in a bid protest against the US Air Force’s decision to allow L3 Technologies to select the aircraft to replace the EC-130 Compass Call intelligence aircraft, citing alleged unfair conflicts of interest. In the FCA sphere, the team is acting for BAE Systems in a case brought by the government concerning the client’s alleged violation of the Truth in Negotiations Act; the government claims the client failed to provide accurate rates and quantities during negotiations on the price of a contract to manufacture armored tactical vehicles used by the US Army in Iraq. David Johnson and Daniel Graham, who provides ‘great contract advice’, co-lead the team, which includes the ‘experienced, knowledgeable and pragmatic’ duo, of counsel Michael Charness and counsel Jamie Tabb.

Robert Huffman leads the team at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, which has established expertise in advising aerospace and defense sector clients on bid protests, FCA matters, transactions, contentious matters and intellectual property work. The group represented Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation in a bid protest regarding the US Department of Education’s $417m award to provide debt collection services relating to defaulted student loans.

Led by Brian Waagner, the team at Husch Blackwell LLP handled a workload dominated by bid protests and contentious cases for clients in the healthcare and defense sectors. The group has niche expertise in handling postal service contracting matters; David Hendel leads the advice to the National Star Route Mail Contractors Association on contracting matters relating to the US Postal Service. In another matter, the team is defending Jacobs Field Services North America, a subsidiary of engineering company Jacobs, against three bid protests regarding the award of a $350m contract by the US Army Corps of Engineers for the remediation of nuclear waste. Hal Perloff is also recommended.

K&L Gates has a solid reputation in the government contracts sphere for representing its clients in internal investigations, bid protests, FCA issues and contentious matters. Led by practice head Stuart Nibley, the group successfully defended Fluor against a bid protest filed by incumbent contractor PAE regarding the award of an IDIQ contract to the client to provide logistical support at sites in Germany. Seattle-based Paul Bowen is noted for his expertise in intellectual property matters for government contractors; he assists in-space manufacturing company Made in Space with protecting its technology and handling matters of first impression. Associate Amy Conant is also recommended in the Washington DC office.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s government contracts practice has seen a significant recent uptick in transactional work, while FCA work remains a key area of growth. The group acts for clients from the technology, telecoms and healthcare sectors, and has experience in handling corporate transactions in the defense and aerospace industry. Clients include Cerner Corporation, CA Technologies and American Airlines. David Hazelton leads the team. Anne Robinson, counsel Kyle Jefcoat and associate Dean Baxtresser are other names to note.

Pepper Hamilton LLP is well known for its niche expertise in advising pharmaceutical and medical device companies on biodefense and vaccine procurements. The group has experience in bid protest work, pre- and post-award audits, FCA cases and regulatory issues. Past clients for the team include Noble Supply & Logistics, National Instruments, Tyco International and General Dynamics Mission Systems. Hilary Cairnie heads the practice. Michael Hordell retired in December 2017.

The ‘responsive’ government contracts and grants team at Reed Smith LLP has particular strength in providing ‘practical advice’ to clients in the life sciences sector. In 2016 the group successfully defended a prominent government services provider against two bid protests filed by competitors of the client, concerning a $320m contract for the provision of high-level logistics support to the army. Other recent work included further bid protests, contract performance disputes and FCA cases. Lawrence Block (‘scrupulously detail-oriented and a seasoned negotiator’), Lawrence Sher and construction sector expert Holly Roth are key names.

Venable LLP’s group has notable strength in bid protests and contentious work, with intellectual property litigation for government contractors recognized as a cornerstone area of the practice. The team has an excellent reputation for assisting government contractors from the technology, aerospace and defense sectors; recent highlights include successfully defending ATAP against two bid protests from Raytheon and VSE Corporation challenging the award of United States Marine Corps contracts worth $28m to the client to repair and overhaul mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles. Washington DC houses the majority of the team, including group co-lead Paul Debolt and Dismas Locaria, with other key names located in Tysons Corner - including James Boland and Scott Hommer, who co-leads the team with Debolt - and Baltimore.

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