David S. Black is a government contracts (GovCon) attorney and co-chair of Holland & Knight's national Government Contracts Group, and is based in the firm's Tysons office. Mr. Black's practice involves serving as a trusted advisor, problem solver and advocate for federal contractors, awardees and subcontractors in every stage of growth. He provides legal advice and representation to help his clients secure opportunities, enhance performance, mitigate risk and respond to threats. Mr. Black serves contractors and awardees in a broad array of industries, with an emphasis on innovative technology, cutting-edge products, professional services, healthcare, and research and development (including sponsored research at colleges and universities).

Mr. Black's practice involves strategic and tactical advice, dispute resolution, counseling and risk management, and transactional work.

  • His advisory practice involves creative approaches to challenges in relationships with government customers, enforcement authorities and subcontractors.
  • Black is a seasoned protest litigator and experienced in contract claims, responding to investigations and audits, False Claims Act (FCA) matters and prime-subcontractor disputes.
  • He counsels on a range of contract administration and procurement issues, such as data rights, including under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, Organizational Conflicts of Interest (OCI) matters, small business programs, domestic preferences and federal grants. Mr. Black helps implement and maintain effective compliance and internal control systems.
  • In his transactional practice, Mr. Black drafts and negotiates teaming agreements and subcontracts, as well as technology-related agreements such as Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreements and Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs). He also supports the firm's mergers and acquisitions (M&A) practice as it relates to government contractors.

Government Contract Bid Protests and Disputes

Mr. Black has represented clients in numerous bid protests at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, as well as in agency-level protests. He also represents a wide range of companies in small business protests and appeals to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA). Mr. Black advises clients on responding to federal procurement solicitations, as well as how to interpret and comply with federal procurement law, including the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). Mr. Black has successfully helped clients respond to cure notices, terminations for default and other performance concerns. He has represented clients in claims before the U.S. Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals and the U.S. Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, including representing contracts in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings with federal agencies. 

Government Investigations, Audits, Suspension and Debarment

Mr. Black assists clients with practical strategies to develop and carry out internal investigations and to respond to external government audits and investigations. He has experience representing clients in high-stakes, multifaceted matters as well as media and public relations strategies. Mr. Black has represented clients in connection with investigations by various Offices of Inspector General (OIGs), the U.S. Department of Defense, the SBA and the U.S. Department of Justice, among others. Mr. Black helps clients navigate suspension and debarment proceedings, avoid suspension and debarment, or negotiate an appropriate administrative agreement to have a suspension or debarment lifted. He is well versed in advising contractors on making voluntary disclosures to the government regarding potential violations and complying with the mandatory disclosure requirements set forth in FAR Part 3.

Government Contracts Compliance Services

Mr. Black has developed a wide range of ethics and compliance programs for companies of all sizes. He assists contractors with compliance program assessments and evaluations, and advises management on best practices for developing, maintaining, and improving ethics and compliance programs. He also counsels clients on establishing internal processes and controls to handle reports of potential ethics and compliance violations.

Small Business and SBA Matters

Mr. Black guides clients through all aspects of the government contracting programs offered by the SBA, such as the 8(a), HUBZone, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned (SDVO) and Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) programs. He counsels government contractors on participation in SBA's mentor-protégé program as well as in forming joint venture and teaming arrangements with other entities to effectively pursue complex government procurements.

Intellectual Property and Data Rights

Mr. Black counsels clients on intellectual property rights under government contracts and grants, including the SBIR program. Mr. Black helps clients strategically structure the development of innovative or emerging technology in accordance with ownership goals. He counsels clients through proposal preparation and contract performance to effective assert and protect data rights.

Government Contract Transactions and Due Diligence

Mr. Black provides advice and guidance to government contractors, private equity firms and venture capital firms in conducting due diligence of potential acquisition or investment targets in the government contracts industry. For many of these entities, he focuses on transactions involving target companies with small business or 8(a) contract backlogs and also assists with post-acquisition integration and compliance issues.

Grants and Cooperative Agreements

Mr. Black's background also extends to federal grants and cooperative agreements. He counsels on compliance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (the Uniform Guidance) and other regulations governing federal assistance agreements, as well as developing compliance programs to meet the administrative and regulatory requirements that accompany the receipt of federal funds. Mr. Black also assists clients with requirements under the SBIR program.

Teaming Agreements and Subcontracts

Clients call on Mr. Black to provide advice, counseling and representation in the negotiation of teaming agreements and subcontracts, and in various other relationships with strategic partners.


  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., cum laude
  • University of Virginia, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Public Contract Law, Acquisition Reform & Emerging Issues Committee, Vice Chair; Bid Protest Committee, Vice Chair; Legislative and Regulatory Coordinating Committee, Vice Chair
  • Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association, Secretary 2008-2009; Vice President 2009-2010; President 2011
  • National Contract Management Association, Tysons Corner Chapter: President, 2005-2006, VP-Seminars, 2008-2009, VP-Training 2007-2008, Past-President 2006-2007, President Elect 2004-2005, VP-Programs 2002-2004
  • Public Contract Law Journal, ABA Section of Public Contract Law: Associate Editor, 2008-Present
  • Bid Protest Committee of the Federal Bar Association, ABA Section of Public Contract Law: Member, 2008-Present
  • Northern Virginia Government Contractor's Council of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, Steering Committee, 2004-2008; Co-Chair, G-Con Small Business Contracting Symposium, 2006 and 2007
  • Federal Circuit Bar Journal, Editorial Board, 2000-2005
  • Procurement Law Advisor, Contributor, 2001-2006
Honors & Awards
  • Top Attorney, Government Contracts, Arlington Magazine, 2022
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Government: Government Contracts, 2011-2023
  • Legal Elite, Washington SmartCEO magazine, 2011
  • Rising Star, Virginia Super Lawyers magazine, 2007


Speaking Engagements