Overview

Terry Elling is a litigation attorney in Holland & Knight's Government Contracts Practice Group in the firm's Tysons office. He is experienced in all principal aspects of government contracting.

Mr. Elling provides counsel and representation across the spectrum of government contract matters, including bid protests, claims, prime contractor-subcontractor disputes, small business contracting programs, suspension and debarment, as well as civil false claims.

Mr. Elling also has substantial experience in due diligence in connection with the merger and acquisition of government contractors, as well as post-transaction matters such as novations.

A significant portion of Mr. Elling's practice involves working with government contractors who perform in support of overseas/contingency operations and who market defense articles and services to foreign governments. He also counsels contractors who work with non-U.S. team members to ensure compliance with U.S. export controls, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and U.S. Combatant Command acquisition requirements.

Mr. Elling also has extensive experience in related areas such as:

  • rights in technical data and computer software developed under or used to perform government contracts
  • government ethics (conflicts of interest, gifts and government post-employment restrictions)
  • industrial and personnel security, including foreign ownership and investment issues relating to government contractors
  • federal appropriations law
  • Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act

Mr. Elling brings a strategic perspective to government contracts matters. He advises clients on the impact legal issues will have upon planned and ongoing programs and helps them identify and implement efficient and cost-effective solutions. As an Army trial attorney in the 1990s, Mr. Elling was an early advocate of alternative dispute resolution to resolve disputes while maintaining a positive working relationship between the government and its contractors, including a successful resolution of a large defective pricing claim covering multiple years of the M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank program. Prior to his retirement from active military service in 2002, Mr. Elling held a number of government contract and litigation assignments, including chief of the Commercial Litigation Branch, U.S. Army Litigation Division and assistant general counsel (ethics and fiscal policy), Department of the Army.

Experience

  • Served as a principal member of the government legal team that successfully defended the best value award of a multibillion-dollar IT contract to automate personnel, logistics and training/readiness functions of Army Reserve component forces
  • Successfully protested an agency finding that a client was technically unacceptable under $100 million-plus logistics services contract; client was subsequently found technically acceptable and received contract award
  • Defended the award of a $440 million contract for the operations and maintenance of an Air Force satellite control network against a protest raising multiple challenges to the technical evaluation and allegations of organizational conflicts of interest

  • Utilized an alternative dispute resolution process to obtain one of the government's largest post-litigation defective pricing recoveries involving subcontractor pricing over multiple years for a key component of a major weapon system
  • Served as the lead government contracts lawyer on a litigation team in district court litigation between a large military aircraft manufacturer and a competitor over rights in technical data relating to Navy aircraft and systems under government contracts performed by a competitor; trial resulted in favorable $30 million-plus jury verdict
  • Recovered entirety of a $16 million claim for construction changes and differing site conditions arising under a contract for construction of a large training facility for the Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces
  • Recovered approximately 60 percent of a claim amount under a dispute arising from a contract for the disaster-related benefits registration intake and damage inspection services incident to Tropical Storm Sandy
  • Successfully litigated a government claim for disallowance of hazard and shift differential pay under a large contract to construct, operate and demobilize a facility for demilitarization of Cold War era chemical munitions

  • Reinstated a large metropolitan mass transit authority to eligibility for federal contracts and grants in a matter of days following statutory debarment for a Clean Water Act conviction; prompt reinstatement was critical to client's timely receipt of an annual federal grant that funded a major portion of operations
  • Successfully resolved a proposed debarment of an electronic component manufacturer based on allegations of nonconforming products; made prompt and effective submission and hearing presentation that demonstrated products were in fact conforming and client quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) systems met contract requirements
  • Made prompt affirmative submission to an agency debarment official that resulted in affirmative responsibility determination for a developer and manufacturer of a military radar system

Credentials

Education
  • The Judge Advocate General's School, U.S. Army, LL.M.
  • University of Illinois College of Law, J.D.
  • University of Illinois, B.A., Economics, magna cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • Supreme Court of Virginia
Memberships
  • American Bar Association, Public Contract Law Section
  • Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association, Board of Governors
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • National Contract Management Association, Northern Virginia Chapter, Past President
  • Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, former Chair, Board of Directors
  • American Society of Military Comptrollers, General Counsel; National Executive Counsel
Honors & Awards
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Government: Government Contracts, 2011, 2012 
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News