Amy L. Fuentes is a government contracts (GovCon) attorney in Holland & Knight's Tysons office and a member of the firm's Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice. She is experienced in all principal aspects of government contracting and focuses her practice on government contracts litigation, counseling, small business issues and transactional work.
Ms. Fuentes is a seasoned protest litigator before the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC) and Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition (ODRA), as well as in agency-level protests. She is also experienced at handling and defending appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Her recent notable achievements include:
- successfully protested the terms of a Library of Congress (LOC) solicitation for an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with an estimated value of $150 million for cloud computing products and services as being unduly restrictive of competition
- successfully protested the terms of a U.S. Department of the Army (Army) solicitation for an IDIQ contract for operations and maintenance services for sites and facilities in Afghanistan by arguing the evaluation criteria and adjectival ratings conflicted regarding the basis on which proposals would be evaluated
- successfully protested the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) price evaluation and award of a blanket purchase agreement (BPA) for cloud services by arguing that one of the awardees failed to provide pricing discounts that complied with the solicitation requirements
- successfully protested the FAA's award of a small business program support services multiple award contract, with an estimated ceiling value of $1 billion for all contracts, which resulted in a contract award for the client
- successfully defended a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) $780 million task order for multinetwork support services
- successfully defended a U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) BPA award with an estimated value of $180 million for information technology support services
- successfully defended a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) $38.5 million task order award for information technology support services
- successfully defended a DHS $32 million task order award for enterprise cybersecurity services
- successfully defended a DoD $15 million task order award for data support services
- successfully defended an Army $10 million task order award for water resource engineering services
Claims and Disputes
Ms. Fuentes has substantial experience analyzing, drafting and negotiating requests for equitable adjustments (REAs) and claims under the Contracts Disputes Act (CDA). She has successfully helped clients in prime-subcontractor disputes, respond to cure notices, terminations for default and other performance concerns, including negative Contractor Performance Assessment Reports (CPARs).
Ms. Fuentes is also an experienced litigator before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) and the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA). She has taken and defended depositions, resolved complex discovery issues, successfully filed and defended various motions including dispositive motions to dismiss, and successfully achieved favorable settlements for her clients in multiple appeals with various federal government agencies.
Her recent notable achievements in claims and disputes include:
- secured multimillion-dollar settlement in ASBCA case by first-chairing claim submission and litigation effort, including development of novel legal theories and taking/defending key depositions of government officials and client employees in a series of disputes arising from the government's failure to incorporate relevant Service Contract Act (SCA) and Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) requirements into Solicitations and Contract awards
- recovered vast majority (more than 80 percent) of claim for additional compensation costs under a large contract to provide depot-level maintenance services
- successfully persuaded an agency to convert a client's termination for cause into a termination for convenience, with payment to the client, through an alternative dispute resolution process
- successfully overturned a negative CPAR prepared by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Small Business Contracting
Ms. Fuentes has vast knowledge and experience in handling small business issues within government contracting law. She is co-chair of the American Bar Association's (ABA) Public Contract Law Section's Small Business & Other Socioeconomic Programs Committee and has substantial experience counseling small, midsize and large government contractors on all aspects of the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) socioeconomic government contracting programs, including the small business, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB), 8(a) Business Development, Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) and the SBA’s mentor-protégé program. Ms. Fuentes has drafted and negotiated dozens of mentor-protégé agreements and joint venture agreements, and is well-versed in advising clients on small business subcontracting plan compliance and affiliation issues.
In addition, Ms. Fuentes has significant experience successfully representing clients in size protests, size appeals, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) appeals and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) final loan decision appeals before the SBA's Area Offices and the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA).
Ms. Fuentes regularly advises clients on a broad spectrum of government contracts issues in transactions. She is experienced in reviewing purchase agreements, conducting due diligence in connection with the merger and acquisition (M&A) of government contractors and advising on compliance requirements associated with the SBA's government contracting programs. Ms. Fuentes also has substantial experience drafting and negotiating teaming agreements, prime contracts, subcontracts, software license agreements, joint venture agreements and Other Transaction Agreements (OTA).
Ms. Fuentes represents government contractors in government and internal investigations related to procurement/grant fraud and procurement integrity allegations. She has advised companies in responding to U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Inspector General (IG) investigations from various federal agencies involving the False Claims Act (FCA). Ms. Fuentes is also experienced in assisting government contractors in responding to information or documents made through civil investigative demands (CID), IG subpoenas, grand jury subpoenas and regulatory audits.
Counseling and Compliance
Ms. Fuentes is a trusted adviser to her clients on a variety of federal procurement matters, including regulatory compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Defense FAR Supplement (DFARS) and other agency FAR supplements. She has substantial experience advising clients on entering and navigating the federal marketplace; domestic preference requirements, including the Buy America/American Acts, Trade Agreements Act and the Berry Amendment; General Services Administration (GSA) Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) requirements and compliance; and labor issues involving the SCA, CBAs and Wage Determinations.
Ms. Fuentes has an active pro bono practice and represents clients in a range of matters, including immigration court and related proceedings for Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) cases and service-connected disability claims for veterans.
During law school, Ms. Fuentes served as the editor-in-chief of the Public Contract Law Journal, which is published by the Section of Public Contract Law of the American Bar Association. She also interned with the Honorable Judge Jimmie V. Reyna of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and served as a law clerk in the Fraud Section of the Civil Division of the Commercial Litigation Branch at the U.S. Department of Justice.
Prior to practicing law, Ms. Fuentes competed as an NCAA Division I student-athlete and worked in the government contracts industry in contract administration and management at both a Fortune 500 company and an SDVOSB.
- The George Washington University Law School, J.D.
- University of Massachusetts Amherst, B.A., cum laude
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- American Bar Association, Section of Public Contract Law
- Small Business & Other Socioeconomic Programs Committee, Co-Chair, 2021-present; Vice-Chair, 2018-2021
- Bid Protest Committee, Vice Chair, 2023-present
- Regulatory Coordinating Committee, Vice-Chair, 2021-2022
- Webinar Committee, Vice-Chair, 2018-2020
- The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, 2023-present
- Coalition for Government Procurement, Small Business Committee, Co-Chair, 2019-2021
- Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association
- National Contract Management Association, Tysons Chapter
- The Virginia Bar Association
- The Best Lawyers in America guide, Tysons Government Relations Ones to Watch, 2023, 2024
- Marilyn Neforas Scholarship for Young Lawyer Women in Public Contract Law, American Bar Association, Section of Public Contract Law, 2020-2022
- Holland & Knight Pro Bono All Star Award, 2017-2021
- Holland & Knight Public & Charitable Service All Star Award, 2018, 2019