Chris Nagel is a government contracts (GovCon) attorney based in Holland & Knight's Tysons office whose practice is focused on litigation and compliance matters. Mr. Nagel advises businesses on a broad range of legal issues involving their relationship with the government. His work includes a particular focus on companies that contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), as well as other aspects and matters that involve national security.

Mr. Nagel represents clients in bid protests, contract claims, suspension/debarment, False Claims Act (FCA) matters and disputes between contractors. He regularly guides corporations through compliance issues, including internal investigations and employee training.

In addition, Mr. Nagel’s litigation and compliance practice includes matters related to faith-based and other non-profit entities.

Mr. Nagel served for 12 years on active duty and as a reservist in the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). While on active duty, he was deployed to Afghanistan, where he adjudicated claims against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the U.S. government. His previous tours include stints as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, officer-in-charge of the Quantico Legal Assistance Office and as a military prosecutor.

Prior to his service in the Marines, Mr. Nagel worked as a staffer to a member of Congress and as a writer at the White House.

Representative Experience

  • Successfully defended defense contractor in False Claims Act qui tam action, resulting in dismissal of all counts against client
  • Received favorable pretrial discovery ruling from U.S. Court of Federal Claims in a $30 million U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, resulting in the agency taking corrective action to reevaluate proposals with an entirely new source selection evaluation board
  • Counseled a government contractor through corporate restructuring and successful implementation of comprehensive ethics program in response to government investigation and proposed debarment
  • Filed Contract Disputes Act claim on behalf of utility provider, resulting in payment by federal agency of invoices dating over three years
  • Lead counsel in series of transactions resolving subcontract claims and replacing subcontract with new Virginia Department of Transportation contract, successfully negotiating client's transition from subcontractor to prime contractor in state highway contract
  • Counseled utility company responding to Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit of government contract cost accounting practices, resulting in no adverse action taken by federal agency customer
  • Negotiated with DOD suspension and debarment official for the termination of a proposed debarment for former employee of major government contractor
  • Led successful effort to reinstate client as eligible to receive contracts from government agency after contracting officer removed client from agency's list of qualified contractors
  • Successfully negotiated resolution of prime-subcontractor dispute, resulting in opposing party capitulating to client demands without formal litigation
  • Counseled international government contractor personnel regarding process and policy of corporate restructuring in order to comply with Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI) requirements while pursuing classified U.S. government contracts
  •  Successfully resolved intellectual property (IP) dispute with U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) regarding new technology procured without clearly defined IP terms, securing client's desired objective
  • Negotiated with federal prosecutor to avoid False Claims Act liability after federal agency procurement and fraud investigation
  • Negotiated a final adjustment to less than 20 percent of amount initially sought by government agency
  • Negotiated with federal prosecutors the termination of investigation into client's allegedly illegal activity as part of a high-profile political scandal
  • Argued emergency defense of international security firm sued in federal court for injunctive relieve and significant monetary damages
  • Counseled utility company on Buy America Act infrastructure requirements and compliance
  • Regularly guide corporations through compliance issues, including internal investigations and employee training
  • Presented multiple continuing legal education (CLE) seminars on government contracts compliance to in-house legal departments

  • Led bid protest effort on behalf of air traffic control manufacturer, successfully protesting multiyear award to client's competitor and overturning more than a decade of anti-competitive procurement activity by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Defended Virginia county government procurement office against bid protest filed in Circuit Court, ultimately resulting in protester requesting that court dismiss the protest
  • Spearheaded client bid protest at Virginia Department of Health, resulting in rescission of approximately $30 million award and announcement of new solicitation
  • Led bid protest of General Services Administration (GSA) decision not to award client $5.75 billion federal supply schedule, resulting in corrective action by agency to evaluate client's proposal
  • Led bid protest effort on behalf of government contractor, resulting in government agency issuing a full and open competition on a previously single-sourced contract award
  • Spearheaded successful defense of $160 million NASA award, litigating dispositive motions and document production disputes
  • Led bid protest team on behalf of multibillion-dollar international construction manufacturer after the loss of a major DOD acquisition contract
  • Led U.S. Court of Federal Claims bid protest of federal agency sole source procurement


  • William & Mary Law School, J.D.
  • Miami University, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Colorado
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • American Bar Association, Bid Protest Committee, Vice Chair, 2017-Present
Honors & Awards


Speaking Engagements