The federal government spent more than $500 billion on contracts and $718 billion on grants in fiscal year 2017. The size and complexity of this market requires a practical understanding of the relevant statutes and regulations, roles and operations of the contracting agencies, and compliance pitfalls and best practices. Holland & Knight's Government Contracts Group brings this understanding to our clients, based on our experience representing contractors of all sizes in all phases of the procurement process.
In addition to private sector and government experience, Holland & Knight's government contracts attorneys have earned leadership roles in major government contractor organizations, such as the National Defense Industrial Association and the National Contract Management Association.
Key Areas of Government Contracting Experience
Our Government Contracts Group has broad, in-depth experience in all facets of U.S. government contracts law as well as international government contracts law. Our team is poised to assist you whether the issue involves regulatory compliance, litigation, or a transaction, including:
- Bid Protests. Our group regularly represents government contractors in bid protests before the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Court of Federal Claims, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and alternative dispute resolution panels, such as the FAA's Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition (ODRA). Our group also represents clients in state and local procurement award protests.
- Claims and Disputes. Our group represents contractors in analyzing and preparing claims, requests for equitable adjustment and requests for price adjustment. We represent clients before the Civilian and Armed Service Boards of Contract Appeals, the Court of Federal Claims and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
- Cost Accounting. We counsel government contractors on cost and pricing issues, cost principals, defective pricing under the Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA) and Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) audits.
- Cybersecurity. Working with our Cybersecurity and Privacy Team, we provide counsel to government contractors as to the unique cybersecurity requirements applicable to contractors possessing or using government data.
- Data Rights, Intellectual Property and Trade Secrets. Our group offers guidance on data rights, data protection, marking, licenses, dispute resolution litigation and reporting of inventions. We represent clients on developing and enforcing non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and with respect to restrictive covenants such as non-compete provisions applicable to employees and independent contractors.
- Ethics, Compliance and Mandatory Disclosure. We work with both experienced and new government contractors to create, review and implement ethics and other compliance programs, including FAR Part 3.10 programs, equal opportunity compliance programs and small business subcontracting plans. We also advise clients on the FAR mandatory disclosure requirements and related responsibility matters.
- Facility Clearance, FOCI and DSS Security Clearance Matters. We counsel companies on the impact that a change in ownership structure can have on their security clearances. This includes advising companies on the potential impact of foreign ownership, control or influence (FOCI) and on complex corporate structuring (excluded parent) issues. We assist government contractors in developing and negotiating appropriate mitigation mechanisms, such as Special Security Agreements (SSA), Security Control Agreements (SCA), Proxy Agreements (PA) and associated board resolutions.
- Grants and Cooperative Agreements. Our group counsels companies on compliance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars, other regulations governing federal assistance agreements, and developing compliance programs to meet the administrative and regulatory requirements that accompany the receipt of grant money.
- International Procurement. We provide comprehensive legal services in the area of international procurement, including guidance on the Trade Agreements Act, Buy America Act, Berry Amendment, export controls, FOCI mitigation, Foreign Military Sales, International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
- Investigations: Internal and External. We advise clients on internal investigations, such as those triggered by hotline reports, adverse audit findings and whistleblowers. We have experience representing government contractors in government investigations involving allegations of fraud; federal and state False Claims Act and qui tam actions; the Procurement Integrity Act; the False Statements Act; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA); and in responding to Department of Justice, congressional, Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Inspector General (IG) subpoenas and investigations.
- Labor and Employment Issues. In conjunction with members of our Labor, Employment and Benefits Group, we represent government contractors on special issues affecting their workforce, including collective bargaining agreements and project labor agreements. Our lawyers also advise and represent clients in matters before the Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), as well as wage and hour matters, including under the Service Contract Act (SCA) and the Davis Bacon Act.
- Mergers and Acquisitions. Our group advises clients on the full range of transactions businesses may encounter, from methodical due diligence, careful documentation and thorough attention to SEC matters, securities filings and corporate governance issues, to electing a structure through negotiation and approvals from the Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
- Overseas and Contingency Contracting. We work with contractors who perform in support of overseas/contingency operations and who market defense articles and services to foreign governments or who work with non-U.S. team members. This includes representing clients with DOD, State Department and USAID contracts.
- Real Estate and GSA Leasing. We provide representation in acquisition, leasing, financing, construction and management of real property by state and federal governments, including BRAC and GSA matters.
- SBA Small Business Matters. We regularly represent clients in size protests and in appeals to the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA). We also advise clients on navigating the 8(a) program, including mentor-protégé relationships, service-disabled veteran-owned (SDVO) and veteran-owned programs, the Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program and the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) program. We advise clients on teaming agreements, joint ventures and subcontract arrangements in these programs as well as the impact of mergers, acquisitions and financings on SBA eligibility.
- State and Local Procurement. Our group represents clients selling products or furnishing services to state or local governments, as well as lawyers assisting certain governmental entities in procurement policy and implementation, contract negotiation, responses to RFPs and bids, and protests and claims.
- Suspension and Debarment. Our government contracts litigators represent entities threatened with suspension and debarment or other forms of exclusion from participation in government contracting. Our work includes responding to show cause notices, developing corrective action plans and negotiating administrative agreements with agency suspension and debarment officials. Members of our group have worked on suspension and debarment matters emanating from a wide range of federal agencies, including the DOD and its components, NASA, GSA, USAID, SBA, EPA and others.
- Tribal and ANC 8(a) Contracting. Our Government Contracts Group also focuses on assisting Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) and Indian tribes participating in the SBA’s 8(a) Program, including advising on preparing and applying for admission to the 8(a) Program; establishing effective internal controls and risk management policies to ensure program compliance; structuring business arrangements with other entities and government proceedings, including size determinations, appeals to SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals, and investigations by the SBA’s Office of Inspector General.
Representing a Wide Range of Industries
We apply our government contracting experience in a wide range of industries, including:
- Construction, Architecture and Engineering
- Defense and Aerospace
- Environmental Remediation
- Financial Services
- Information Technology, Telecommunications and Information Systems
- Intelligence Community Contractors
- GSA and VA Federal Supply Schedule Contractors
- Homeland Security
- Logistics and Troop Support
- Manufacturing and Products
- Modeling, Simulation and Training
- Professional Services
- Real Estate
Comprehensive Legal Representation
Our Government Contracts Group is organized to help you successfully manage all of the issues, processes and parties involved in even the most complex transactions. Our goal is to provide you with the most efficient and cost-effective legal representation in virtually every kind of government procurement matter. Where appropriate, we partner with attorneys in other practices throughout the firm to deliver comprehensive service in all areas of government contracts, including corporate transactions and acquisitions, criminal defense, audits and investigations, employment, export controls and international law, financing, information technology, intellectual property, litigation and real estate. You can rely on our Government Contracts Group to simplify the contract and procurement process for you in matters involving a vast range of products and services, industries, practice areas and transactions.