Organizations that work with the government need legal counsel in a wide range of fields—government contracting, of course, but also corporate and commercial transactions, labor & employment, litigation, intellectual property, international transactional and regulatory, political law, real estate and others. But all of these product and service providers must know how to operate within the unique venue of doing business with the government. The requirements and regulations placed on companies that contract with, receive grants from, or enter into other agreements with federal, state and local governments are different than those operating exclusively in the private sector.
With so much at stake, government contractors of all sizes and from a wide array of industries turn to Womble Carlyle’s integrated, multi-disciplinary Government Business Team. Womble Carlyle's team works together to solve any business and legal need a government contractor may encounter. The attorneys on our Government Business team understand the peculiarities of working with government entities, no matter what their particular practice area.
Primarily based in the firm’s Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. offices, Womble Carlyle’s Government Business Team is strategically positioned to draw on services throughout the firm to serve all companies that do business with the federal government.
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Our team helps clients compete for government contracts, including providing advice on responses to requests for proposal (RFPs). Once companies secure federal and state contracts, we work closely with them to ensure they meet the terms of the contracts. Finally, we help government contractors comply with regulations and resolve any disputes that may arise.
Clients also look to us to navigate cross-border issues, including export controls, the Trade Agreements Act, the Buy American Act, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance. We help clients through government audits, investigations, responses to subpoenas, voluntary and mandatory disclosures of violations, and allegations under the Civil False Claims Act. We engage in litigation adverse to the government, in prime-subcontractor disputes, bid protests, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and opposition to disclosure, and have experience with alternative dispute resolution.
Our government contracts practice is nationwide in scope, and our attorneys have represented clients in all sectors – defense and aerospace, technology and services, computer and electronics, banking and financial services, universities and non-profits, pharmaceuticals and biotech, real estate and construction.
Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
- Counseled a pharmaceutical company to successfully obtain a $298.6 million federal contract to develop new flu vaccines.
- Successful bid protest of $16 billion Army multiple award contract for rapid response work with Army taking corrective action at the Government Accountability Office.
- Due diligence of more than 90 government contracts for $260 million acquisition by a Fortune 50 transportation and logistics company.
- Successful settlement of Environmental Protection Agency claim to recover grant funds alleged to be connected to a conflict of interest for a non-profit research institution, paying less than 10% of the amount originally claimed.
- Successful U.S. Court of Federal Claims bid protest of Army multiple award contract for program management services.
- Investigated and prepared $26 million claim and represented top three defense contractor in three week trial against the Navy in sonar system warranty dispute.
- Government contracts compliance training for several national information technology and telecommunications companies doing government business.
- Successful bid protest of $2.2 billion NASA contract for technical services to manage two space centers for a Fortune 100 aerospace company at the Government Accountability Office.
- Successful legal presentation to Defense Supply Center Philadelphia showing commercial item company’s products are compliant with Trade Agreements Act.
- Successfully negotiated contracts with Transportation Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security to protect intellectual property rights of small businesses providing chemical biological detectors, perimeter sensors, and surveillance systems.
- Successful subcontract negotiation on behalf of major commercial communications company with large defense contractor to avoid impact on accounting systems and protect intellectual property.
- Conducted internal investigations of potential civil False Claims Act violations on behalf of several defense contractors.
- Advised defense contractor clients on FAR business ethics rule compliance and mandatory reporting obligations.
Government contractors turn to Womble Carlyle for guidance in all phases of buying and selling businesses, including mergers, purchases and sales of capital stock and assets, recapitalizations and other corporate restructurings. Our team has handled both taxable and tax-deferred transactions ranging in size from several hundred thousand dollars to several hundred million dollars.
We also assist government contractors with all aspects of regulatory compliance related to mergers, acquisitions and other corporate transactions, including managing the process of negotiating novation agreements under the federal acquisition regulations, specialized due diligence required for the transfer of government business and government contracts assets, and foreign ownership and control concerns under Exon-Florio and the defense security regulations.
Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
- Represented a global health consulting company in a nearly $200 million sale to a large federal contractor.
- Represented a design and development company in acquisition of a military software developer.
- Represented a government contractor in the acquisition of a provider of telecom and IT services to military and intelligence agencies.
- Represented a healthcare IT company in the purchase of a developer of health care records management software.
- Represented large healthcare provider in acquisition of a regional hospital system.
- Represented a private investment group in the purchase of a military technology developer.
- Represented a venture capital fund in the acquisition of an electronic data collection company.
- Represented the developer of unmanned aerial vehicles in its acquisition by a major aerospace company.
- Represented an aggregator and provider of live traffic video in sale to a large communications corporation.
- Represented a military satellite communications company in a more than $150 million acquisition.
- Represented a provider of C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) support services, in sale to a large defense services contractor.
Labor & Employment
Government contracting clients turn to Womble Carlyle for guidance in complying with federal and state labor and employment laws, as well as in litigating and arbitrating employment disputes.
Our team counsels clients on wage and hour, equal employment opportunity, and affirmative action compliance and disputes. In addition, we advise clients on Service Contract Act compliance and dispute resolution.
We also guide government contractors in employee defection matters, including non-compete, non-solicitation, fiduciary duty, tortious interference, conspiracy, trade secret, and related unfair competition issues.
- Defending an 8,000-employee international logistics company against an Iraq-based non-competition and employee raiding action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
- Defending a Northern Virginia-based government contractor against a tortious interference, trade secret, and employee raiding action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
- Defending a Northern Virginia-based government contractor against a tortious interference and business conspiracy action in Virginia state court.
- Defending a Northern Virginia-based government contractor against an FLSA and False Claims Act action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
- Developed pre-deployment employee training curricula on compliance with U.S. and foreign laws, cultural norms, rules for the use of force, whistleblower protections,
- Advised government contractors on best practices for pre-vetting, hiring, supervising, and terminating employees and independent contractors abroad.
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Womble Carlyle has more than 200 practicing litigators. Our team represents government contractors in:
- Government contractor bid protests before agencies, the Government Accountability Office, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
- Claims disputes before agencies, Boards of Contract Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
- State and general federal court litigation of prime-subcontract disputes.
- Denial of permits and licenses challenges.
- False Claims Act disputes and qui tam litigation.
- Disputes following corporate mergers and acquisitions.
- Litigation under the Freedom of Information Act.
- Federal claims brought against government contractors under the Alien Tort Statute and Torture Victims Protection Act based on allegations of contractor misconduct overseas.
With the aid of our Alternate Dispute Resolution Team, we guide government-related businesses through arbitration and mediation.
- Represented government contractors in protesting awards of contracts.
- Represented awardees in defending awards of contracts.
- Represented a subcontractor in connection with a prime contractor’s termination of a subcontract in support of a government contract involving defense related services.
- Represented the acquiring company in an arbitration proceeding involving a dispute over the application of an “earnout” provision in a stock purchase agreement governing the acquisition of a federal government contracting firm.
- Represented client involved in False Claims Act/qui tam litigation.
- Represented defense contractor in fraud and breach of contract action over international weapons and munitions purchases.
- Represented defense contractor’s Afghani joint venture in breach of contract case arising out of leasing dispute in Afghanistan.
- Represented defense contractor in wrongful death action arising in Afghanistan.
- Represented defense contractor in Alien Tort claims suit brought by Iraqi civilians.
- Represented defense contractor in prime-sub contract dispute involving research and development contracts with Air Force Research Lab.
- Amici curiae representation of defense industry trade organizations in support of an airline facing tort claims in federal court for torts arising out of crash in Afghanistan.
- amici curiae representation of defense industry trade organizations in Alien Tort claims and wrongful death cases brought against defense contractors based on allegations of torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
- Litigated appeals of adverse security clearance determinations for senior executives of FFRDC before Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals.
Womble Carlyle works with government contractors to develop, secure and protect patents, trademarks, copyrights and other valuable intellectual property. This includes assisting businesses involved in government-funded research or joint development agreements.
Our IP experience includes:
- Patent investigations and analyses in all technical areas.
- Procurement and registration of patents, trademarks and copyrights.
- Enforcement of IP rights, including intellectual property litigation.
- Negotiated $200 million Department of Energy biofuels Technology Investment Agreement to protect intellectual property of the recipient.
- Represented inventors in U.S. Court of Federal Claims patent infringement litigation based on other contractors' infringement, resulting in successful settlement.
- Representing energy technology company owned by a private equity firm in negotiation of consortium agreement with multiple other parties under a Department of Energy cooperative agreement to protect intellectual property.
- Representing Department of Defense personal equipment company in joint development and teaming agreements with development team members to protect intellectual property rights.
We help government businesses buy, sell, lease, sell, develop and operate commercial property. While we help clients with all aspects of real estate transactions and dispute resolution, our government business-specific experience includes assisting companies with:
- Proposals for government-related real estate purchases and leases.
- General Services Administration (GSA) leasing issues.
- Government construction projects.
- Public/private real estate partnerships (including tax-exempt financing).
- Subcontractor issues.
Clients depend on Womble Carlyle to guide them through laws regulating political activity, campaign contributions, gift restrictions, advertising and lobbying at the federal, state and local levels. Regulation of political activity is becoming more intense and the penalties more severe—failure to comply can result in the loss of all government contracts. With the former General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel of the Federal Election Commission on our team, we help navigate these high-stakes regulations.
Government contractors increasingly confront global markets and supply chains, and must address the unique regulatory requirements that govern cross-border transactions. Our Government Business Team has substantial experience counseling government contractors with respect to the myriad regulatory concerns involved in exporting and importing products and services, managing anti-corruption risks, compliance with country of origin, Buy America and Trade Agreements concerns, and advising foreign companies seeking to enter the U.S. federal marketplace.
Our experience includes representing clients with respect to enforcement matters before the Department of Commerce, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security and the Treasury Department, and the specialized concerns under Exon-Florio and the security regulations enforced by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the Defense Security Administration and agencies involved in classified defense and intelligence work.
- Representing client regarding merger and acquisition transaction requiring filing with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and issues related to proposed foreign ownership and control.
- Representing government contractor client with respect to enforcement action alleging misrepresentation of product under the Buy America Act and Trade Agreements Act.
- Representing government contractor with respect to development of internal compliance procedures designed to meet requirements of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and applicable third country anti-corruption laws.
- Advise client with respect to contracts with foreign governments.
- Represent clients with respect to issues arising under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and the Export Administration Regulations.
- Advise clients entering transactions under the Foreign Military Sales Program.
- Counsel foreign client with respect to establishment of U.S. subsidiary to provide services to Department of Defense and coordinate compliance with requirements under defense security regulations.
We guide companies and corporate leaders through all stages of the legal process, from representing witnesses in Inspector General, Department of Justice, and grand jury investigations to defending clients in trial and on appeal. We also counsel companies through internal investigations designed to identify and mitigate, or even eliminate, potential violations.
In addition, companies rely on us to counsel them through the related problems caused by government investigations, including negative publicity, customer inquiries and stockholder concerns.
Our attorneys have represented companies in investigations involving the U.S. Department of Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls of the Department of State, the Office of Foreign Assets Controls of the Department of Treasury, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Securities and Exchange Commission, numerous State Attorneys General, and local law enforcement.
- Counseled a Defense Department contractor under investigation by Army Criminal Investigative Division and the Department of Justice for alleged irregularities in timekeeping and overhead rates, and other procurement related conduct.
- Represented a national insurance company in multiple federal grand jury and regulatory investigations of loan fraud involving HUD and federally insured lenders.
- Represented a telecommunications company in investigation by the Office of Antiboycott Controls of the Department of Commerce.
- Represented a textile company in fraud investigation initiated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
- Defended manufacturing company executives under investigation by a state Attorney General’s Office concerning fraud in the negotiation and implementation of price lists under a state procurement contract.
- Represented a highway contractor before a state grand jury investigation into alleged fraud against the state’s minority business program.
- Represented a university professor in debarment proceedings resulting from allegations of research misconduct and misrepresentations on proposals.
- Defended a title insurance company before the Department of Justice under investigation for violations of the Civil False Claims Act for fraud against HUD.
- Represented a government contractor client with regard to false claims allegations relating to labor category designations.
- Represented a research university client in investigation of compliance with International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
- Counseled a defense contractor in a Department of the Army debarment proceeding
- Representing computer reseller in responding to a General Services Administration Inspector General subpoena.
- Represented an individual in a Department of Defense investigation involving bribery, defense secrets, and espionage allegations.
- Responded to requests for information from Senate Armed Services Committee and House Oversight & Government Reform Committee regarding alleged protection payments to the Taliban.
- Represented defense contractor executives in multiple hearings before the Commission on Wartime Contracting.
- Represented defense contractors in Army Criminal Investigative Division investigations of employee deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Represented defense contractor in Task Force SAFE inspections of client facilities and improvements directed following employee electrocution death in Iraq.
- Represented defense contractors targeted by SIGIR (Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction) and SIGAR (Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction) in waste, fraud, and abuse investigations.
- Represented media organization in internal investigation of “friendly fire” shooting deaths of employees in Iraq.
- Represented security contractors in investigating and reporting escalations of force in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Represented defense contractors in internal investigations of potential Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
Federal Agencies We’ve Worked With Include:
- Department of Defense
- General Services Administration (GSA)
- Department of Veteran’s Affairs
- Department of Homeland Security
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Small Business Administration (SBA)
- Department of Transportation
- Department of Commerce, Office of Antiboycott Controls and Bureaus of Industry & Security
- Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls
- Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Controls
- Department of Transportation
- Department of Agriculture
- Government Accountability Office
- National Science Foundation
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- Department of Education
- Department of Energy
- Department of Health and Human Services
- National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies
- Department of Labor
- Office of Personnel Management
- Securities and Exchange Commission, Social Security Administration
- United States Agency for International Development
- United States Postal Service
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Commission on Wartime Contracting
- Senate Armed Services Committee
- House Oversight & Government Reform Committee
- Special Inspectors General for Iraq and Afghanistan Reconstruction