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Morgan Lewis' government contracts practice is composed of attorneys with decades of experience in diverse areas of the practice—defense, energy, healthcare, commercial item procurement, government relations and public policy, litigation, international trade, and labor and employment. Our knowledge of the legal, regulatory, and political workings of the $320 billion public procurement sector helps clients cut costs and risk—and gain the best possible advantage—in transactions, in disputes, and in strategic business planning related to government contracts.
A national leader in qui-tam or "whistleblower" matters, we represent clients in both investigations and litigation of such cases. We've recovered hundreds of millions of dollars from the government for our clients, and have handled some of the highest-profile cases in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in the past decade. Our team includes government alumni who held high-level positions and attorneys with security clearances—equipping us well to handle major investigations and claims, corporate transactions involving government contractors, and employment issues. We also help clients access government incentive and stimulus programs, such as those promoting certain energy initiatives.
Snapshot of Capabilities
- Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and FAR supplements (e.g., Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations (DFAR) Buy American Act)
- Federal government subcontracts
- Small business status, relationships, and programs
- OFCCP requirements and mandatory socioeconomic contract clauses
- False Claims Act
- Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
- Government use rights in patents and technical data developed by clients under government contracts
- Protecting IP rights under government contracts
- Export compliance as mandated by federal contract clauses
- General Services Administration (GSA) and Veteran Affairs (VA) commercial item contracts
- Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Codes
- National Security Clearances
- Disputed claims
- Defending contract awards and prosecuting bid protests before federal agencies, at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and in federal and state court
- Litigation before the Court of Federal Claims (CoFC)
- Suspension and debarment proceedings
Acquisitions and Other Transactions
We routinely represent clients in multimillion-dollar corporate transactions involving acquisitions of government contractors, and we advise on a wide range of issues involving commercial dealings with the government. We represent both large and small defense contractors and contractors with civilian agencies.
False Claims Act and Qui Tam (Whistleblower) Matters
Our attorneys—who include former high-ranking government lawyers—have handled numerous procurement-related fraud and False Claims Act matters, including representations both at the trial and appellate levels. We have been counsel in some of the most significant qui tam matters relating to government contracts decided by the courts in recent years. We work with clients from the earliest stages—including investigations or audits preceding a False Claims Act or qui tam matter—through to resolution. We also assist in developing internal compliance and ethics programs, and in conducting internal investigations.
One example of the scope of our practice is our representation of the majority of the domestic nuclear industry in damage claims against the federal government involving the failure of the Department of Energy (DOE) to accept spent nuclear fuel for disposal. On behalf of these companies we have won multiple judgments totaling more than $100 million in contested trials, as well as settlements in which our clients have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation. We have handled a number of high-profile matters in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and Boards of Contract Appeals.
Our core group of attorneys in this area includes those who currently or formerly served in positions such as President of the Court of Federal Claims Bar Association and on the court-appointed Advisory Council. Morgan Lewis also is the professional home of numerous former Department of Justice Civil Division lawyers with backgrounds in government contract claims.
Government Contracting Litigation
We assist government contractors in an array of complex legal, regulatory, contractual and operational issues under the Contract Disputes Act and in litigation before Boards of Contract Appeals, the United States Court of Federal Claims, Federal District Courts and the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal. These matters involve labor, employment, wage-and-hour and employee benefit counseling, the Freedom of Information Act and representations involving government contracts, construction disputes and counseling, environmental regulation, Price-Anderson enforcement support, and nuclear indemnity and liability matters.
With the advent of competitive energy markets, federal and state governments have been making efforts to procure energy services through competitive bidding, and Morgan Lewis has assisted energy industry clients in these transactions. We have successfully represented energy companies in contract disputes with the government, including matters involving government purchases and sales of energy services. Our attorneys handle both pre- and post-procurement disputes involving government contracts.
Our attorneys, including members of our Energy, Business & Finance, and Tax practices, closely monitor government actions, such as those involving government incentive and stimulus programs to better assist our clients in reaping maximum benefit from these initiatives. We advise on loan guarantees, direct grants, investment tax credits, and other means of government support of private projects.
We help clients identify opportunities for funding and prepare targeted proposals that align with specific agency priorities and corporate objectives, and we assist them to communicate with federal officials as program guidelines are developed. Our attorneys design "cost share" structures and other critical components of applications for federal funding mechanisms. We negotiate funding contracts, including key provisions relating to protection of intellectual property rights when contracting with the government. We also develop supporting transactional documents, advise on regulatory issues, integrate federal funding with other project components, and consider appropriate tax-efficient structuring.
In many of our representations, we represent companies in False Claims Act investigations relating to contract pricing. We deal with issues of suspension and debarment from government contracting as well as matters implicating national security concerns, including constitutional law, the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act and security clearances. We have represented companies and individuals confronting Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations, environmental investigations, Department of Transportation and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) proceedings, as well as major fraud investigations, including tax fraud. We represent companies in investigations conducted by the Inspector Generals' Offices of agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Defense Investigative Service of the Department of Defense.
National Security Clearances
Given the sensitive nature of some government contracting representations, Morgan Lewis has attorneys and support staff with various levels of U.S. national security clearances. Many of these lawyers work on nuclear-related issues involving the departments of Energy and Defense, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Support staff members with clearances include secretaries, paralegals and information technology personnel.
We also maintain a cleared facility in Washington, D.C. to house documents to which access is restricted. This facility is used to support internal client investigations, litigation in federal court and licensing proceedings before the NRC. In addition, we have negotiated protective orders governing access to classified information.