Government Contracts and Cross-Border Trade
Competition for U.S. government contracts is fierce—but landing a government contract is just the first step. Companies that provide products and/or services to the government must comply with a complex web of regulatory requirements and government-unique contractual terms.
Womble Bond Dickinson has the industry experience and “bench strength” to properly assist companies, large and small, at all stages of the government contracts process—from the initial competition to the final close-out of the contract—including:
- Assisting clients compete for government contracts, such as providing hands-on advice on responses to requests for proposals (RFPs) and representing clients in bid protest proceedings.
- Working closely with clients to ensure they understand and are able to comply with government-unique contract terms and applicable regulations, and assisting clients to establish and maintain effective internal compliance programs, manage internal investigations, and prepare appropriate self-disclosures.
- Advising clients on how to protect their intellectual property when doing business with the government.
- Advising clients on government contract country of origin rules, including the Trade Agreements and Buy American Acts and the Berry Amendment.
- Protecting clients’ interests in government contract dispute resolution proceedings, including those that require Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information access, such as contract claim proceedings and prime contractor-subcontractor disputes.
- Representing clients in connection with government contract reviews, audits, investigations and enforcement actions, including civil False Claims Act proceedings.
Our attorneys have experience in all of the administrative tribunals and course that resolve disputed government contract matters. We have appeared in matters before the Government Accountability Office, the Court of Federal Claims, various boards of contract appeals, federal and state courts and other specialty forums such as the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals. We are experienced as well with alternative dispute resolution processes.
Clients also look to Womble Bond Dickinson to navigate cross-border issues, including compliance with export controls, embargoes/sanctions, anti-money laundering controls, anti-boycott rules, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. We have helped our clients manage complicated issues involving “Made in USA” advertising claims subject to Federal Trade Commission Regulations, country of origin issues, and a variety of trade remedy and import regulations impacting clients’ sourcing of items abroad.
We are experienced with managing due diligence assessments related to the transfer of government contractor businesses and assets, foreign ownership and control issues subject to review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”), and defense security regulations.
Our practice is nationwide in scope, and our lawyers have represented clients in sectors including defense and aerospace, technology and services, life sciences, manufacturing, banking and financial services, universities and non-profits, real estate and construction. As needed, we partner with our colleagues in related practice areas, such as corporate and M&A (stock, asset and merger acquisitions and post-close contract compliance and integration efforts), white collar, environmental, labor and employment, intellectual property, privacy and data protection, cybersecurity, life sciences, bankruptcy and tax. Our goal is to provide each client with top-quality, efficient and practical legal advice to ensure that all elements of the client’s business comply with government regulations.
The foundation of our practice is built on our team’s in-depth understanding of the government contracts industry and practical business-oriented solutions, and we take great pride in the fact that clients often mention the personalized service attributes of our lawyers. We always seek to add value to our clients by understanding each client’s individual business, and delivering targeted advice, insights and connections that help achieve objectives and minimize risk.
Bid Protests and Claims
- Counseled a pharmaceutical company to successfully obtain a $300 million federal contract to develop new flu vaccines, and successfully defended the award in a bid protest at the Government Accountability Office.
- Represented a disappointed offeror in a protest concerning a several-billion-dollar information technology procurement resulting in the agency taking corrective action and making an award to the client.
- On behalf of a U.S. Navy contractor, conducted a fact investigation, analyzed legal claims under the Contract Disputes Act, and prepared nine separate Requests for Equitable Adjustment (REAs) totaling $37 million. Based on the strength of the positions set forth in these REAs, the client was able to successfully negotiate contract modifications allowing uninterrupted program execution.
Compliance and Investigations
- Represented numerous government contractors with respect to internal investigations and self-disclosures relating to export control laws, antiboycott regulations, OFAC sanctions, “Made in USA” advertising, government contractor fraud and anti-kickback violations.
- Provided government contracts compliance training for global information technology and telecommunications companies doing government business.
- Represented a large manufacturer and distributor in a multi-year U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. General Services Administration investigation of qui tam whistleblower allegations regarding Trade Agreements Act compliance.
- Counseled several companies in structuring their manufacturing operations to ensure compliance with federal country of origin requirements, including a textile manufacturer’s compliance with the Berry Amendment, a train parts manufacturer’s compliance with the Federal Transit Administration’s Buy America regulations, and several information technology and electronic parts manufacturers’ compliance with the Buy American Act (BAA) and Trade Agreements Act (TAA). Represented a large government contractor with respect to a data breach involving healthcare contracts.
- Counseled a large professional services company and conducted an internal investigation into the company’s compliance with government information security and cyber requirements.
- Represented a Silicon Valley software company in connection with a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into allegations of non-compliance with pre-award and post-award pricing requirements under its Federal Supply Schedule contract.
- Developed and implemented a comprehensive government contracts compliance program for an aircraft parts manufacturer that was facing allegations of product substitution and defective product testing, in connection with an administrative agreement that allowed the company to avoid a proposed debarment. Subsequently served as the Independent Monitor overseeing the company’s compliance the administrative agreement.
- Developed and implemented comprehensive government contracts compliance programs for several clients, including an electronic parts manufacturer, a medical device manufacturer, a power assembly manufacturer, and a contractor providing fire suppression equipment to the U.S. Navy.
- Conducted due diligence of more than 90 government contracts for a $260 million acquisition by a Fortune 50 transportation and logistics company. Represented a large defense contractor in its acquisition of a cybersecurity technology company. Handled government contract due diligence efforts, purchase agreement negotiation, and post-close integration, including contract transfer, intellectual property rights, internationals sales agreements and FCPA compliance issues.
- Represented a Fortune 50 buyer in connection with a $70 million acquisition of a mid-sized technology-focused government contractor. Responsible for government contract due diligence efforts and post-close integration issues, including contract transfer, security clearance, data rights and cost-based contracting issues.
- Represented a leading foreign biodefense contractor in a public-to-public takeover through arrangement for approximately $300 million.