Doing business with government is profitable, but also fraught with risk. Whether setting up procurement compliance programs, buying or selling a government revenue stream, protesting or defending government losses or wins, or representing companies in audits, claims or civil and criminal litigation in public contracting, we help you shoulder the burdens unique to having a government customer.
The U.S. government is the single largest buyer of goods and services in the world, and is a particularly steady source of business opportunities in both difficult economic times and in periods of strong economic expansion. State and local governments also purchase a wide array of services, construction and goods, particularly when spending allocated federal grant funds. Not surprisingly, the federal government, and virtually every state and local government, have established complex contracting and dispute-resolution regulations to serve the dual purposes of obtaining needed goods and services and protecting taxpayer funds. Alston & Bird’s government contracts attorneys are seasoned counselors and litigators who know and understand the complexities and challenges of doing business with federal, state and municipal governments. We provide strategic advice and counseling at every stage—and are successful because we have been on both sides—of the government/contractor relationship. We know what makes public agencies tick, which is crucial knowledge for a company trying to win or retain a public contract or trying to resolve disputes arising in connection with a government contract.
The lawyers in Alston & Bird’s Government Contracts Group frequently assist clients in all types of matters involving the negotiation, performance and litigation of government contracts, whether based on the FAR or other federal, state or local regulations. We excel at all areas where government contracting occurs, including the formation and administration of government contracts; processing claims and litigating disputes between our clients and government agencies, or between prime and subcontractors; conducting internal investigations; preparing voluntary or mandatory disclosures to government agencies; or defending our clients in investigations, fraud claims or other white collar matters. We are a full-service government contracts practice, with particular expertise in the information technology, health care, construction, defense and energy sectors. Many of our partners are particularly expert in construction projects for state, local and federal government owners. In fact, we are one of a few firms in the country to have nationally recognized practitioners in both the construction and government contracts specialty legal fields. We are counsel in federal construction disputes to three ENR Top 30 general contractors, including two of the world’s largest construction contractors. We also have a robust practice at the state and local level, representing national companies, as well as regional authorities and municipal governments, in their contracting and contract-related disputes.
Our government contracts lawyers are some of the most respected practitioners in the field. We are consistently ranked in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in Government Contracts, Ethisphere Institute’s “Attorneys Who Matter” in Government Contract Compliance and various Super Lawyers rankings, and are honored as contributing authors and speakers for a wide range of government contracts publications and conferences, including the Society of Corporate Counsel and Ethics. Among our specialists are a former U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina and director of the Executive Office of United States Attorneys and more than half a dozen other former assistant U.S. attorneys and DOJ trial counsel.
Bringing Value to Our Clients
Doing business with any government can be profitable and rewarding. With increasing oversight, however, it can also pose a significant risk to the continuing viability of any commercial enterprise. Whether setting up a regulatory procurement compliance program, negotiating the terms and conditions of a public contract or teaming agreement, or representing a company in public audits, investigations, suspension/debarment proceedings or litigation, the lawyers of Alston & Bird’s Government Contracts Group can help your company successfully navigate the numerous obligations shouldered by public contractors. We also recognize that very few important matters fall entirely within one industry or specialty. Our lawyers routinely team with other practice specialties, including construction, white collar, health care, international trade, mergers & acquisitions, labor & employment, and legislative & public policy, to ensure that every client receives state-of-the-art services from the firm’s top-flight experts.
Representative Government Contracts Clients
Brasfield & Gorrie
Clean Energy Fuels
Leatherman Tool Group
Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia
Skanska USA Building Inc.
St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital
Thyssen Krupp USA
Volvo Construction Equipment
Successfully represented a national health care company in a protest and suit concerning the improper award of an approximately $25 million public-employee health care contract. After a hearing before the court, the court reversed the improper award, granted each alleged ground for the appeal raised by counsel, and ordered the city to re-issue the RFP.
Recently represented four co-defendants in a qui tam (False Claims Act) lawsuit alleging illegal sales of products to the federal government that do not comply with certain domestic source restrictions applicable to such sales. Obtained dismissal before filing an answer by successfully arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction under the so-called public disclosure and first-to-file bars, among other things. The relator subsequently waived his right to appeal in exchange for a waiver of costs.
Our expertise in domestic source requirements is unmatched. Just in this area, we have authored widely circulated articles, conducted internal investigations of manufacturing clients’ supply chains to address Buy American Act and Trade Agreements Act compliance issues, conducted seminars and trainings of sales staff and senior executives, traveled with clients on customer sales visits where ARRA and Buy American restrictions were a key issue and defended False Claims Act investigations and lawsuits alleging noncompliance.
Representing a national health insurer/administrator in litigation concerning the procurement of a multibillion-dollar set of state employee health benefits contracts.
Represented a major telecommunications company in a Department of Labor Investigation into a Davis-Bacon prevailing-wage investigation arising out of a Recovery Act funded project.
Recently represented a leading construction equipment supplier in the protest of a Virginia Department of Transportation award of a contract worth $25 million, which protest resulted in a reversal of the original award and a new award of the contract to the client.
Represented an international construction firm in a claim arising out of the construction of a forensic laboratory for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Obtained a multimillion-dollar payment from the government in a settlement on the eve of trial.
Serving as national coordinating counsel for one of the nation’s largest health care insurers, on state bid protests and open records litigation matters. Our role includes advising on pending RFPs, preparing for bid protests (as awardee/intervenor or as an unsuccessful offeror), addressing the protection of trade secrets and acting as lead counsel on government contracts-related litigation.
Jeff Belkin recently served as a testifying expert on government contract issues in a criminal trial in New York City concerning a government contractor’s alleged fraud and misrepresentations in the pursuit of numerous government contracts. Mr. Belkin was qualified by the U.S. district judge as an expert in the field of government contracts, without objection, particularly on the areas of qualifications for Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB) and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) status. Both the prosecution and the defense quoted Mr. Belkin’s expert testimony in their closing statements.
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Alston & Bird Grows Government Contracts Practice with New Partner in Washington, D.C.
Alston & Bird has expanded its government contracting capabilities with the addition of Jeniffer De Jesus Roberts as partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Roberts arrives from Dentons, where she had been a partner since 2015.