Venable Adds Douglas Proxmire, Leading Government Contracts Attorney, to Washington and Northern Virginia offices

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Named by Legal Times as a Dealmaker of the Year for 2013; son of former Senator William Proxmire (D-WI) has long focused his practice on integrity in government spending


Washington, DC (September 24, 2014) –Venable LLP has added Douglas Proxmire as a partner in the Government Contracts group in both its Washington, DC and Northern Virginia offices. Mr. Proxmire joins from Squire Patton Boggs, where he was also a partner.

Mr. Proxmire represents companies in government and construction contract formation and dispute resolution, including complex contract drafting, claim preparation, and litigation. He has represented major contractors across a wide range of industries, including public works, defense, technology, mass transit, dredging, airport expansion, fresh water and waste water, architectural, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, environmental controls, historical renovation, and shipbuilding.

He is the son of the late William Proxmire, Democrat from Wisconsin who served six terms in the U.S. Senate and who became renowned for his targeting of frivolousness and inefficiency in government spending.

As one of Washington’s leading government contracts attorneys, Mr. Proxmire was named by the National Law Journal’s Legal Times as a Dealmaker of the Year for 2013 for a successful bid challenge to a $100+ million streetlight maintenance and upgrade contract award by the District of Columbia’s Department of Transportation.

Among other noteworthy contractor matters handled by Mr. Proxmire include the following representations:

  • The manufacturer of $500 million+ contract for force protection barriers for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, in a contract award controversy before the Court of Federal Claims.
  • A construction surety in a dispute determining the rights of subcontractors to seek recovery under certain Federal (Miller Act) and Virginia (the Little Miller Act) statutes on a Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority project.
  • A construction company in Hawaii after the Navy rejected low bids seeking the award of two construction contracts because the bids on each contract were accompanied by a mechanically signed power of attorney. In a first impression decision, the court set a new precedent for acceptable mechanically signed documents in government contract procurement.
  • The awardee of the automated people-mover system that will replace mobile lounges at Washington’s Dulles Airport. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia upheld the award, holding that the company properly complied Local Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and technical criteria.
  • A prime contractor against a subcontractor’s delay and loss efficiency claim arising out of a construction project to build a “damage control” school at Great Lakes Naval Training Center.
  • A loss efficiency claim on behalf of a general contractor and a subcontractor arising out of a project to renovate an existing building at Great Lakes Naval Training Center to allow the Navy to train its recruits for duty.
  • Defended an architect/engineer being sued in connection with a runway relocation project at Virginia Tech Airport.

“Doug Proxmire is one of the most respected Government Contracts lawyers practicing today,” said Brock Landry, co-chair of the firm’s Government Division, which includes the Government Contracts practice group. “He has a strong, distinguished record of success in government contract controversies, one that has led his clients and peers to hold him up as top practitioner in the field.”

“His recent honor as a Legal Times’ Dealmaker of the Year was a fitting acknowledgment of the outstanding role he’s played in handling complex contracting issues,” added Paul Debolt, Venable’s Government Contracts Group practice co-chair. “He should fit perfectly with our team.”

Mr.  Proxmire commented, “Venable is among the nation’s elite government contracting advisers – the firm has exceptional relationships across all areas of government procurement and business, and a stellar track record in transactions as well as disputes and controversy.  I’ve gotten to know co-chairs Paul Debolt and Scott Hommer well over the years and have been highly impressed with the group’s performance.  This is a great – and natural – move for my practice.”

Commenting on his legacy, Mr. Proxmire noted, “My father was always concerned about integrity in government spending, whether it was the enforcement of the False Claims Act or crafting tougher laws establishing clear ground rules dictating how contracts should be properly awarded and paid. While my legal practice developed completely independent of my father’s political career, I share his motivation to ensure that government spending is awarded in a fair and legal manner.”

Mr. Proxmire received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A. from Wake Forest University.


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