Venable knows that the needs of government contractors are unique. That’s why we’ve built a robust team specifically suited to provide advice in the complex and highly regulated environment in which these organizations operate.
Venable has one of the largest government contracts teams in the country, led by prominent practitioners in this industry, all of whom understand the issues and challenges faced during a contract award.
Our clients range from the largest defense contractors in the world to small, entrepreneurial companies. We represent organizations whose primary customer is the government, as well as companies that are looking to find new markets within the government space. We are committed to developing relationships with clients on a proactive basis, creating strategic plans, and managing legal solutions that identify and solve potential problems before they occur. This efficient and cost-effective approach significantly enhances opportunities for our client’s success.
We Know Washington
Our group draws upon former members of Congress, Cabinet secretaries, federal prosecutors, agency counsel, and judge advocates with significant experience, knowledge, and contacts that are highly valuable in dealing with the complexities of doing business with the federal and state governments. This experience gives us access to decision makers who are uniquely positioned to address our client’s issues proactively and can resolve conflicts and disputes efficiently and amicably.
We help clients with contract interpretation, solicitation risk assessment, questions regarding the proposal and evaluation process, cost accounting, change orders, protecting intellectual property, and many other issues unique to government contracting. Our clients have immediate access to our wealth of experience in dealing with the challenges that arise from contracts with the Department of Defense (DOD) and civilian agencies. We assist clients navigating the peculiarities of the Homeland Security Act, including obtaining and maintaining SAFETY Act protections. Further, our team is well versed in GSA Federal Supply Schedule matters, particularly in advising clients on how best to structure proposals to avoid price reduction clause (PRC) issues, and addressing PRC, Trade Agreements Act (TAA), and other compliance matters post-award.
We teach and advocate risk identification, mitigation, and dispute-avoidance techniques. We also employ alternative dispute resolutions whenever that option is viable. When necessary, our attorneys will argue a case before administrative panels and in court. We represent clients in every major government contract forum, including the Boards of Contract Appeals, the Court of Federal Claims, as well as federal district and state courts. While we will zealously pursue any claims that you may have, we also make certain to preserve your relationships with your government customers.
Our goal is to resolve enforcement matters before they become public. We represent contractors in criminal and civil investigations involving export regulations, the Civil False Claims Act (FCA), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and other issues. We defend clients in whistleblower actions, and inspector general and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigations. Our experience covers the DOD, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and nearly every civilian agency, and involves contracts performed both in the United States and abroad.
Suspension and Debarment
Venable’s experience and reputation enable us to negotiate resolutions with the government in the majority of cases, permitting our clients to continue to perform and compete for government work while demonstrating that their company is a “responsible” contractor. Our team has represented and counseled clients facing debarment by all major DOD and civilian agencies.
We protect client interests in bid protests at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Court of Federal Claims, and at the agency level. In these proceedings, we defend our clients against a disappointed offeror’s challenge to a properly awarded contract and/or seek to overturn an award when the government’s decision is flawed and not in accordance with the solicitation’s selection criteria or other applicable rules and regulations.
Classified and International Markets
Our team helps government contractors successfully navigate the issues associated with acquisition by, or investment from, foreign interests. We have extensive experience with the Defense Security Service, ensuring that these clients are able to maintain the clearances necessary to perform classified work. We also advise clients in filing notices with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
Venable’s government contracts attorneys deal with issues at the intersection of government contracts and intellectual property law. We help clients identify and avoid the traps inherent in government contracting, which can often result in the government acquiring extensive rights in inventions, software, and technical data—even those developed entirely or in part at company expense.
Our team represents a number of small, disadvantaged, woman- and veteran-owned, and Historically Under-utilized Business Zone (HUBZone) companies. We assist them in qualifying for official preference status and ensuring that government agencies provide them with the contracting opportunities mandated by statute or executive order. In addition, we protect clients from unfair competition from companies that do not legitimately qualify for preference status.