Tyson Arbuthnot
David E. Aron
Gayle M. Athanacio
Stephen L. Bacon
Merri A. Baldwin
Robert J. Breakstone
Dennis J. Callahan
Thomas H. Carlson
Jeffery M. Chiow
Alecia E. Cotton
Joshua M. Deitz
Robert C. Goodman
Lucas T. Hanback
John G. Heller
Dennis C. Huie
Suhani Kamdar
Lauren B. Kramer
S. Amber Lee
Mark J. Linderman
E. Jacob Lubarsky
James Robert Maxwell
Joseph C. McGowan
Patricia A. Meagher
Robert S. Metzger
Brian D. Miller
Alexis J. Morris
Nicholas T. Niiro
Roland Nikles
Neil H. O'Donnell
Dean D. Paik
Sharon Ongerth Rossi
Aaron M. Scolari
Aaron P. Silberman
Katherine M. Svinarich
Renée D. Wasserman
Alan J. Wilhelmy
Paul M. Zieff

Neil H. O'Donnell
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Areas of Practice

Mr. O’Donnell is a member of the Government Contracts and Construction Practice Groups. He was chair or co-chair of the Government Contracts Practice Group for more than 25 years, and continues to serve as co-chair of the Construction Practice Group.

Professional Qualifications

In over forty years of practice, Mr. O’Donnell has specialized in public contract and construction law at the federal, state and local levels. He has litigated cases in federal and state trial and appellate courts, the boards of contract appeals and the Government Accountability Office. Representative cases include: a series of successful GAO and Court of Federal Claims bid protests concerning IT, cyber security and satellite communications issues; restructure of a multibillion dollar classified contract on behalf of a major defense contractor; defense of a national construction contractor and its pipe supplier against latent defect claims on a significant aqueduct project; trial of a termination dispute between the prime and subcontractor on a major state IT systems development contract; successful resolution of a multimillion dollar cost accounting standards dispute with the government on behalf of an aerospace material contractor; pursuing actions relating to power plant and water treatment plant construction projects on behalf of general contractors, subcontractors and the suppliers and fabricators of principal components; federal and state false claim act actions, and federal, state and local bid protests relating to equipment, software, construction and service contracts, including the $35 billion Air Force Air Tanker procurement and major post-Katrina hurricane protection projects in and around New Orleans.

Mr. O’Donnell is widely recognized as one of the leading government contracts lawyers in the country. Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyer for Business, ranks him in Tier 1 as one of the top lawyers in the practice nationwide and calls him a “terrific lawyer” and "a leading light in the field.” The Legal 500 agrees identifying him as one of the nation’s ten leading government contracts lawyers. He is also included in the annual list of “Best Lawyers in America” and is recognized as one of the nation’s outstanding public procurement and construction lawyers in Who’s Who Legal. Mr. O’Donnell is a member of the Bid Protest and Government Contracts Committee of the Court of Federal Claims Advisory Council. He has served as chairman and vice-chairman of several committees of the ABA Public Contract Law Section as well as on the Executive Committee of the California State Bar’s Public Law Section. Mr. O’Donnell has written and lectured on a wide variety of government contract and construction issues. He is presently on the Advisory Committee for The Government Contractor and the Associated General Contractors of California Legal Advisory Committee and is a member of the ABA Forum Committee on the Construction Industry. He is a former president and continues to serve on the Board of Directors of BAVC, one of the nation's preeminent media arts organizations, and is also a Trustee Secretary of San Francisco Performances.


J.D., Yale Law School
Editor, Yale Law Journal

B.A., Williams College
Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions
District of Columbia

Government Contracts

Recent Publications and Public Speaking

"Terminations of Government Contracts,” The Government Contracts Year In Review Conference, Washington, DC, Feb. 16, 2017 (co-presented)

"Terminations of Government Contracts," two-day Federal Publications course, Arlington VA, Nov. 14-15, 2016 (co-presented)

“Court of Federal Claims and Federal Circuit Decisions: Recent Developments,” BCABA Annual Program for 2016, Oct. 19, 2016

"Lockheed And Unquantifiable Risk in Gov’t Contracts M&A," Law360, Oct. 10, 2016 (PDF) (co-authored)

“Jurisdiction of the Boards of Contract Appeals,” George Washington Law School - BCABA Colloquium, June 8, 2016

"Terminations of Government Contracts," Government Contracts Year In Review Conference, Feb. 18, 2016 (co-presented)

"Terminations of Government Contracts," 2-day Federal Publications Seminars course, Long Beach, CA, Nov. 10-11, 2015

“Court of Federal Claims and Federal Circuit Decisions: Recent Developments,” BCABA Annual Program for 2015, Oct. 14, 2015

"Terminations of Government Contracts: A View from the Front Lines," Public Contract Law Section program, ABA Annual Meeting, July 31, 2015

"Terminations of Government Contracts," 2-day Federal Publications Seminars course, Alexandria, VA, June 17-18, 2015 (co-presented)

"Terminations of Government Contracts,” Year In Review Conference, Washington, DC, February 19, 2015 (co-presented)

Government Shutdown Q & A: Navigating in Uncharted Waters, a CLE webinar for the Public Contracting Institute, October 15, 2013 (slide show)

BCA Judge's Association Annual Seminar, Recent Significant Cases
Alexandria, VA, April 25, 2013

If Budget Sequestration Trims Your Contract: What Contractors Need to Know About Partial Terminations and Deductive Changes (PDF) RJO Government Contracts Update, September 2012, co-authored

Advising Construction Contractors: Suspension and Debarment, A CLE teleconference for the ABA Public Contract Law Section, Construction Division, June 28, 2012 (Slide Show) and (Case Study) co-presented

A-12 Saga Continues
The Government Contractor, Vol. 52, No. 45, December 8, 2010
by N. O'Donnell and
D. Callahan


Robert Dollar Building
311 California Street, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: 415.956.2828
Fax: 415.956.6457
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