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Government Contracts

Who We Are

Rogers Joseph O’Donnell is highly respected as one of the leading government contracts law firms in the country. For several years the firm has been recognized by Chambers USA as being one of the top government contracts law firms in the nation. Leading legal ranking guides such as Chambers, The Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal have singled out many of our lawyers as among the nation’s best government contracts practitioners. Our government contracts attorneys handle all aspects of government contracting at the federal, state and local levels throughout the country.

We handle matters within the full scope of Federal, State and Local public contracts law. This includes, among other things: Federal, State and Local bid protests; claims and performance disputes; prime-sub disputes; terminations for default or convenience; regulatory compliance advice and counseling; internal investigations; mandatory disclosures; False Claims Act issues, Organizational Conflicts of Interest, Procurement Integrity and ethics issues; suspension and debarment; rights in data, intellectual property and software licensing; cost issues including Cost Accounting Standards and allowability; cyber and supply chain security; GSA Federal Supply Schedule and Multiple Award Schedule Contracts; labor and employment issues; International Aerospace Transactions; grants, cooperative agreements and other non-procurement instruments; Other Transactional Authority procurements; Offsets and FCPA Compliance and litigation; ITAR/EAR regulations; SBIR/STTR Program issues; and negotiation of Prime and Subcontracts, Teaming, JV, and Mentor-Protégé Agreements.

Among these areas, our Firm has had many numerous noteworthy successes. Highlights of selected areas are discussed in further detail below.

What We Do Best


BID PROTESTS

Rogers Joseph O’Donnell (RJO) is recognized as one of the preeminent firms in Bid Protests. We represent clients in the full scope of Federal, State, and Local bid protests at all levels including agency protests and protests to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Court of Federal Claims (COFC). We also represent clients in appeals to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and in other protest related matters such as size protests at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and size appeals to SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA). Our track record is dominated by successful outcomes with a long list of multi-billion-dollar protests in recent years. That clients trust us with matters of such significance attests to our status as a bid protest powerhouse. Yet, we are also nimble and frequently handle more modest protests for smaller clients. In short, when a protest matter of great significance arises, there are no teams better than RJO to have in your corner.

A sample of our recent representative matters includes:

  • We successfully represented a major cloud computing provider in a $10 billion NSA cloud computing protest at GAO, with additional representation in $10 billion DoD cloud computing protest at GAO and the COFC.
  • We lead a successful protest of a $3 billion disaster relief IDIQ resulting in corrective action and eventual award to client.
  • We handled a successful protest of an $80 billion Medicaid Managed Care award in Texas, resulting in recission of noticed awards and preservation of several billion dollars of revenue for the client.
  • We successfully protested a Space Defense Agency contract worth over $340 million for a major defense contractor, resulting in corrective action.
  • We filed a successful protest of a $120 Million BPA with the Department of Homeland Security for Learning Management Systems with an award of costs to the client.
  • We successfully defended a $40 million award for firefighting aircraft at GAO and COFC.
  • We successfully defended a $15 million award from the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts at GAO and COFC.

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CLAIMS, REAs, & TERMINATIONS

RJO is routinely called upon to assist clients in preparing complex requests for equitable adjustment (REAs) and claims, and we represent clients in related litigation at the Boards of Contract Appeals and in state and federal courts. We work collaboratively with our clients’ internal stakeholders to develop detailed REAs and claims that will maximize their ability to recover amounts owed by the government. Our team has extensive experience preparing and litigating claims involving various theories of recovery including constructive changes, defective specifications, differing site conditions, delay and disruption, acceleration, superior knowledge, and failure to cooperate. Contractors also frequently engage RJO when they are faced with the prospect of a termination for default or convenience. RJO attorneys also represent contractors in litigation when they need to overturn an improper default termination. If a contract is terminated for convenience, our attorneys help guide contractors through the intricate rules that govern the preparation and negotiation of termination settlement proposals (TSPs). The RJO team also is adept at litigating termination for convenience claims. RJO is also regularly entrusted with very large prime/sub disputes in diverse fields, from construction to enterprise IT implementations to aviation. Our representation of clients in prime/sub disputes includes federal district court and state court litigation, as well as arbitrations and other alternative dispute resolution proceedings.

A sample of our recent representative matters includes:

  • We represented a “Big Four” defense contractor in two separate terminations for convenience involving R&D contracts for cutting-edge weapons systems.  In both matters, RJO prepared large, complex REAs and guided the contractor in its development of comprehensive TSPs.
  • We litigated multiple claims at the ASBCA and obtained a favorable settlement of an appeal that converted the termination of an IT services contract for default into a termination for convenience.
  • We litigated claims and one of the largest federal terminations for convenience in history involving a 20-year contract to design and construct a multibillion-dollar nuclear facility obtaining $186 million settlement for client.
  • We successfully assisted a major defense contractor in avoiding termination for default on a $172 Million Army construction project.
  • We represented a leading multi-national defense company in claims worth $100 Million against a Tier 1 Prime Contractor and the Navy.
  • We represented one of the largest IT and business consulting services firms in the world in a $50 Million dispute in Federal Court related to an enterprise outsourcing agreement contract to transform the prime’s legacy IT environment to the cloud and ensure the prime’s compliance with government cybersecurity regulations.
  • We represented clients in adversarial proceedings on matters concerning Trade Agreements Act, Buy American Act, U.S. Flag Carrier regulations, and other compliance requirements.
  • RJO represents contractors in False Claims Act (FCA) litigation and suspension and debarment proceedings that arise from allegations of fraud or other misconduct in connection with regulatory or contract compliance obligations.

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cybersecurity

CYBER & SUPPLY CHAIN ADVICE

RJO advises leading companies on cyber, supply chain and national security matters, and its lawyers are recognized as among the nation’s preeminent experts on cyber laws and regulations affecting the public sector. Our clients include world-class technology companies as well as smaller, innovative concerns. RJO’s capabilities in cyber and security matters are recognized by Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 in their 2021 ratings.

A sample of our recent representative matters includes:

  • Continuing advice on present and emerging DoD cyber requirements, including CMMC, to multiple companies of varying sizes in several business sectors.
  • Advice to several leading DoD contractors on critical compliance challenges that arise as companies seek to achieve and demonstrate security, including potential exposure to actions under the False Claims Act (FCA) and assistance on the interpretation and application of existing cyber and supply chain laws and regulations.
  • Drafting necessary policies and procedures for cyber and supply chain security and compliance.
  • Advice to many clients in matters involving cloud authorization, employment, and security.

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PUBLIC CONSTRUCTION

RJO represents public construction clients of all sizes and types including general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, construction managers, owners, sureties and design professionals. We handle construction contract disputes with public entities, including bid protests, claims, terminations for convenience and default. Our public construction work involves administrative hearings and trials related to federal, state and local entity construction projects.

A sample of our recent representative matters includes:

  • Our client recovered $186 million in a settlement of numerous claims and one of the largest federal terminations for convenience in history involving a 20-year contract to design and construct a multi-billion dollar nuclear facility.
  • We represented one of the country’s largest construction contractors in matters which include disputes with owners and subcontractors on projects throughout California as well as bid protests and advice on contracts, totaling well over a billion dollars.
  • RJO represented a world leader in rail and urban transit systems in multi-party litigation arising out of a public entity’s termination of the prime contractor/system integrator contract and the prime’s suspension of the client’s contract.
  • RJO represented a major transportation construction contractor on claims worth $100 Million between the prime and subcontractors in connection with the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) extension project for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA).

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SMALL BUSINESS REGULATIONS

RJO regularly provides advice to small business government contractors on a range of issues including size and socioeconomic status eligibility, affiliation, the limitation on subcontracting rule, size recertification requirements, mentor-protégé agreements and joint ventures. Our team is well-equipped to litigate size protests, status protests, and NAICS appeals and routinely represents companies in cases at the Small Business Administration (SBA) Area Offices and the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA). RJO attorneys assist 8(a) Program Participants, Woman-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs), Veteran-Owned and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs and SDVOSBs), and Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) companies. We also assist large businesses when they need to understand the applicable rules that may impact a potential teaming arrangement, joint venture agreement, or acquisition that involves a small business contractor.

A sample of our recent representative matters includes:

  • We successfully defended a size protest alleging that RJO’s client was affiliated with another firm based upon the “ostensible subcontractor” rule.
  • RJO has provided advice to contractors on small business size status and affiliation issues, as well as related mandatory disclosure obligations.
  • We have prepared mentor-protégé joint venture agreements and amendments for numerous clients in compliance with SBA regulations, and represented clients in disputes under those agreements.
  • RJO counseled a leading IT services firm on various issues related to its acquisition of a small business including size recertification obligations under existing contracts, transitioning of active mentor-protégé agreements, and the acquired firm’s eligibility for set-aside contracts.

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california capitol

STATE & LOCAL

RJO is a national leader in representation of state and local government contractors in matters such as contract award controversies, performance counseling, claims and disputes, contracts terminations, and public construction matters. We have assisted clients across industries: information technology (IT), telecommunications, security services, construction and design services, health care and medical devices, and many more.

Our recent work in the state and local area includes the following:

  • Advising a leading IT solutions delivery enterprise on performance issues that have arisen in a high value, complex systems transformation project being undertaken by a state public entity.
  • Representation of several clients, including a major managed care organization, in state protests in Alabama, California, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
  • Exoneration of an IT consulting firm wrongfully accused of State small business status violations.
  • Litigation of payment and performance disputes for leading IT companies.

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FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

RJO handles all types of issues concerning access to public records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state public records laws. Our team has decades of experience working with federal and state agencies in FOIA matters and has been very successful in obtaining FOIA records for clients in a variety of matters. We also handle reverse FOIA matters and help ensure that our clients’ records are protected from disclosure in those matters. RJO attorneys work on FOIA matters at the federal agency level and in litigation before federal district courts. At the state level, RJO attorneys work with state agencies, cities, school districts, universities, and local agencies to leverage the wide variety of state and local public records laws and regulations. In some cases, we utilize the FOIA process to gather useful records as part of a multi-pronged strategy prior to certain litigation, including bid protests. We also obtain FOIA records for clients who are negotiating with federal and state agencies.

A sample of our recent representative matters includes:

  • Representation of clients in FOIA matters with countless federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. General Services Administration, U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Recent successful representation of client in a FOIA litigation matter in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
  • Coordination of rolling state public records requests to monitor the performance of large public contracts in connection with parallel litigation.

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GENERAL REGULATORY & COMPLIANCE

RJO understands how critical it is for government contractors to stay on top of their regulatory obligations and procurement requirements, and we closely monitor new rules and changes to existing requirements to advise clients on a diverse array of obligations related to government contracting ethics and procurement integrity, labor and employment issues, cybersecurity and supply chain requirements, intellectual property and data. Our team has deep expertise in helping clients navigate the impact of emerging and existing regulations on their business, including by advising on the application and scope of solicitation and contract clauses, and by reviewing, crafting and helping clients implement policies to ensure compliance with regulatory and contractual obligations. In addition, our team is experienced with counseling clients on complex regulatory processes and procedures and understanding opportunities to comment on and/or challenge proposed regulations that would impact their business operations.

A sample of our recent representative matters includes:

  • Advice on the application of a range of FAR and DFARS contract clauses.
  • Preparation and assistance in implementing ethics and compliance policies, government contractor codes of conduct, and employee handbooks for numerous clients in a range of industries.
  • Regular and ongoing counseling on various regulatory and contractual questions, on subjects such as cybersecurity, supply chain requirements, IP and data rights, and software licensing.
  • Advice to companies in interpreting and implementing COVID-19 labor and employment requirements.
  • Drafting mandatory and voluntary disclosures to a variety of government agencies, including disclosures required by Section 889 (the “Huawei ban”).

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GRANTS, COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS, OTAs, & OTHER TYPES OF CONTRACTS

While procurement contracts under the FAR are perhaps the first thing that clients consider to be in the realm of government contracts, RJO also represents clients in a wide array of non-procurement contractual matters.  Among our recent matters in this area, we have helped to establish a Manufacturing Innovation Institute funded under a cooperative agreement with the Department of Defense, and we have done significant work on behalf of contractors under the SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have assisted clients in negotiating emergency contracts for vaccine distribution and administration. RJO also advised in projects involving non-procurement state and federal law, including maritime, environmental and energy law.

A sample of our recent representative matters includes:

  • RJO was sole counsel to assist a manufacturing innovation institute in corporate formation, winning an $87 Million award, and negotiating key operating agreements with its primary partner, and has continued to advise in areas of compliance with the regulations governing cooperative agreements, IP and data rights issues, cybersecurity, and employment issues.
  • RJO represented a world class pharmaceutical and medical device distribution company about a contract worth hundreds of millions with the Department of Health and Human Services to serve as a distributor for a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • RJO has assisted several clients in connection with the SBIR program. One client seeks to a win a major share of a high value procurement of the Customs & Border Protection Unit of the Department of Homeland Security. RJO has also assisted a client seeking to win a $300 million SBIR Phase III award with the Army on a next generation weapons system.
  • RJO represented three contractors in successful GAO and COFC protests, and against a Federal Circuit appeal and U.S. Supreme Court petition for certiorari, concerning the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s attempt to use cooperative agreements and not procurement contracts, to obtain contract administration services. The case created the leading authority in this area. CMS Contract Management Services et al. v. United States, 745 F.3d 1379 (Fed. Cir. 2014).

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Attorneys in Practice

San Francisco, CA
  • Robert Dollar Building
    311 California Street, 10th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94104-2695
  • Phone: 415.956.2828
  • Fax: 415.956.6457
Washington, DC
  • 1500 K Street, NW, Suite 800
    Washington DC 20005-1227
  • Phone: 202.777.8950
  • Fax: 202.347.8429