Bracewell’s government contracts practice provides litigation, transactional and regulatory advice to clients of all sizes, primarily for energy, finance and technology companies operating in the public-sector marketplace. Our lawyers combine deep industry knowledge with an insider’s perspective to the highly regulated public sector environment. This gives us a unique understanding of the challenges faced by companies. As a result, we help to secure complete and efficient solutions that further our clients’ business goals.
We represent clients in government contracts litigation matters, including governmental and internal investigations, False Claims Act, bid protests, claims and disputes, mandatory disclosure, and suspension and debarment. We also provide substantive regulatory advice on requirements such as ethics and compliance; cost allowability determinations; foreign military financing and the Anti-Deficiency Act; data rights and intellectual property issues; defective pricing; grants; cooperative agreements; commercial item contracting; Government Services Administration (GSA) and Veterans Administration (VA) schedule contracting; GSA leasing; domestic preferences (Buy America Act, Trade Agreements Act, Berry Amendment); and the Procurement Integrity Act.
Our government contracts team also works with the firm’s transactional lawyers on transactions involving government contractors including due diligence, novations, change-of-name agreements, foreign ownership and facility clearance issues.
Our lawyers understand how bid protests impact our clients’ federal business and we have substantial depth, experience, and success pursuing and defending bid protests before federal agencies, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the United States Court of Federal Claims, and appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Our lawyers are recognized leaders of the bid protest bar, and we have over the years built excellent relationships with federal agencies, the GAO, and the courts that enable us to advocate effectively whether serving in the role of intervenor or protester.
With a myriad of regulations attached to government funding, successfully advising clients on the unique risks facing government contractors and grantees requires a deep understanding of the highly-regulated public sector environment. We have advised numerous clients on establishment of compliance programs, drafting codes of conduct, policies and procedures required under the Federal Acquisition Regulation, as well as conducted corporate compliance reviews and training. In addition our government contracts team has conducted internal investigations, and advised clients on their disclosure obligations. We have also successfully represented clients in investigations pursued by the Department of Justice, the SEC and Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for numerous federal agencies and other public governing bodies in numerous matters involving such issues as procurement fraud, procurement integrity, Anti-Kickback Act, the Byrd Amendment, public corruption, bid rigging, small business disputes, and cost accounting questions.
The False Claims Act is the government’s primary enforcement tool for combating fraud and abuse in government-funded programs and contracts relating to such varied areas as health care, defense and national security, food safety and inspection, federally insured loans and mortgages, highway funds, small business contracts, agricultural subsidies, disaster assistance, and import tariffs. Bracewell’s lawyers have represented numerous entities and individuals from a broad range of industries in False Claims Act matters, ranging from government investigations to trials and appeals.
Bracewell’s Government Contracts and Corporate lawyers work as an integrated team to provide complete solutions when representing clients in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and other investments in public and private companies that conduct business in the government space or participate in government-sponsored programs. We have substantial experience in advising clients on a variety of statutory and regulatory implications that arise when acquiring, selling or investing in entities doing business with the government. The lawyers in our Government Contract Group are experienced in conducting due diligence on a company’s government contracts to identify and help quantify the unique risks faced by companies doing business with the government. Some of our lawyers have high-level security clearances so that we are able to support our clients’ needs when the transactions implicate the most sensitive classified contracts.
Litigating contract matters against the federal government requires a high level of experience. Our team of seasoned lawyers has litigated numerous matters related to our clients’ public sector businesses. Our experience includes successfully prosecuting contract claims under the Contract Disputes Act and defending clients against government claims before boards of contract appeals and in federal courts. Our lawyers have successfully prosecuted and defended bid protests before agencies, courts, and the Government Accountability Office. We have also successfully represented our clients’ interests in prime/subcontractor disputes, and, defended clients in criminal and civil investigations, and False Claims Act cases arising out of government contracts and grants.
Each year, the federal government purchases more than $30 billion through General Services Administration Multiple Award Schedule contracts and an additional $15 billion through the Department of Veterans Affairs Schedules. Bracewell’s government contracts team has guided companies, both large and small through the Commercial Sales Practices Form, disclosure of pricing information, negotiation of basis of award customer, pricing changes under the Price Reductions and Economic Price Adjustment clauses, and compliance with the Trade Agreements Act. We have also extensively assisted clients in preparing and responding to Contractors Assistance Visits, pre-award and post-award audits, as well as Inspector General audits, reviews, investigations and disclosures.
We have represented numerous entities and individuals in suspension and debarment matters before various federal agencies. We have advised clients during investigations on the administrative risks and strategies for avoiding being excluded from public sector business, as well as represented clients after they have been suspended or proposed for debarment. We have helped negotiate several administrative agreements on behalf of clients to avoid being excluded.
Recent Notable Matters
Public key infrastructure company — successfully represented company that provides Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) support to the Department of State in a four-day jury trial over breach of contract matter
Technology services and solutions company — provided government contracting advice to company that provides engineering, programmatic and information technology products to the government
Satellite communications company — counseled start-up that provides next generation satellite communications services to government agencies on federal procurement matters
Cannon Design, Inc. — provided advice regarding closeout of Administrative Agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs
Power generation company — provided general government contracting compliance advice
University — provided advice leading to a winning proposal to operate one of the largest National Labs
Security services provider — represented a government contractor related to its contract to deliver fuel to bases in Iraq
Communications network provider — provided federal contract and E-Rate compliance advice
Data analytics company — provided assistance with GSA Schedule contracting and the adoption of company software for federal contact centers
Job Corps Contractor — represented company in a successful appeal of a Department of Labor contracting officer decision that denied an overhead and general and administrative claim on a Job Corps contract to the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals
Information technology company — assisted with contract counseling issues related to Defense Information Systems Agency and Department of the Navy technology contracts
Large technology hardware company — assisted with numerous agreements using Other Transaction Authority