Morrison & Foerster’s Government Contracts + Public Procurement practice handles litigation, compliance, and counseling matters for clients throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia.  Our attorneys represent prime contractors and subcontractors, manufacturers and service providers, as well as companies that work with government agencies through grants, cooperative agreements, and other vehicles.

Morrison & Foerster represents global leaders in a wide spectrum of industries, including:

  • aerospace and defense
  • cybersecurity and “big data”
  • intelligence and homeland security
  • information technology and electronics
  • financial services
  • education
  • healthcare
  • infrastructure
  • logistics support
  • professional services
  • shipbuilding
  • transportation

Our clients range from Fortune 50 companies to small and medium-sized companies just entering government markets.  We advise both U.S. and non-U.S. companies involved in federal, state, and local government contracting and related procurement matters.  The practice has been named Government Contracts Practice Group of the Year by Law360 and its attorneys have been recognized by Chambers.

We counsel clients in the areas of Contract Formation and Performance, Cybersecurity, Investigations and Enforcement Actions, Intellectual Property and Licensing, M&A Due Diligence, International Procurements, and Global Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships.  In Litigation, we represent clients in bid protests, claims and contract disputes, government investigations, as well as in criminal, civil, and administrative actions relating to government transactions, including False Claims Act (FCA) and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) matters, and suspension and debarment proceedings.  We also provide compliance training for our clients and their employees, and conduct due diligence for mergers, acquisitions, and financing transactions involving government contractors.

Non-U.S. Public Procurement

Companies seeking to provide products to or to perform work on behalf of government entities face a multitude of complex regulations and bureaucratic policies, which often vary widely from one country to the next. Our attorneys can help clients navigate this maze. Our public procurement capabilities and experience stretch across the globe, through our offices in London, Berlin, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Our global team of attorneys is familiar with and prepared to advise our clients concerning the unique legal and business challenges of public procurement work in almost any country.

Areas of Focus:

Counseling Related to Contract Formation and Performance

  • Our lawyers analyze and provide guidance concerning solicitation, evaluation, certification, and regulatory and statutory requirements that apply to bids, proposals, teaming agreements, joint ventures, contracts, and subcontracts. We counsel clients regarding compliance obligations and problems that arise during contract performance.
  • We assist with contract close-out, including associated government audits.

Cybersecurity

  • Working closely with our global Privacy and Data Security team, our Government Contracts practice group regularly helps our clients navigate the unique cybersecurity requirements that apply to their government contracts and subcontracts. 
  • We are well-versed in the applicable law, and carefully track the ever-changing regulatory developments that apply to companies serving both civilian and defense agencies.  We are intimately familiar with the regulations affecting contractors that possess, generate, transmit, or store covered defense information, controlled unclassified information, personally identifiable information, and classified data. 
  • We advise clients about compliance with requisite data security standards, the Privacy Act, HIPAA and HITECH, and about FISMA and FedRAMP certification and data breach reporting requirements. 
  • We have actively participated in data breach responses, assisting with federal agency notification and subsequent investigation and implementation of remedial measures. 
  • We also regularly advise clients selling cybersecurity-related products and services to federal, state, and local governments.

Investigations and Enforcement Actions

  • Our lawyers routinely work with companies to develop, enhance, and implement effective business conduct and compliance programs to minimize enforcement risk, and provide a mechanism for addressing problems when they arise.
  • We have substantial experience conducting internal investigations and representing clients in enforcement actions, including criminal investigations and prosecutions, grand jury investigations, qui tam or government-initiated civil FCA actions, and administrative actions such as suspension and debarment.

Intellectual Property and Licensing

  • We work with clients to address issues involving intellectual property, including protecting intellectual property rights to software and hardware developed or customized for government customers, and to technical data delivered under government contracts. 
  • We counsel clients regarding the Bayh-Dole Act and unique grant programs such as SBIR and STTR funding opportunities, and the related IP implications.
  • We have extensive experience in technology licensing where government funds or technology are involved, assisting technology companies with understanding the different types of research and development agreements and federal technology transfer programs, and drafting and negotiating consortia agreements, CRADAs, Material Transfer Agreements, patent licenses, and related agreements.

M&A Due Diligence

Our government contract lawyers assist clients in addressing the government contracting issues that arise in the acquisition or sale of a company that does business as a government contractor. These efforts involve due diligence reviews, strategic alliances, novations, Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reviews, and resolution of national security issues.

International Procurements

We address transactional issues and disputes, as well as the requirements relating to international compliance issues, export controls, the Buy American Act, the Trade Agreements Act, international anti-corruption laws, and FCPA compliance.

Litigation

  • We prosecute and defend bid protests before contracting agencies, the Government Accountability Office, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC), as well as in various international, state, and local venues.
  • We prepare, negotiate, and resolve modification requests, requests for equitable adjustment, and contract claims, and are active in claims litigation before agency boards of contract appeals and the COFC.
  • We file Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and “reverse” FOIA cases to prevent the release of sensitive information.
  • We defend our clients in administrative, civil, and criminal proceedings involving FCPA, FCA, and fraud allegations.
  • We represent our clients in various other commercial disputes, including prime contractor-subcontractor litigation and arbitration in federal and state jurisdictions throughout the country.

Global Infrastructure and Public Private Partnerships

Morrison & Foerster has a long, successful history in infrastructure projects delivered in traditional ways, including transportation (road, rail, municipal transit, airports, and ports), water (water and wastewater), telecommunications, healthcare (hospitals), and sports (arenas and venues).

Today, “Public Private Partnerships” (PPP) are popular, as governments seek new ways to deliver public infrastructure, facilities, and services. Through PPP, the public sector seeks to harness private sector financing, skill, and resources to provide public sector facilities and services.  Over the past two decades we have been advising governments and private parties on numerous PPP transactions, from airports, to water works, courthouses, toll roads, railroads, re-use of military facilities, among others. 

Our clients in infrastructure and PPP include the private sector (developers, contractors, public service operators, and financial institutions) and national, regional, and local governments, and multinational organizations, particularly in the U.S. Asia, and Latin America.  Through our multidisciplinary teams, we provide efficiently the full range of legal experience and skills that these undertakings require.

Honeywell International Inc.
In Honeywell International Inc. v. United States (USDC, District of Columbia), we represent Honeywell International in a "reverse" Freedom of Information Act case, seeking to enjoin the Air Force's release of confidential commercial information related to the satellite and space systems control network submitted in a proposal and incorporated into an Air Force contract.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Litigation
We represented a U.S. company accused of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations related to the sales of aerospace supplies in the Far East. The allegations included bribes paid to government officials to obtain large contracts with the foreign government. Our internal investigation included witness interviews and forensic review of books and records in Chinese and English. We also assisted the client with developing an enhanced FCPA Compliance Program and employee training.
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation
In PlanetSpace v. United States, we represented Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) in defending its award by NASA of a $3.1 billion contract for launch supply services to resupply the International Space Station. A disappointed bidder first filed a protest of the contract award at the Government Accountability Office, and then filed an action at the Court of Federal Claims challenging NASA's decision to override the automatic stay of performance imposed by the Competition in Contracting Act. Both actions by the protester were unsuccessful.
Fortune 500 Company Internal Investigation
We represent a large multinational Fortune 500 company in an extensive internal investigation and in the DoD/DoJ Voluntary Disclosure Program related to contract noncompliance allegations related to a subsidiary acquired by our client and potentially involving False Claims Act violations and procurement fraud.
Northrop Grumman Corporation
We represented Northrop Grumman Corporation at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the Government's appeal of a favorable ASBCA decision involving tens of millions in breach of warranty claims related to a DoD warfare system. The case below included extensive motion practice, discovery on numerous technical issues, and a three-week trial involving multiple experts and numerous fact witnesses.
Internal Investigation for Foreign Multinational Company
We represented a large multinational foreign company sanctioned by the U.S. State Department for alleged violations related to sales of controlled products and services to restricted countries. Our internal investigation and compliance reviews involved lawyers in our Tokyo, Singapore, and Washington, DC offices, and successfully concluded with the State Department agreeing to lift the sanctions.

Chambers USA 2017
National: Government Contracts


Legal 500 US 2017
Government Contracts

Government Contracts Insights Blog


GAO Post-Award Protest Timeline

GAO Post-Award Protest Timeline


Timeline of a Contract Disputes Act Claim

Timeline of a Contract Disputes Act Claim


The Bayh-Dole Act

The Bayh-Dole Act


Allowability of Legal Costs

Allowability of Legal Costs


Expanded Government Contracts Practice at Morrison and Foerster

Expanded Government Contracts Practice



BTI Client Service All Stars – Rick Vacura & Bradley Wine (2016)


“They are always available and responsive, and we are really pleased with the service they give us.”
Chambers USA 2017


“They have lawyers who specialize in every conceivable area. There is no government contracts question where they can't find you an expert.”
Chambers USA 2016


“They have top-notch expertise but what I really value most is that they really act like a partner with me as an in-house lawyer.”
Chambers USA 2016


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