Government Contracts + Public Procurement

Morrison and Foerster’s government contracts practice is one of the largest of its kind, with more than 25 lawyers exclusively dedicated to the practice, including over 12 with U.S. government security clearances. We counsel U.S. and foreign businesses of all sizes and types—from Fortune 50 companies to small businesses and private equity firms—on the full range of legal, regulatory, and compliance issues they may encounter when they do business with government entities. Our practice is ranked tier-one by both Chambers USA and Legal 500 US and we have been named Government Contracts Practice Group of the Year by Law360.

We represent clients in the full life cycle of government contracts, from counseling on terms and conditions in a draft Solicitation, advising on contract awards and debriefings, prosecuting or defending bid protests, assisting on contract disputes, requests for equitable adjustment, and claims, and guiding clients through contract close-out or termination issues. We also help clients through government investigations, criminal, civil, and administrative actions related to government transactions (including U.S. False Claims Act (FCA) and U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) matters), and suspension and debarment proceedings. We provide regulatory advice and conduct due diligence for our clients when they are contemplating or engaged in mergers, acquisitions, and financing transactions.  We work with our clients to negotiate teaming and subcontracting agreements and represent them in any disputes that come up in the subcontracting process.  We also provide compliance training for our clients and their employees.

Our clients include prime contractors and subcontractors, manufacturers and service providers, and companies that work with government entities through grants, cooperative agreements, other transactional authority agreements, and other contractual arrangements. Our clients represent a wide array of industries, including:

  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Professional Services
  • Information Technology and Electronics
  • Cybersecurity and “Big Data”
  • Education
  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare and Life Sciences
  • Intelligence and Security
  • Logistics Support
  • Private Equity
  • Shipbuilding
  • Transportation



We represent our clients in a variety of proceedings that arise in connection with their work with government entities.

We file bid protests on behalf of our clients, and defend our clients’ contract awards against bid protests, at contracting agencies, the Government Accountability Office, the Federal Aviation Administration Office of Dispute Resolution and Avoidance (FAA ODRA), and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC), and in various international, state, and local venues. We also have extensive experience in litigating classified bid protests and both size and status challenges before the Small Business Administration.

We have broad experience before the U.S. Boards of Contract Appeals and COFC in appealing Contracting Officers’ Final Decisions in matters involving contractor or government claims as well as terminations.

We file U.S. 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 the FCPA, FCA, U.S. Procurement Integrity Act (PIA), Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA), and other allegations of misconduct.

We also represent our clients in federal and state jurisdictions throughout the commercial litigation and arbitration matters that may arise in government contracts, including teaming agreement disputes, prime contractor-subcontractor litigation, and Trade Secrets Act matters.


Our attorneys routinely counsel clients on contract terms and conditions as well as other legal and regulatory issues faced by government contractors including the FAR, DFARS, Cost Accounting Standards, Cost Allowability, TINA, U.S. Small Business Act, and ITAR.

We advise clients in negotiating teaming arrangements and subcontracts, including subcontract flowdown requirements. We also work with large and small businesses in developing mentor-protégé joint ventures.

We assist clients in preparing requests for equitable adjustment and claims that arise in the performance of a contract. We also work with clients responding to government claims and audits by the DCAA, DCMA, or other government entities.

Our lawyers also provide counseling on compliance issues, including performing compliance audits and monitoring as well as developing and conducting compliance programs and training.

We regularly assist clients with cutting-edge small business issues that arise across socio-economic programs.

Investigations and Prosecutions

In addition to developing, enhancing, and implementing effective business conduct and compliance programs, our attorneys assist our clients with their responses to government investigations, and conduct internal investigations on their behalf; our goal is always to minimize risk exposure and address problems when they arise but before they negatively affect operations. When needed, we represent clients in administrative, civil, and criminal proceedings, including grand jury investigations, qui tam, or government-initiated civil false claims actions, and administrative actions including suspension and debarment proceedings.

Intellectual Property and Licensing

We work aggressively to defend our clients’ intellectual property rights related to their government grants and contracts. We are fully conversant with the data rights and software clauses in the U.S. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS). We provide innovative advice to our clients on licensing issues involving government funds or technology. We help our clients understand the various types of research and development agreements and federal technology transfer programs. And we draft and negotiate consortia agreements, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, material transfer agreements, patent assignments and licenses, and related agreements.


Working closely with our colleagues from our global Privacy and Data Security and National Security teams, we regularly help 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 on their compliance with requisite data security standards, the U.S. Privacy Act of 1974, the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the U.S. Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). We also advise clients on the U.S. Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and the U.S. Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) certification and data breach reporting requirements.

We guide and actively participate in our clients’ data breach responses, assisting with notifying federal agencies, conducting investigations, and implementing remedial measures. We also regularly advise clients selling cybersecurity-related products and services to federal, state, and local governments.

M&A Regulatory Advice and Due Diligence

We regularly help both strategic and financial sponsor clients to navigate complex transactional and compliance issues that arise in connection with the stock transfer, sale, investment in, or acquisition of government contract assets or businesses. In this regard, we assist with evaluation of opportunities, due diligence, transaction structuring, small business transfer issues, agreement negotiations, and address Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and Foreign Ownership Control and Influence considerations, as well as resolution of national security issues. We also assist with post-close novation and integration processes.

Non-U.S. Public Procurement

Our lawyers help our global clients do business with government entities around the world that are foreign to those clients. We counsel clients on international transactional issues and disputes, foreign military sales, foreign military financing, offset agreements, export controls, the Buy American Act, international anti-corruption laws, and FCPA compliance.

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.

Band 1: Chambers USA 2019
National: Government Contracts

Tier 1: Legal 500 US 2019
Government Contracts

JD Supra Readers Choice Award: Government Contracting 2019

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

BTI Client Service All Stars 2019
BTI Client Service All Stars – Dave Churchill (2019)

“They are known as tough, talented, and client-focused. They easily live up to their reputation. Their model of bringing in top, experienced talent, with a focus on diversity, is simply awesome.”
-Chambers USA 2019

"They can bring a really wide range of subject matter expertise to bear on a problem, and can do it quickly and thoughtfully."
Chambers USA 2018

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

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