Morrison & Foerster Announces the Addition of Eight New Government Contracts and Litigation Partners in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia

The group has a highly regarded practice rated Band 1 by Chambers USA

04/18/2016

David A. Churchill, W. Jay DeVecchio, J. Alex Ward, Daniel E. Chudd, Damien C. Specht, and Kevin P. Mullen

Government Contracts + Public Procurement, Litigation, and False Claims Act

Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 18, 2016) – Morrison & Foerster, a leading global law firm, is pleased to announce a significant expansion of its Government Contracts and Public Procurement practice and further strengthening of its Litigation Department. A group of eight partners from Jenner & Block are joining Morrison & Foerster across its Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia offices in the Government Contracts and Public Procurement practice. The new Morrison & Foerster partners are: David A. Churchill, W. Jay DeVecchio, J. Alex Ward, Kevin P. Mullen, Kevin C. Dwyer, Jessie K. Liu, Daniel E. Chudd, and Damien C. Specht.

This group brings a best-in-class practice principally serving the aerospace, defense, government and professional services, healthcare, and information technology industries. Chambers USA ranks the practice as Band 1, and has also individually ranked Mr. Churchill, Mr. DeVecchio, Mr. Mullen, Mr. Dwyer, and Mr. Specht. Chambers recently referred to Mr. Churchill as a “dean of the government contracts bar.” Quoting from a source, Chambers USA 2014 published that Mr. DeVecchio is “the best litigator in the country on government contracts and related matters.”

“We have markedly expanded our government contracts depth and client base as a result of the group joining us, complementing our already thriving Government Contracts and Public Procurement practice. The combined practice is among the strongest in the world and enhances key offerings for our global clients,” Larren M. Nashelsky, Morrison & Foerster Chair, said. “These additions also build upon our recent lateral momentum in Washington, D.C. where we’ve on-boarded numerous partners including Mark Whitaker for Intellectual Property, Chuck Duross and James Koukios for Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White-Collar Defense (SLEW), Lauren Bellerjeau for REITs, David Cross for Antitrust, and Joseph Palmore for Appellate. It will continue to be a strategic priority for the Firm to have a strong and growing presence in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia.”

Brad Wine, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Government Contracts and Public Procurement practice, added: “Our new partners have well-established client relationships with some of the most significant government contractors in the world. As a result of their joining Morrison & Foerster, we expect to expand our practice of significant, complex litigation matters and trials, including large bid protests, False Claims Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and general commercial disputes. We anticipate further growing our transactional matters related to mergers and industry consolidation as well.  We are also confident that the group will provide significant value to our existing government contracts clients.”

David Churchill and Jay DeVecchio – the former co-chairs of Jenner & Block’s Government Contracts Practice – as well as Alex Ward, will join Brad Wine as co-chairs of the Government Contracts and Public Procurement practice. The group’s clients include a wide variety of defense, aerospace, healthcare, and civilian government contractors as well financial sponsors in the government space.

“We are all looking forward to working with our new colleagues,” David Churchill said. “Becoming part of MoFo gives us the opportunity to collaborate with lawyers across multiple strong complementary practice groups including SLEW, corporate, IP, energy, and financial services, to most effectively serve our clients. We are also delighted to practice with the Firm’s highly respected M&A practice, which we have successfully worked with over many years.”

Jay DeVecchio added: “Our group also now will become part of a tightly knit integrated global platform as a result of joining MoFo. The Firm’s presence in Asia and Europe will allow us to provide even better support to our clients.”

Alex Ward also added: “MoFo’s capabilities create natural synergies with our team. We are very excited at the prospect of helping to further build on the Firm’s excellent government contracts bar.”

David A. Churchill’s practice includes litigation involving the award, performance, and termination of federal contracts before the Court of Federal Claims, the agency boards of contract appeals, and the Government Accountability Office. He has an active counseling practice in contract award-related matters and on issues arising during the performance of government contracts and subcontracts. He is also frequently called upon to conduct internal company investigations in connection with government inquiries and mandatory disclosures of potential fraud.

Mr. Churchill has led this team in representing major U.S. defense companies in a variety of pre- and post-award bid protest actions in various fora.  Mr. Churchill also served as attorney of record for General Dynamics Corporation in the long-running A-12 aircraft development contract termination Dispute.  The case was litigated in the Court of Federal Claims, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and in the United States Supreme Court.  At one time, the case resulted in the largest monetary judgment ever awarded against the United States in a contract case and was ultimately settled on favorable terms.

Since 2005, Chambers USA has named Mr. Churchill one of the country’s leading lawyers in Government Contracts Law. He earned his J.D. from Cornell University Law School and his B.A. from the University of Colorado. He served as a clerk to the Hon. Louis Spector of U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

W. Jay DeVecchio is a litigator representing clients in the aerospace, technology, and health care sectors in all facets of government procurement law, from bid protests to complex claims and disputes through suspension and debarment. He also represents clients in related issues such as criminal and civil fraud, qui tam actions, and internal investigations.  Just this year, in a jury trial, he defeated a $400 million False Claims Act action in the Northern District of Texas.

Mr. DeVecchio has litigated the largest defective pricing appeal tried to date, the leading case on latent defects, and the Eleventh Circuit’s decision on false claims immunity for Medicare contractors.  He has also testified in federal court as an expert on intellectual property in government contracts.  Since 2005, Chambers USA has named Mr. DeVecchio one of the country’s leading lawyers in Government Contracts Law. He earned his J.D. from The Catholic University School of Law and his B.A. from Duke University. He served as a clerk to the Hon. Stanley S. Harris of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

J. Alex Ward represents clients in a full range of government contracts matters, including bid protests, claims, investigations, corporate transactions, and counseling. He regularly handles federal and state court litigation and alternative dispute resolution involving government contractors. Mr. Ward has served as lead counsel in dozens of bid protests involving military and civilian agency procurements of a wide range of products and services, including protests in the GAO, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and state tribunals, as well as appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and size protests before the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals.

He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School and his B.A. from Duke University. He served as a clerk to the Hon. Eugene Sullivan of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and to Hon. Karen L. Henderson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Mr. Ward is a veteran of the U.S. Army where he served as a commissioned officer and an Assistant to the General Counsel of the Army.

Kevin P. Mullen has broad experience in government contracts law including agency procurements, subcontracting, teaming and joint venture relationships, contract performance issues, intellectual property, compliance matters, due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, and procurement fraud matters. He represents clients in the preparation and litigation of contract adjustment claims and terminations for both government contracts and construction projects. Mr. Mullen has handled more than 200 bid protest cases, representing both protesters and contract awardees before the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, federal district courts and state protest forums. He earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Virginia.

Kevin C. Dwyer, a government contracts litigator, has broad expertise in procurement law, particularly regarding bid protests and the allowability and allocation of costs under the Federal Acquisition Regulation and the Cost Accounting Standards. He has represented protesters and awardees in more than 200 pre- and post-award bid protests before the Government Accountability Office, the Court of Federal Claims, the Army Materiel Command, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Postal Service, and other agencies. Mr. Dwyer’s cost practice emphasizes client counseling and the informal resolution of procurement disputes. But he also has considerable cost litigation experience before the court of appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Court of Federal Claims, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, and several state public utility commissions. He earned his J.D. from Duke University, his M.A. from Yale University, and his B.A. from University of Notre Dame.

Jessie K. Liu served as co-chair of Jenner & Block’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice, and joins Morrison & Foerster’s Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White-Collar Defense practice group and Trial practice group in addition to the Government Contracts and Public Procurements practice. Her practice focuses on advising and defending companies and individuals facing government investigations or enforcement actions, and she has represented clients in grand jury, congressional, and inspector general investigations. She has substantial experience in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the False Claims Act. Ms. Liu’s clients include sizable corporations in diverse fields, including the automotive, aerospace and defense, construction and real estate, energy, government contracting, and financial services industries, as well as high-profile individuals. She has held a number of significant positions in the Department of Justice including Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, and Deputy Chief of Staff in the National Security Division. She is also a former assistant United States attorney for the District of Columbia. Ms. Liu earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and her A.B. from Harvard College. She served as a clerk to the Hon. Carolyn Dineen King of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Daniel E. Chudd is a government contracts litigator representing clients before the Government Accountability Office and Court of Federal Claims in multiple federal district and state courts and before administrative bodies. He has also represented numerous clients in False Claims Act matters, contract claims and disputes, termination disputes, private disputes between contractors and subcontractors, and civil and criminal investigations. In addition to his litigation work, Mr. Chudd advises clients on matters related to the Federal Acquisition Regulation and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, as well as the Truth in Negotiations Act, Procurement Integrity Act, International Traffic in Arms Regulations, Export Administration Regulations, and other legal and ethical obligations. He earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A. from Georgetown University. He served as a clerk to the Hon. Mary Ellen Coster Williams of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Damien C. Specht served as co-chair of Jenner & Block’s Government Contracts Corporate Transactions group.  He has played a significant role in more than fifty government contract transactions on behalf of financial sponsors and leading government contractors.  He also has experience in a wide variety of government contracts matters, including Federal Acquisition Regulation counseling, negotiation of subcontracts and teaming agreements, contract disputes, size protests, and both pre- and post-award bid protests. Mr. Specht is a leader on small business issues as well, having testified before the House of Representatives on small business regulations and serving as Co-Chair of the ABA Public Contract Section’s Small Business and Other Socioeconomic Programs Committee.  Chambers USA has recognized Mr. Specht as an “Up and Coming” attorney in Government Contracts Law since 2015.  He earned his J.D. from The George Washington University Law School and his B.A. from Grinnell College.

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