Practice/Industry Group Overview
Sheppard Mullin provides a full range of legal services to clients that do business with governmental entities. We advise clients on complying with complex government regulations and defending them in the event of litigation. We specialize in handling government contract disputes, bid protests, claims and defending individuals and corporations in a wide range of administrative, civil and criminal proceedings, including fraud investigations and whistle blower lawsuits. Sheppard Mullin also has the ability to serve clients in such areas as legislative advocacy, public relations and other related fields. Recently, Chambers & Partners' 2010 annual guide to America's leading business lawyers recognized the Government Contracts practice on a national level. The Government Contracts Practice Group also recently received the Silver Award 2010 for Best USA Law Firm in the category of Public Procurement, Public Law and Government Relations at the International Legal Awards.
Our attorneys have represented clients in proceedings before the federal courts, including the Court of Federal Claims; a broad array of administrative tribunals, including the GAO and ASBCA; federal agencies such as the DOD, EPA, DOE, GSA, DOT and CFIUS; state courts; and state, regional and local agencies such as California's Coastal, Energy and Public Utilities Commissions, to name only a few. Sheppard Mullin serves a broad base of clients in the aerospace & defense, high technologies, electronics, healthcare, transportation, power and utilities industries. Although we typically litigate before federal district courts, the Court of Federal Claims and Boards of Contract Appeals, we have also represented clients before the full spectrum of both federal and state agencies and departments.
Specialized False Claims Litigation
Sheppard Mullin has developed special expertise and has received national recognition for handling qui tam False Claims Act ("FCA") matters. The FCA continues to be one of the most heavily litigated areas in federal and state courts. These matters are complex, requiring a high level of expertise and specialization. Sheppard Mullin's attorneys are among the nation's leading qui tam FCA specialists, with strong ties to top tier government contractors. Sheppard Mullin has substantial trial experience including the successful defense of two FCA actions in federal district court, where the Justice Department prosecuted the cases. We have experience defending FCA cases pertaining to a wide variety of government contract issues such as defective parts or products, false tests and inspections or certifications, labor and material mischarging, product substitution, defective pricing and nonconformance to contract specifications.
Other Contract Disputes, Advice and Counsel
Sheppard Mullin provides day-to-day counseling to corporations relating to a myriad of government contract issues. We advise clients and handle contract disputes in the following areas:
- Federal and state procurement
- Contract claims and terminations
- Prime and subcontractor disputes
- Compliance programs
- Internal investigations
- Government and internal audits
- Voluntary or self disclosures
- Bid protests
- Debarment and suspension proceedings
- Cost accounting standards
- Quality assurance programs
We advise clients on joint venture and teaming arrangements, as well as in the formation of performance and subcontractor agreements. We assist in developing bids and proposals that adhere to government requirements and standards, as well as in protesting contract awards before tribunals and the traditional court system. We also have substantial experience in handling sensitive internal investigations related to possible violations of federal statutes and regulations.
Sheppard Mullin counsels clients that do business in industries that are closely regulated by the government, such as aerospace and defense, high technologies, healthcare, pharmaceutical, biotech, electronics, utilities, financial services, transportation and research corporations, among others. We also have experience representing these entities in administrative and judicial challenges to federal and state agency decisions, rule making and investigations.
U.S. agencies have increased enforcement actions over the last several years, with particular emphasis on violations of U.S. regulations barring the unauthorized export (and re-export) of items of the Munitions List and technical data and defense services to non-U.S. persons. We have also observed increased attention paid to the anti-boycott and embargo regulations, as well as the laws governing the retention of foreign sales agents.
Sheppard Mullin advises both U.S. and foreign clients on all of these new challenges resulting from increased national security. We advise on the wide range of compliance and enforcement issues relating to the export and re-export regulations administered by the Departments of Commerce and State, as well as the economic sanctions rules of the Treasury Department. Our export controls expertise ranges from complex export licensing issues to trade embargoes, to advice and representation of companies employing foreign sales agents.
Corporate Compliance Programs
Our attorneys are experts in conducting assessments of corporate compliance programs intended to satisfy applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. Sheppard Mullin has years of experience in the design, development, establishment and implementation of corporate compliance plans. These plans have become an integral part of numerous government related industries including defense, financial institutions and healthcare, to name only a few.
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:
Equal Doesn’t Always Mean Fair
Anne Bluth Perry, November 27, 2013
On November 13, 2013, GAO reaffirmed its view that normalization of costs is impermissible in acquisitions where offerors’ approaches are not required to be the same. In AXIS Management Group LLC, B-408575 (Nov. 13, 2013), the Department of the Interior’s (“the Agency”)...
GAO Dismisses Protest Alleging Noncompliance with E-Verify Requirements
Townsend L. Bourne, November 27, 2013
In Ashland Sales & Service Co., B-408969 (Nov. 1, 2013), the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) dismissed a protest by Ashland Sales & Service Co. (“Ashland”) alleging that a contract for lightweight jackets was improperly awarded to Creighton AB, Inc....
Non-Protestable Task Order Procurement Decision Shuts Out Incumbent Contractor
Christopher E. Hale, October 24, 2013
A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (“COFC”) serves as a reminder on the limits a contractor faces in protesting task and delivery order awards. In MORI Associates, Inc. v. United States, No. 13-671C (2013), the COFC dismissed the pre-award bid protest by MORI, the...
Canada's First Foreign Bribery Conviction Shows Trend in Increased Enforcement
Bora P. Rawcliffe, September 27, 2013
On August 15, 2013, the Ontario Superior Court found Canadian national Nazir Karigar guilty of conspiring to offer a bribe to Indian government officials under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (“CFPOA”). The CFPOA makes it an offense to directly or indirectly give or offer...
Robert Frost and Cybersecurity - Two Roads Diverging
Alexander W. Major, September 27, 2013
Like Frost’s nameless traveler in “The Road Not Taken,” our Government finds itself confronted with two diverging roads in the cybersecurity realm. The first offers moderation, deliberation, and evolution. The second, speed. Frost expressed regret that he could travel but one...
Lots of Little Things - FAR Updates from the Federal Acquisition Circular
Townsend L. Bourne,David S. Gallacher, August 16, 2013
Every now and then, the FAR Councils issue a Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) - an update to the Federal Acquisition Regulation implementing a number of changes. Often these changes are rather pro forma. But occasionally, you get a Circular with many different (and interesting) issues. FAC...
New Laws and Firewalls - Summer 2013 Cyber Security Round-Up
Alexander W. Major, July 24, 2013
Over the first half of the year there has been a lot of activity surrounding government efforts to confront growing concern over “Cybersecurity.” This flurry of activity comes in the wake of two years during which lawmakers have been unable to define legislatively what, exactly,...
What's New Out There? A Regulatory Update ("Promising Improvements" Edition)
Mark L. Jensen, July 24, 2013
Each month, we try to review the Federal Register and post an update summarizing some of the more interesting developments. This month, two of the topics - a proposed rule from the Department of Energy relating to onerous export requirements, and a final rule from the Small Business Administration...