Practice/Industry Group Overview
Sutherland lawyers have decades of experience litigating cases before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has nationwide jurisdiction over cases involving claims for money damages against the United States. Sutherland brings together proven experience in each of the principal substantive practice areas—the iron triangle—of the Court’s jurisdiction: tax disputes, government contracts and eminent domain/takings cases. Our attorneys have represented both private and public entities before the court, gaining authoritative insight into both sides' perspectives in these high dollar, often precedent setting cases.
In tax matters, Sutherland lawyers bring 70 years in federal, international, state and local tax and a track-record of success in cases before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Today, we have more than 100 tax lawyers and one of the largest and most highly regarded tax practices in the country. In the government contracts arena, we handle bid protests; suspension, debarment and fraud proceedings; determining commerciality; cost accounting issues and protection of intellectual property rights. Sutherland’s attorneys have a distinguished history litigating cases involving eminent domain cases and the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment.
In addition to substantive litigation before the Court, Sutherland’s attorneys actively plan and participate in the court’s annual judicial conference, law day celebration and other court functions. Our attorneys have served over the years as president of the court’s Bar Association, its treasurer and secretary and currently serve on the court’s advisory council. Sutherland attorneys also regularly lecture at legal conferences throughout the country on eminent domain and takings issues.
Tax acumen. For more than 70 years, Sutherland’s attorneys have been litigating tax cases in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and before other tribunals. That hard-won experience serves our clients well in tax disputes with the United States government. Our reputation for effective advocacy in such matters often enables us to reach an advantageous settlement without recourse to expensive and time-consuming litigation.
Government contract experience. Sutherland understands the intricacies of federal government contracting. We advocate for clients on complicated and high-stakes issues such as bid protests, litigate equitable adjustments claims under the Contract Disputes Act and represent contractors in suspension, debarment and fraud proceedings.
Eminent domain focus. Sutherland is highly experienced in eminent domain cases and understands the law and precedents related to the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We have represented the United States and other public entities as well as private litigants in these cases, which have dealt with both tangible and intangible property rights. Our attorneys frequently speak on Fifth Amendment takings issues at conferences across the country.
Collaborative involvement with the court. For the past decade, at least one Sutherland lawyer has been a member of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims Advisory Council, appointed by the chief judge of the court. Sutherland’s attorneys have served the court’s bar association as president (1982, 2002 and the current president-elect), treasurer (1998-2011) and secretary (2012). Its first president and a founding member of the association was a Sutherland partner.
Breadth. Our attorneys bring to cases before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims our experience and the collective wisdom of all the attorneys at our firm. These cases can be complicated and involve numerous fields of law and our practice offers the breadth and depth vital to successfully resolve these matters.
Nuts and Bolts
We have depth of experience in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in the three major areas of the court’s jurisdiction:
- Government contracts
- Fifth Amendment takings
In addition to experience in the substantive areas of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims jurisdiction, our attorneys are active participants in and collaborate with the court.
- For more than 10 years, at least one Sutherland attorney has served as a member of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims Advisory Council whose members are appointed by the chief judge of the court.
- Sutherland attorneys have twice served as president of the Court of Federal Claims Bar Association (and one is the current president-elect), including its first president and bar association founding member Randolph Thrower.
- Two Sutherland attorneys have served as treasurer of the Court of Federal Claims Bar Association.
- Sutherland attorneys have served as members of the Court of Federal Claims Bar Association’s governing board since 1996.
- In 2003 and 2004, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims presented two Sutherland attorneys with the prestigious Golden Eagle award, recognizing sustained and exemplary service to the court.
- The court’s bar association has named a distinguished service award in honor of Sutherland partner Randolph Thrower, the Court of Federal Claims Bar Association’s first president. Two Sutherland attorneys have been recipients of this award.
- Our attorneys regularly speak at the court’s annual judicial conference and participate in the planning of numerous court programs.
Sutherland's clients receive counsel from lawyers intimately engaged in activities of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Our team deals effectively and forcefully with tax disputes, matters involving government contracts, and the highly complicated, high-stakes law of Fifth Amendment takings. Not only do they provide the special knowledge required in this forum, they can rely on the support of the collective experience of our firm to address these matters.
Sutherland brokers a precedent-setting settlement regarding the dredging practices of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Sutherland brokered a precedent-setting settlement among the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the State of Alabama and the Dauphin Island property owners, requiring the Corps to immediately change its dredging practices.
Sutherland represents several family partnerships in FPAA challenges.
In challenges to IRS notices of final partnership administrative adjustment, Sutherland represented the interests of several family partnerships. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims handed down several rulings. Two are being appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit by the government and one ruling is being appealed by the partnerships.
Sutherland represents G4S Technology CW, Inc. in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in a bid protest case.
The United States has challenged the our client protestor’s standing to protest the government's award of a security support services contract for the Pentagon and other government buildings in the national capital region. Our client's primary contention in the case is that the government violated procurement laws by engaging in pre-award discussions with the awardee.