Government Contracts & Projects

The United States government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world, and many U.S. state and local governments have substantial acquisition budgets. Despite movement in the past decade toward commercial contract practices, these varying levels of government and their many agencies, which carry out acquisition procedures and policies, remain highly regulated. To complicate matters further, the government's special status as sovereign means that contract disputes with the government must follow a different procedural path than disputes arising under contracts between private parties.

Greenberg Traurig’s Government Contracts & Projects Practice helps companies navigate the highly regulated acquisition and compliance processes of federal, state and local governments and their agencies. Our attorneys and governmental affairs professionals assist both experienced contractors and newcomers with a broad array of issues arising from, for example, sales of commercial off-the-shelf and customized products, complex services and managed solutions to governments at the national and local levels. We provide full-service representation by incorporating the strengths of our government affairs, export control, cybersecurity, health care and white collar colleagues to meet the transactional, regulatory, investigation, audit and governmental affairs needs of clients in the commercial, defense, aerospace, health care, information technology and other high-tech sectors.

Our experience includes:

Assignments and Novations

  • Review novation requests
  • Counsel regarding Anti-Assignment Act and Assignment of Claims Act prohibitions and exceptions
  • Assist in compliance with Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements and novation agreement procedures
  • Negotiate agreements between original contractors and successors in interest
  • Assist with the transition of contracts upon execution of novation agreements
  • Represent clients in the arbitration and litigation of novation-related circumstances

Bid Protest Litigation

  • Represent clients asserting bid protests to awarding agencies, the Government Accountability Office and federal (i.e., the Court of Federal Claims) or state courts
  • Represent clients in the defense of contract awards to the clients

Buy American and Trade Agreements Act

  • Advise on exceptions to the Buy American Act (specific products and “designated countries”)
  • Counsel on mandatory certifications under the Buy American Act and the Trade Agreements Act
  • Advise clients on compliance and exception to Department of Defense specific laws and regulations including the “Berry Amendment” and related domestic preference programs

Compliance and Present Responsibility

  • Provide an assessment of vulnerability to minimize or eliminate trouble areas
  • Assist in compliance training and avoidance of organizational conflicts of interest
  • Provide guidance on procurement integrity, “revolving-door” rules, quality assurance and product conformance
  • Assist clients with cost and pricing data submissions under the Truth in Negotiations Act and the Buy American Act
  • Counsel regarding foreign sales, U.S. export controls and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Assist with ethics and compliance program development and training

Corporate Transactions Involving Government Contractors

  • Provide counsel regarding due diligence-related government and international contracting issues
  • Provide advice on the acquisition, merger with and/or spin-off of government contractors
  • Advise clients on Exon-Florio and Foreign Ownership Control and Influence applications in multinational transactions
  • Represent clients filing claims under Cost Accounting Standards (CAS)
  • Negotiate contracts with government clients, team members, prime contractors, subcontractors and vendors

Cost and Pricing

  • Counsel regarding specific acquisition regulations (e.g., allocation of costs, allowability of specific types of costs)
  • Assist clients in complying with contract proposal and change order pricing requirements under the Truth in Negotiations Act
  • Assist clients with CAS Disclosure Statements and compliant accounting systems
  • Counsel regarding progress payment or performance payment suspensions or reductions, setoffs and Anti-Deficiency Act issues
  • Respond to audit reports and recommendations of Defense Contract Audit Agency
  • Assist with accounting reviews for regulatory compliance
  • Provide training and remediation

Disputes, Claims and Litigation

  • Represent clients in government contract disputes, including contract disagreements, requirements, entitlement to payment, cost allowability and allocation, alleged cost mischarging, defective pricing, CAS noncompliance, threatened terminations for default and termination for convenience settlement claims
  • Represent clients submitting claims to recover funds owed under government contracts or subcontracts
  • Litigate before the Boards of Contract Appeals, the Court of Federal Claims, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and other federal or state courts
  • Represent clients in the filing and defense of bid protests

Export Controls

  • Counsel regarding the export control of commodities, technologies and services
  • Assist with drafting and implementation of compliance programs and training
  • Conduct export control due diligence in domestic and multinational transactions
  • Represent companies in administrative, civil and criminal enforcement actions

Clearance & Security Issues

  • Advise on the necessity and processes of facility and personnel clearances for officers, directors and employees, as well as of interim clearances
  • Assist with security clearance reinstatement
  • Counsel on compliance with Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI) regulations
  • Assist in preparing submissions and plans required by the Defense Security Service (DSS)
  • Assist with compliance with Government cybersecurity and data requirements, including FISMA, FedRAMP and NIST

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)

  • Counsel on FCPA compliance in transactions with foreign governments and semi-privatized entities
  • Advise on FCPA interpretation and defend companies in civil and criminal investigations
  • Provide guidance on FCPA compliance programs and deal due diligence activities

Foreign Military Sales

  • Advise regarding the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS), Direct Commercial Sales and Foreign Military Financing (FMF) Programs
  • Counsel on rules regarding sales representatives, contingent fee payments, U.S. content requirements and customer-requested “offsets” in FMS and FMF transactions
  • Assist with audits conducted under the FMS Program

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

  • Assist with FOIA requests
  • Provide counsel regarding protection against confidential information being released in a “reverse FOIA” situation
  • Advise on protection against disclosure of proprietary information and trade secrets

GSA & VA Schedules

  • Assist with schedule proposals and contract negotiations
  • Assist with commercial pricing disclosures, completion of the Commercial Sales Practices Format and selection of the basis of award customer or category of customers
  • Provide counsel regarding Industrial Funding Fees, price adjustments and price reduction/most favored customer provisions
  • Assist with compliance program development
  • Negotiate blanket purchase agreements and teaming and other partnering arrangements under schedules
  • Represent clients in civil, criminal and administrative actions arising from schedule contracts

Homeland Security

  • Review and advise on proposals to sell products and services to the Department of Homeland Security and other defense-related agencies
  • Counsel regarding potential liability attached to homeland security product sales
  • Provide protection assessments

Intellectual Property and Data Rights

  • Negotiate research and development agreements with government agencies, prime contractors and subcontractors
  • Review and advise on regulations and contract provisions addressing rights claimed by the government when contractors deliver technical data or computer software
  • Negotiate contract terms to prevent the unanticipated, unacceptable or unnecessary release of clients’ IP rights
  • Advise on commercial rights in data and patentable inventions developed under government contracts, grants, “other transactions” or cooperative research and development agreements
  • Litigate patent infringement cases arising under government contracts in the Court of Federal Claims

Privatization and A-76 (Competitive Sourcing Program)

  • Assist with competitive sourcing program matters
  • Advise in connection with inventories provided by government agencies to Congress under Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act

Procurement/Regulatory Criminal Defense

  • Represent clients in the defense of criminal, grand jury, civil enforcement, Civil False Claims Act (FCA) and Congressional investigations regarding export control and FCPA (Anti-bribery and Books and Records) violations, federal procurement fraud, corruption, antitrust, conflicts of interest, defective pricing, security clearances, performance and testing
  • Assist with corporate internal investigations, related reporting and voluntary disclosures, and global settlements
  • Represent clients in the defense of criminal indictments and FCA suits, pre-trial motions and jury trials of criminal indictments and FCA suits
  • Counsel on compliance and ethics programs and other complex requirements under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and federal agency present responsibility regulations

State and Local Agreements With the Federal Government

  • Assist state and local-level governmental entities in preparing proposals and negotiating cost reimbursement and other types of contracts in compliance with Federal regulations and OMB Circulars
  • Counsel state and local governmental entities regarding allowable direct costs, allocation of indirect costs, and applicable credits in order to capture the full amounts due under contracts with the Federal Government
  • Conduct audits of state and local governmental entities regarding direct and indirect cost proposals pursuant to Federal regulations and OMB Circulars

Suspension and Debarment

  • Oppose Notices of Proposed Debarment and Suspension Notices
  • Negotiate administrative agreements (to retain eligibility for government contracts) and global settlements
  • Represent clients before federal agencies, including suspension and debarment officials, and in court

 

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Diversity

At Greenberg Traurig, we are committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The individual attorneys at Greenberg Traurig are committed to nurturing diversity throughout the firm and creating an environment where differences are embraced and utilized creatively.

For us, diversity is about taking action - opening doors for lawyers.

That commitment is reflected by the fact that overall, 40 percent of Greenberg Traurig's attorneys worldwide are women or minorities as defined by the American Bar Association. As of Dec. 31, 2014, our U.S. employees, including attorneys and staff, who met the definition of minority persons reflected a total of 29 percent of our employment base. Approximately 32 percent of our U.S. attorneys and 52 percent of our U.S. employees are women.

Greenberg Traurig's commitment to diversity and inclusion goes beyond any single committee. Committees cannot nurture; they cannot mentor; they cannot create an environment where differences are embraced and utilized creatively. Committees do not lead. Our diverse attorneys however, can and do.


* We welcome and reflect the communities we represent better than any other major law firm in our markets.

* We do not simply rely on a "committee" to achieve this.

* We do so through a commitment to providing a fair opportunity for each of us to reach our full potential.

* We have the personal dedication of many at Greenberg Traurig who identify and bring into our firm this very special diversity.

* The Minority Law Journal 2014 Diversity Scorecard has recognized us as follows:
o No. 1 Ranking, African American Partners
o No. 1 Ranking, Hispanic American Non-Partners
o No. 2 Ranking, Hispanic American Partners


* The National Law Journal has previously recognized our attorneys as among:
o No. 2 Ranking, Female Partner Numbers, Female Scorecard (2013)
o "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America" (Three) (2008)
o "The 50 Most Influential Women Attorneys" (Two) (2007)
o "The 100 Most Influential Attorneys in America"
(Two diverse attorneys; three total) (2006)


Diversity in Action: Fostering Diversity in the Profession and Preserving the Pipeline

Greenberg Traurig's Diversity Leadership Community has initiatives that focus on fostering an environment within the firm that supports and encourages diversity and inclusion, and increasing diversity in the profession by increasing access to a legal education for minority students. Helping today's law students and lawyers become tomorrow's business and legal leaders means a larger, more diverse marketplace and a greater pool of talented professionals. And that means more business opportunities for everyone - our firm, our colleagues and, most importantly, our clients.
 
In this way, our approach to diversity and inclusion mandates a high-level of personal responsibility with regard to the recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys. Attorneys in recruiting, hiring and supervisory roles are continuously made aware of the progress of our efforts. Our personal approach to diversity and inclusion means that Greenberg Traurig lawyers are active at their alma maters and at law schools local to their offices, participating in such programs as career panels; "Meet the Employer" days; and mock interviews, among others.

It has been, and continues to be, our goal to create a well-balanced workforce that contains a significant presence of minorities and women.

Greenberg Traurig creates and supports partner programs with women, minority, gay/lesbian or disability-focused bar associations. We attend and sponsor events at these organizations regularly throughout the United States. The firm works closely with national and local minority bars to address the fostering of diversity and inclusion in the profession on many levels. We support the work of several organizations, including MCCA, NAPABA, NASABA, NBA, NLGBTBA, HRC, HNBA and others.

Additionally, we provide funding through the Holly Skolnick Greenberg Traurig Fellowship Foundation for lawyers and law students to work with public interest groups. Through the Foundation, Greenberg Traurig serves as the largest sponsor of Equal Justice Works Fellowships in the United States and has invested approximately $8 million to support, in whole or in part, almost 127 Equal Justice Works Fellows since 1999.

We invite clients to join us as we work towards:

* Cultivating strategic partnerships with clients and potential clients to leverage our diversity platform to create and deepen relationships and cultivate business opportunities.

* Encouraging our lawyers to facilitate opportunities for our diverse and women lawyers to develop relationships with clients before and after new matters are received.

* Broadening the pipeline of diverse attorneys by expanding relationships with minority bar associations and other legal diversity organizations through our combined support of these networks.

* Focusing on strengthening mentoring programs for female and diverse attorneys at every level.

* Instituting a program that provides a variety of mentoring, rainmaking and training opportunities that can be accessed by a wide range of diverse attorneys across a variety of underserved communities.

* Engaging our Affinity Groups and their allies as a forum for professional development and business development opportunities, as well as for recruiting and retention assistance and as a social exchange to promote inclusion.

Diversity in Action: Employee Resource Networks

Greenberg Traurig's Employee Resource Networks (Affinity Groups) have the goal of addressing the needs of our attorneys and professionals who are diverse. We support Affinity Groups for our attorneys who are African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, LGBT and women, and we continue to gauge opportunities to expand those groups as our needs and demographics dictate.

The firm's Affinity Groups are as follows:

* African American Affinity Group

* Asian Pacific American Affinity Group

* Hispanic American Affinity Group

* Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affinity Group

* South Asian American Affinity Group

* Women's Initiative

Our goals include:

* Mentoring of junior attorneys within the specific group;

* Recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys;

* Active participation in organizations addressing specific groups; and

* Serving as a forum for group members to discuss and explore issues and opportunities that will add value to client relationships.

Women's Initiative

As an example of our approach, Greenberg Traurig's firm-wide Women's Initiative focuses on retaining and supporting women attorneys through professional development and work/life balance initiatives, as well as through business development training programs and networking opportunities.

We work with like-minded organizations to address these issues on a broader scale in a variety of industries and communities.

Our program targets:

* Attracting and retaining talented women attorneys.

* Supporting business development for women attorneys.

* Serving as industry leaders.

* Impacting the community through leadership and service.

* Maintaining a culture that benefits women attorneys.

Diversity in Action: Suppliers

Greenberg Traurig is committed to the development of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and Small Business Enterprises (DBE & SBE) suppliers.

As such:

* All business concerns, large and small, majority- or minority-owned, are afforded an equal opportunity to compete.

* A national director of procurement within the firm supports this practice.

* We are committed to diversity with respect to our vendors and suppliers.

* We are amenable to using diverse vendors and suppliers recommended by clients.

Diversity from the Top Down

Cesar L. Alvarez, Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig, leads our diversity efforts. This is a matter of personal responsibility for him, having entered the U.S. as an immigrant with humble beginnings.

He has previously been honored as follows:

* "Lifetime Achievement Award," Hispanic National Bar Foundation

* "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America," The National Law Journal

* "50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America," The National Law Journal

* "Top Most Powerful Hispanics," The Black Book of Poder

* "25 Best Latinos in Business," Hispanic Magazine, The Power Issue

* "President's Award of Merit for Diversity Efforts," The Florida Bar

* "Spirit of Excellence Award," ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession

* "Lifetime Achievement Award," Chambers USA Awards for Excellence

* "CEO of the Year" award, Multicultural Law Magazine

* "Attorney of the Year Award," Hispanic National Bar Association

 

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