Background - Practices (Details)

Bid Protests


In today’s competitive environment, bid protests have become an unavoidable step in the government contracts formation process. As your company competes for federal, state, and local government contracts, there is a good chance it will become involved in the bid protest process, whether it is challenging the terms and conditions of a solicitation or the award of a contract, or assisting a government agency in defending one of your own contract awards.

Timelines for filing a bid protest are tight. Deadlines can impact both your ability to secure a stay of a contract award or performance and whether your protest is dismissed as untimely. Additionally, the forum in which you chose to file your protest can materially impact the protest filing deadline, whether briefing is necessary to receive a stay, the substance of your allegations, and the outcome of your protest. To help you navigate these uncertain waters, Crowell & Moring is pleased to present an interactive roadmap of U.S. Government bid protest timelines.

Our attorneys have substantial depth, experience, and success pursuing and defending bid protests of federal, state, and local procurements in all forums. At the federal level, we litigate regularly before the Government Accountability Office (GAO), U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the FAA Office of Dispute Resolution, and the Small Business Administration, and, in appropriate cases, we have pursued agency-level protests before a variety of federal agencies.

At the state and local levels, we have litigated in a wide variety of administrative forums and state courts. We work in concert with the client to determine the most efficient and effective way to proceed with such protests. Our role spans the spectrum from directly litigating the protest to acting as strategic advisors to local counsel. We have litigated directly in numerous states throughout the country, including, but not limited to, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

We have handled protests involving contract values ranging from billions of dollars down to a few million. Our experience is deep which enables us to tackle novel and complex factual and legal issues, as well as respond quickly and efficiently to client needs even under the extremely short deadlines that typify bid protests. We have bid protest lawyers with advanced technical degrees to handle protests requiring those skills. We likewise have bid protest attorneys with security clearances to deal with classified protests as necessary.

Crowell & Moring understands that the bottom line goal in the protest process is to secure business for our client. As such, our attorneys understand how to effectively litigate the protest with a sensitivity towards the need to protect our clients’ customer relationships.

Over the past 20 years, we have reshaped protest law with major decisions on discussions, conflicts of interest, unequal treatment, responsibility, experts, cost realism, and sole-source contracting. Our attorneys are recognized leaders of the bid protest bar, and we have over the years built excellent relationships with federal agencies, the GAO, and the courts that enable us to advocate effectively whether serving in the role of intervenor or protester. We are ranked annually among the top legal providers by Chambers USA and Law360.

We also add value by keeping our clients updated on developments in bid protest law and by keeping track of the trends at GAO and Court of Federal Claims as to present the issues in a manner most likely to persuade. This preparation has allowed us to deliver truly outstanding results to our clients. Perhaps the best measure of our protest abilities is our record of success – which is second to none.