Background - Practices (Details)

Government Contracts

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Representative Engagements

  • Acquisition of Technology Solutions Provider. Represented Madison Dearborn Partners and CoVant Management in the acquisition of LinQuest Corp., a space technology solutions provider for the U.S. federal government.  We handled government contracts matters throughout due diligence and negotiation of the transaction. 

  • Acquisition of Defense Technology Company. Represented Valiant in its $135M acquisition of Cubic Global Defense Services, Inc., Valiant’s largest acquisition to date, adding 3,500 employees operating in 10 countries and thereby expanding Valiant’s employee count to more than 5,000 in more than 30 states and 20 countries.  C&M was responsible for diligence and transaction advice in the following areas: government contracts, labor and employment/benefits, cybersecurity/privacy, export controls, and national security. 

  • Due Diligence and Deal Negotiation During Separation. Advised on government contracts and regulatory matters for Perspecta in its diligence and deal negotiation during its separation of the US Public Sector business from DXC and in its planned combination with Vencore, Inc. and KeyPoint Government Solutions.  

  • Suspension and Proposed Debarment Erased Completely: After a federal agency suspended and proposed for debarment a major international construction conglomerate, C&M lawyers convinced the agency not only to terminate the actions, but to render them void ab initio, as if they never happened. This effort required round-the-clock drafting and real-time counseling to make our client’s case to the regulators, and submit a draft complaint to them that would be filed in court had the agency not relented.

  • Mandatory Disclosure Investigation Closed. GSA Office of Inspector General informed Crowell that it was closing out a long running and contested mandatory disclosure filed by a major professional services firm. We were retained mid-stream to push back on overly aggressive positions taken by the OIG, including allegations by the OIG of "criminal conduct." We convinced the OIG that no improper conduct occurred and closed out the disclosure with the OIG taking no further action.

  • Suspension Stayed After Two Successful Appeals. C&M completed rounds of negotiation toward an Administrative Agreement ending the 18 month long, on-again, off-again suspension of Grand Isle Shipyard from U.S. government contracting and federal assistance programs. C&M had previously won two agency-level appeals that had, in unprecedented fashion, stayed the effects of the suspension for many months.

  • False Claims Act Settlement. Crowell & Moring represented a construction company in a Department of Justice driven False Claims Act investigation related to set-aside contracts. With the threat of the government intervening in the case and suing for tens of millions of dollars, the company engaged C&M. Our lawyers took the lead in interacting with DoJ, negotiating with the government and making several rounds of additional presentations to the government to frame the issues, defenses, and arguments that an important employer in an economically depressed region should not be forced to defend against such a case. The company settled with the Department of Justice for a modest amount, paid over time, and without admitting or denying fault. This preserved the company’s ability to remain in business.

  • Successful Responsibility Hearing. C&M successfully represented a major professional services firm in a hearing before the New York Metropolitan Transit Administration following allegations of misconduct on MTA contracts.  

  • Government Investigation. After pre-sale diligence uncovered a small business contracting issue, C&M conducted an investigation and convinced the government that our client did not commit small business fraud. The company received a clean bill of health from multiple suspension and debarment offices, the DoD OIG, and the SBA. C&M also assisted corporate transactional counsel in presenting the investigation findings to the buyer and multiple auditors, ultimately permitting the company to be sold.

  • Victory in Qui Tam Jury Trial. After a six-day trial in Los Angeles where a jury unanimously found in favor of our client, Lockheed Martin Corporation, in a qui tam suit under the civil False Claims Act in which the plaintiff alleged fraudulent underbidding on a contract for the development of a system to standardize and automate the eastern and western ranges used for launching rockets from Vandenberg Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral. The plaintiff claimed single damages of approximately $450 million (subject to trebling under the Act), representing the difference between Lockheed Martin's original cost estimate and the final contract value of $883 million paid under the cost-reimbursement contract; however, the jury found: (a) the cost estimates for the original contract and those submitted in support of Air Force directed changes were not false statements (a finding based in part on the testimony of key Air Force personnel), and (b) the termination of plaintiff's employment with Lockheed Martin was not a retaliatory discharge.

  • Court of Federal Claims (CFC) award of attorney's fees, affirmed by the Federal Circuit. Granted summary judgment by the CFC holding that SUFI is entitled to attorneys' fees for claim preparation as an equitable adjustment pursuant to the common-law test of foreseeability applicable to NAFI contractors when FAR regulations do not apply. The CFC analyzed SUFI's claim under the Federal Circuit's seminal Bill Strong decision, finding that, even under a FAR analysis, SUFI's claimed legal fees (calculated on an "hours times rate," or lodestar, basis) were not precluded by the existence of a contingency agreement and were recoverable because they were for contract administration, as opposed to claim prosecution. After a three-day trial on quantum, the CFC granted SUFI all its requested hours at its claimed, standard billing rates. DOJ appealed the judgment in numerous respects, and SUFI cross-appealed the denial of overhead and profit. The Federal Circuit affirmed the fee award to SUFI in all respects save the date from which interest runs, while also granting SUFI's cross-appeal and remanding for the CFC to set profit and overhead rates.

  • Victory at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) leads to reinstatement in competition. Represented SafeGuard Services (SGS), a subsidiary of Hewlett Packard, and successfully protested the client's exclusion from the competitive range by the Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) from the Zone Program Integrity Contractor (ZPIC) procurement to support CMS' audit, oversight and anti-fraud, waste and abuse efforts associated with Medicare and Medicaid claim types in twelve states covering the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The Agency excluded SGS (who is the incumbent contractor for most of the services being procured) from the competition after one of SGS' minor subcontractors failed to timely submit its final proposal revisions to the Agency. In a case of first impression, we were able to get around the strictly-applied "late is late" rule by successfully arguing that the agency excluded SGS without first assessing whether SGS' proposal was complete even without the subcontractor's final revisions. In a remarkable decision, GAO not only agreed that the agency failed to consider the acceptability of SGS' proposal, but GAO also went a step further and actually determined that the SGS proposal was in fact complete notwithstanding the late subcontractor submission. Crowell & Moring's victory at the Government Accountability Office led to SGS being reinstated in the competition, with an estimated value of $120 million, as well as a recommendation that the Agency reimburse SGS for reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. After reopening discussions and receiving new final proposals, the agency made award to one of SGS' competitors. Crowell & Moring once again filed a protest challenging CMS's evaluation of the cost and technical proposals, including past performance, on the basis it was flawed. GAO sustained the protest finding that the record was deficient and did not support the agency's findings that their evaluation was reasonable. GAO recommended that CMS reevaluate the proposals as well as award our client protest costs. We are still awaiting the results of the re-evaluation.

  • Favorable settlement dismisses all claims. Represented a local contractor that faced over $2.5 million in false claims allegations based on an expansive government audit alleging, among other things, labor mischarging and illegal kickbacks. Crowell & Moring obtained a favorable settlement which dismissed all claims against the contractor, converted the government's termination for default into a termination for convenience, and compensated the contractor for monies owed by the government at the time of termination.

  • U.S. Embassy construction fraud allegations. Represented a foreign construction company in a qui tam suit alleging fraud in connection with building the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. The Fourth Circuit affirmed summary judgment on all claims.

  • Successful GAO and Court of Federal Claims defense. Defended successfully twice a contract award to Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. valued at over $3 billion for a comprehensive worldwide dental healthcare insurance program for eligible family members of military personnel. In denying United Concordia's initial protest, GAO found that the agency reasonably considered proposal risk regarding the parties' technical proposals, reasonably evaluated past performance, and was not required to perform a cost realism assessment where such analysis was not provided for in the solicitation. A post-GAO protest filed with the Court of Federal Claims (COFC) alleging many of the same protest grounds was also denied. There the COFC found that the agency reasonably performed a comparative assessment of the technical proposals, conducted a rational past performance evaluation, and did not commit error when it did not require the awardee to submit past performance information for its subcontractor.

  • Successful Bid Protest Defense Before Department of the Air Force. Successfully defended protest of award by the Department of the Air Force following corrective action upholding award of a 10-year, $200 million contract for aerospace systems technical research and operations services (ASTROS) at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Jacobs Technology, Inc., B-413389.3, B-413389.4, Jul. 21, 2017, 2017 CPD ¶ 244.

  • Defense of Award by Social Security Administration. Successfully defended an award by the Social Security Administration for support services for the agency’s folder storage operation at the National Records Center against two challenges before GAO. Eagle Eye Electric, LLC, B-415562, B-415562.3, Jan. 18, 2018, 2018 CPD ¶ 33; Dextera Corporation, B-415562.2, B-415562.4, Feb 5, 2018, 2018 CPD ¶ 66. Successfully defended the same award before the Court of Federal Claims. Eagle Eye Electric, LLC v. United States, No. 18-173C (Fed. Cl. May 31, 2018).

  • Defense of Award by Customs and Border Protection. Successfully defended a $300 million award by Customs and Border Protection for data center support services from multiple organizational conflict of interest challenges. IBM Corporation, B-415575, Jan. 19, 2018, 2018 CPD ¶ 61.

  • Successful Protest Before GAO. Successfully argued for the dismissal of the entirety of a protest before GAO of an award for base operation and support for certain Marine Corps facilities on the basis of lack of interested party status.

  • Defense of Award by NASA. Successfully defended a $185 million award by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for the provision of various information technology services for the John F. Kennedy Space Center. AbacusSecure, LLC, B-415175, B-415175.2, B-415175.3, B-415175.4, Dec. 6, 2017, 2017 CPD ¶ 375.

  • Defended Sole Source Award by Defense Intelligence Agency. Successfully defended an 8(a) sole source award by the Defense Intelligence Agency for approximately $20 million for facility support services from a challenge that the Small Business Administration improperly accepted the requirement into the 8(a) program. SKC, LLC, B-415151, Nov. 20, 2017, 2017 CPD ¶ 366.

  • Defense of Award by National Nuclear Security Administration. Successfully defended an award by the National Nuclear Security Administration for services in support of the Office of Personnel and Facility Clearances at Kirtland Air Force Base from challenges to the agency’s evaluation under the cost and non-cost factors as well as to the conduct of discussions. Synergy Solutions, Inc., B-413974.3, June 15, 2017, 2017 CPD ¶ 332.