Brian Tully McLaughlin, Partner Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2628
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

Brian Tully McLaughlin is a partner in the Government Contracts Group in Washington, D.C. His practice focuses on litigation, particularly trial and appellate work, in a variety of complex claims and disputes. Tully defends contractors sued under the False Claims Act, representing them at all stages of litigation, while helping clients conduct internal investigations and respond to government investigations as well. He also focuses on affirmative claims recovery matters, analyzing potential claims and changes, counseling clients, and representing government contractors in claims and disputes proceedings before administrative boards of contract appeals and the Court of Federal Claims, as well as in international arbitration. Tully has appeared and tried cases before judges and juries in federal and state courts and administrative boards, and he has argued successful appeals before the D.C. Circuit, the Federal Circuit, and the Fourth Circuit.

Tully was honored by Law360 as a Top Attorney Under 40 for Government Contracts and a “Rising Star” in 2016. Prior to that, he was recognized by Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” in both 2014 and 2015.

Tully values public service and works on a variety of pro bono cases that enhance his litigation experience. He was the winner of Crowell & Moring's Pro Bono Award in 2008.

Representative Matters

Government Contracts Claims and International Litigation

  • Recovery of Lost Profits, Damages, and Extra Work. Represented SUFI Network Services, Inc., in 23-day hearing on entitlement and damages before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA No. 55306) for claims of breach of contract and constructive changes concerning contract with Air Force NAFI on bases located in Germany, that culminated in award of more than $100 million, plus interest. The Board's initial decision and subsequent reconsideration decisions resulted in a total judgment against the government of more than $12 million. Brian represented the contractor in an appeal of the ASBCA's decisions to the Court of Federal Claims, which in No. 11-804C found multiple errors in the Board's damages determinations and awarded over $100 million additional principal. The government appealed, and the Federal Circuit also found errors by the ASBCA but remanded to the Board to make new findings on damages. On remand, the Board awarded SUFI an additional $113 million, plus interest. The government then sought to challenge the Board’s findings in the Court of Federal Claims, but the court dismissed the action with prejudice. The Federal Circuit affirmed, rejecting the government’s assertions that the Board’s opinions failed to comply with the Federal Circuit’s prior mandate. See, e.g., SUFI Network Servs., Inc. v. U.S., 108 Fed. Cl. 287 (2012); SUFI Network Servs., Inc. v. U.S., 705 F.3d 1305 (Fed. Cir. 2014); SUFI Network Servs., Inc. v. U.S., 124 Fed. Cl. 511 (2015); SUFI Network Servs., Inc. v. U.S., 817 F.3d 733 (Fed. Cir. 2016).
  • Attorney's Fees for Claim Preparation. In SUFI Network Services, Inc. v. United States, No. 11-453C (Fed. Cl.), litigated three-day trial on attorney's fees claim at the Court of Federal Claims, which awarded contractor all of its requested hours at Crowell & Moring's standard rates. The government appealed the CFC's judgment. Brian argued the appeal, resulting in the Federal Circuit affirming the judgment while also granting the client's cross-appeal for overhead and profit. See SUFI Network Servs., Inc. v. U.S., 785 F.3d 585 (Fed. Cir. 2015); SUFI Network Servs., Inc. v. U.S., 113 Fed. Cl. 140 (2013); SUFI Network Servs., Inc. v. U.S., 105 Fed. Cl. 184 (2012); SUFI Network Servs., Inc. v. U.S., 102 Fed. Cl. 656 (2012).
  • Represented foreign subcontractor in international arbitration against prime contractor for multiple damages claims arising from numerous subcontracts providing services under the U.S. Army's LOGCAP contract in Iraq.
  • Litigated bid protests before the Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

False Claims Act / Qui Tam Litigation

  • Overturned Jury Verdict on Appeal. In United States ex rel. Purcell v. MWI Corp., No. 1:98-CV-02088 (D.D.C.), served as lead trial and appellate counsel in one of the longest-running False Claims Act / qui tam cases in history. Chaired two-week jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in qui tam suit alleging the submission of false documents to the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) in connection with loans guaranteed by Ex-Im in furtherance of irrigation projects in Nigeria. The government intervened and sought treble damages in excess of $222 million. Brian co-led the trial team, presented closing arguments, and argued the damages and many other issues to the court. The result was a judgment of penalties only with zero damages. The government appealed the damages judgment and MWI cross-appealed on liability. Brian presented MWI's oral argument. The D.C. Circuit overturned the jury verdict and remanded with instructions to enter judgment for MWI, finding that MWI was not liable because it had reasonably interpreted an ambiguous regulation. The government’s petition for rehearing en banc was denied. See United States ex rel. Purcell v. MWI Corp., 15 F. Supp. 3d 18 (D.D.C. 2014); United States ex rel. Purcell v MWI Corp., 807 F.3d 281 (D.C. Cir. 2015), reh’g en banc denied.
  • Defense Verdict, Affirmed on Appeal. Managed successful defense of security contractor in United States ex rel. Davis v. U.S. Training Center, No. 08-cv-1244 (E.D. Va.) in two-week jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against qui tam relators' claims of fraudulent overbilling for labor and reimbursable items on $1.2 billion international security services contract with Department of State in Iraq and Afghanistan. The majority of the relators' claims were dismissed on summary judgment, and the jury returned a "no liability" verdict on the remaining claims. On appeal, Brian argued the evidentiary issues before the Fourth Circuit, resulting in a full affirmance of the trial court, and costs to the defendant. See United States ex rel. Davis v. U.S. Training Center, Inc., 498 Fed. Appx. 308, 2012 WL 6052051 (4th Cir. Dec. 6, 2012).
  • Dismissal at Pleading Stage. In United States ex rel. Beauchamp v. Academi Training Center, Inc., No. 1:11cv371 (E.D. Va.), led defense in obtaining dismissal of all FCA counts and stay of retaliation claims, the latter of which thereafter settled. See United States ex rel. Beauchamp v. Academi Training Center, Inc., 933 F. Supp. 2d 825 (E.D. Va. 2013); United States ex rel. Beauchamp v. Academi Training Center, Inc., 2013 WL 1332028 (E.D. Va. Mar. 29, 2013).
  • Non-Intervention and Dismissal. In United States ex rel. Morgan v. ManTech Int'l Corp., No. 1:13-cv-01289-TSC (D.D.C.), represented client in defense of FCA qui tam action alleging fraud with respect to maintenance services contracts with the military overseas. The government declined to intervene and the case was dismissed.
  • Resolved Retaliation Claim. Represented publicly chartered private corporation in defense of FCA retaliation action filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia alleging fraud related to the promotion of U.S. tourism. After filing a motion to dismiss, the case settled and was dismissed.
  • TAA / GSA Fraud Claims. Representing two defendants in False Claims Act qui tam suit alleging that multiple GSA Schedule contractors marketed and sold products with countries of origin that are not compliant under the Trade Agreements Act. The suit alleges liability under the implied certification theory, asserting that the defendants impliedly certified compliance with the TAA with each sale of products from its schedule contract.

Pro Bono Litigation and Service

  • Representing siblings from El Salvador in seeking asylum on the basis of protected social group status after they fled from horrific violence and threats to their family and themselves.
  • Successfully argued and won a grant of summary judgment motion on client's claim of violation of Fifth Amendment due process rights in connection with parole conditions imposed by the United States Parole Commission.
  • Represented elderly Chilean immigrant woman in a two-day trial in Loudoun County Circuit Court in housing dispute concerning a real estate contract. Successfully defeated summary judgment motion and obtained restitution judgment for client, enabling her to purchase a home of her own free and clear.
  • Partnered with Washington Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights 2008 National Election Protection efforts as a team leader of the Northern Virginia command center, training and assigning attorney volunteers at precincts and coordinating responses to legal impediment at the polls on Election Day.
  • Represented Equal Rights Center and individual plaintiffs in federal suit against national fast-food restaurant chain. Negotiated settlement of ADA claims of discrimination against persons with disabilities due to access barriers at the entrances, service lines, and bathrooms of the stores. See "Nation's Largest Restaurant Chain To Be More Accessible To People With Disabilities." 

Tully obtained his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia. At UVA Law, he served on the Editorial Board of the Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law and directed an employment law pro bono project (Law Student Advocacy Project) representing state employees at grievance hearings. He was also a member of the Junta that produces the annual Libel Show.


Admitted to Practice: District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Virginia, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims

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Firm News & Announcements

May.16.2016 Two Crowell & Moring Partners Named ‘Rising Stars’ by Law360
Jan.04.2016 Crowell & Moring Elects Nine New Partners and Promotes 15 Associates to Counsel
Oct.27.2015 Super Lawyers Recognizes 90 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
Jan.09.2015 Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group Named to Law360's "Practice Groups of the Year" for Fifth Consecutive Year
Sep.30.2014 Super Lawyers 2014 Recognizes 90 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
Jan.11.2011 Crowell & Moring Elects Three New Partners and Promotes 18 Attorneys to Counsel Positions
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