Portrait of David B. Robbins

Government Experience

  • U.S. Department of Defense—U.S. Air Force: Office of the General Counsel (2009-2013): Suspending and Debarring Official (acting); Procurement Fraud Remedies Director; Counsel to Suspending and Debarring Official; Co-Chair Department of Defense/NASA Procurement Fraud Working Group, Deputy General Counsel (acting)


  • University of Maryland School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Maryland, College Park, M.B.A., Robert H. Smith School of Business
  • Yale University, B.A.
  • Air War College, Professional Military Education


  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

Video Alert

David Robbins - Suspension & Debarment

Suspension and Debarment in Government Contracting
June 2016: In a three-part video series, David discusses suspensions and debarment and provides some tips on how best to navigate these challenging sets of circumstances. Click here to watch and access a transcript.

David B. Robbins, Partner Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2627
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

David Robbins is a partner in Crowell & Moring's Washington, D.C. office and a member of the firm's Government Contracts Group. David advises clients on matters involving procurement fraud, suspension and debarment, complex investigations, disclosures, and ethics and compliance counseling at the federal, state, and local levels. David is a leading procurement fraud defense, complex investigations, and suspension and debarment practitioner. David is one of only a few former government Suspending and Debarring Officials and is the only Procurement Fraud Remedies Coordination Official in private legal practice. During his government tenure, David also co-chaired the Department of Defense and NASA Procurement Fraud Working Group, which focused on inter-agency coordination with the Department of Justice, Offices of Inspector General, and other government agencies to address procurement fraud. His insider understanding of the way regulators address performance issues and misconduct helps clients tell the right story to the government, in the right way, to preserve customer relationships while proactively addressing and resolving investigations, enforcement actions, and other inquiries. Clients take comfort in David’s ability to offer comparisons to thousands of past investigations and enforcement matters when crafting strategies toward successful outcomes and continued eligibility for new contracts and awards.

Combining his experience as government contractor with his government-side acquisition background, David also finds common ground and achieves results in a wide range of matters, including protests, claims, grant administration, advanced products research, strategic communications and decision making, audits, and corporate transactions.

David’s clients routinely cite his unwavering focus on their business goals as one reason they have made him both their legal counsel and trusted business advisor. In addition to advising some of the world’s largest contractors, David also serves as outside general counsel for a number of middle market companies. He is regularly retained to handle government contracting issues arising in the formation, growth and transformation, and sale of government contractors.

David is the co-host of the “Fastest 5 Minutes, the Podcast Government Contractors Can’t Do Without,” which provides a biweekly summary of significant government contracts legal and regulatory developments. The podcast can be found at crowell.com/GovConPodcast.



Successfully resolved dozens of suspensions and proposed debarments and substantial numbers of advance communications (including proactive disclosures as well as responding to Show Cause Letters and Requests for Information) with DoD and Civilian Debarring Officials concerning internal investigations, including allegations involving key senior executives. Successful representations include matters before:

  • Department of the Air Force
  • Department of the Navy
  • General Services Administration
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Education
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Defense Logistics Agency
  • Among other military, civilian, and intelligence agencies


  • Investigated allegations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and United Kingdom Bribery Act violations by foreign subsidiaries of U.S.-based companies.
  • Investigated and defended allegations of major fraud and Civil False Claims Act violations in a parallel criminal and civil investigation; managed inquiries from multiple Offices of Inspector General and interactions with prosecutors and civil fraud attorneys.
  • Investigated and defended allegations of collusion in contract formation in construction-related contracts for civilian agencies.
  • Investigated and defended allegations of Buy America Act and Trade Agreements Act violations in military department contracts.
  • Conducted quick, thorough investigation into suspected mischarging and related issues. Identified salient issues and presented solutions that resulted in tighter internal processes, mitigated risk of recurrence of problems and government sanctions, and preserved the flow of contract revenues.


  • Retained by senior management and board members to provide special counsel, strategic options, and practical business solutions to manage issues identified in internal investigations of multi-million dollar contracts by professional services firms.
  • Served as special counsel to ownership group and board of directors of an Intelligence Community contractor during parallel investigations by multiple Offices of Inspector General.
  • Monitored ongoing compliance with undertakings and representations made in connection with a non-prosecution decision following an investigation into SBA 8(a) Business Development Program eligibility.


  • Developed and implemented a successful proactive strategy with DoD and civilian debarring officials, and Intelligence Community Inspector General organizations, that avoided suspension/proposed debarment. Preserved the client’s primary multi-year government contract worth nearly $100 million in annual revenue.
  • Routinely leverage senior government and contractor experience to mitigate business risk in the Mandatory Disclosure process. Advising IT, Telecom, R&D, Manufacturing, and Professional Services firms.


  • Successfully filed and resolved claims before the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Labor.


  • Intervened in GAO protest and successfully protected key, transformative contract award for IT services company.
  • Filed numerous GAO protests, achieving corrective action preserving the clients’ ability to remain in competition for award.


  • Advised contractors and municipalities alike concerning contract “piggybacking,” “bridging” and “cooperative purchasing” in state and local contracts.
  • Handled outsourced state and local contract and risk management for several contractors ranging from mid-sized businesses to “world leaders.”


Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, Maryland


  • Co-Chair, American Bar Association Public Contract Law Section, Ethics, Compliance & Professional Responsibility Committee
  • Chair, Montgomery County Council's Procurement Task Force, 2015
  • Member, Executive Committee, National Contract Management Association, DC Chapter

Speeches & Presentations

  • "Annual Government Contracts Review - FY 16/17: Fraud, Investigations, and Suspension & Debarment in Government Contracts," PubKLaw Webinar (December 15, 2016). Moderator: Peter Eyre; Panelists: David Robbins, Natalie Thingelstad.
  • "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Training with the Coalition for Government Procurement," Tysons, VA (October 6, 2016). Panelists: Robert A. Burton, David B. Robbins, Trina Fairley Barlow, and Jason M. Crawford.
  • "'Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces' Final Rule and Guidance: What You Need to Know," Webinar (September 7, 2016). Speakers: Stephen J. McBrady, David B. Robbins, Kris D. Meade, Rebecca L. Springer, Jason M. Crawford, and Laura J. Mitchell Baker.
  • "Investigations – Part II: Interacting with Regulators," OOPS 2016, Crowell & Moring's 32nd Annual Ounce of Prevention Seminar, Washington, D.C. (May 25-26, 2016). Moderator: David B. Robbins; Panelists: Kelly T. Currie, David C. Hammond, Brian Persico, and Maria Swaby.
  • "How to Interface with the Government When You Get in Trouble," WOOPS 2016, Crowell & Moring's 32nd Annual West Coast Ounce of Prevention Seminar, Marina del Rey, CA (May 18, 2016). Moderator: Gail D. Zirkelbach; Panelists: Kelly T. Currie, Janet Levine, and David B. Robbins.
  • "Communicating Ethics Across Workplace Generations," Webinar (March 16, 2016). Moderator: David B. Robbins.
  • “Acquisition Workshop Training,” National Contract Management Association (NCMA) Workshop and Executive Leadership Training, Hawthorne, CA (September 17, 2015). Speaker: David B. Robbins.
  • “An Insider’s Guide to Recent Suspension, Debarment, Procurement Fraud, and Compliance Developments,” National Contract Management Association (NCMA)/South Bay Chapter Grand Opening Workshop and Dinner Meeting, Los Angeles, CA (September 23, 2014). Executive Key Note Speaker: David B. Robbins.
  • “Mandatory Disclosure – Time for Revision?” ABA Section of Public Contract Law – Meeting of the Procurement Fraud Committee, Washington, DC (April 10, 2014). Speaker: David B. Robbins.


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In the News

Firm News & Announcements

Feb.22.2016 Former Government Suspending and Debarring Official and Procurement Fraud Remedies Coordination Official Joins Crowell & Moring
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