Photograph of Laura J. Mitchell Baker

Government Experience

  • Department of Justice: Civil Division—Paralegal, Commercial Litigation Branch, Office of National Courts (2006-2014)

Education

  • The George Washington University, B.A. international affairs (2007)
  • University of Maryland School of Law, J.D. (2013)

Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

Laura J. Mitchell Baker

Associate
Washington, D.C.
lbaker@crowell.com
Phone: +1 202.624.2581
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595
Laura J. Mitchell Baker is an associate with Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

Laura represents government contractors in litigation and administrative matters, including contract disputes with state and federal entities, suspension and debarment proceedings, mandatory disclosures to the government, prime-sub disputes, and False Claims Act investigations. Her practice also includes counseling on federal, state, and local government contracts, government contracts due diligence, and regulatory and compliance matters, as well as conducting internal investigations.

Representative Matters


Investigations
  • Investigated allegations of accounting, pricing, and expense related misconduct in multi-year contract. Successfully resolved matter through contract modification and ratification of prior conduct, including payment to contractor of outstanding invoices.
  • Investigated allegations of improper use of foreign nationals and non-U.S. citizens on government contracts. Successfully resolved allegations through contract administration and ratification of prior conduct.
  • Investigated allegations of misconduct and human trafficking in international contracting.
  • Conducted large-scale internal investigations, assessed disclosure obligations, and in several instances successfully leveraged disclosures into more favorable outcomes than other, similarly situated contractors.
  • Investigated and defended allegations of fraud and False Claims Act violations in qui tam and affirmative civil enforcement contexts. 
  • Investigated and successfully defended whistleblower reprisal allegations before multiple agencies including the Department of Defense.
  • Conducted internal investigations to determine if non-allowable travel costs were passed on to the government.
  • Investigated and successfully defended False Claims Act allegations against companies in industries including health care, services contracting, manufacturing, disaster recovery, and small business set-aside markets and industries.
  • Defended the CEO of an investment advisory firm in parallel Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice prosecutions of an alleged Ponzi scheme.
  • Represented a company in a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of possible 17(b) violations, committing fraud over the internet.
  • Successfully represented the CEO of a multimillion dollar company with more than 100 commercial, federal, state, and local contracts in a Department of Justice fraud investigation.
Contract Disputes
  • Successfully intervened in GAO protests protecting key contract awards for clients.
  • Obtained corrective action preserving clients’ ability to remain in competition for awards.
  • Successfully filed and resolved contract claims before various federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Defense Contract Management Agency.
  • Successfully resolved prime-subcontractor disputes at AAA, achieving favorable outcomes for our clients as prime contractors.
Suspension and Debarment Proceedings
  • Successfully resolved the suspensions and proposed debarments of clients by demonstrating their present responsibility before various federal agency suspension and debarment officials, including the Department of the Air Force, General Services Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education, Defense Logistics Agency; and the World Bank, among others.
  • Manage advance communications (including proactive disclosures) with Department of Defense and Civilian Debarring Officials concerning internal investigations, including allegations involving key senior executives. 

State and Local Government Contracts

  • Completed a successful one-year secondment with responsibility for more than a dozen states in a Fortune 10 Company’s State, Local, and Education (SLED) Legal group.
  • Counsel clients on unique procurement processes and issues at the state/local/education levels.
  • Counsel clients on state ethics, conflicts of interest, gift laws, and tribal laws.
  • Represent clients in connection with state agencies’, local jurisdictions’, and school districts’ terminations for convenience or cause.
  • Represent clients in negotiations of contracts with states, state agencies, local jurisdictions, and school districts.
Federal Government Contracts Counseling
  • Counsel government contractors on compliance with labor-related executive orders.
  • Counsel government contractors on federal contract issues.
  • Counsel government contractors and subcontractors on prime-subcontract agreements, flow down requirements, and related issues.
Corporate Monitoring
  • Engaged as special board counsel to conduct a procurement fraud investigation and advise on business ramifications.
Transactions
  • Proactively prepare contractors for sale by reviewing contract compliance and preparing for diligence. 
  • Investigate allegations of impropriety that arise during diligence, advising financial institutions, buyers, and sellers through this process

Ethics and Compliance

  • Provide ongoing ethics and compliance counsel to contractors, aligning with best practices.
  • Provide training on ethics and compliance.
  • Develop and evaluate effectiveness of ethics and compliance policies and procedures.
  • Drafted a best practices investigations manual for a Fortune 500 company.
First Chair Experience
  • Overturned DoD denials of government contractors’ security clearances by overcoming the government’s presumption that granting a clearance is not consistent with U.S. national interests.
In law school, Laura participated in the International Human Rights Clinic, advising Namibia’s Office of the National Ombudsman on rule of law issues and developing a substantial background regarding a range of standards for incarceration under the major legal systems of North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. She also earned her certificate in Basic Mediation Training in the Transformative Framework.

Prior to, and during, law school, Laura worked in the National Courts Section of the Department of Justice’s Commercial Litigation Branch gaining valuable and extensive government contracts experience in administrative proceedings, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. Court of International Trade, and with the Contract Disputes Act, False Claims Act, and Tucker Act claims in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims – involving the Department of Defense, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the International Trade Commission, the Department of Energy, and many other executive branch agencies.


Honors

  • Sustained Superior Performance Awards for the Office of National Courts, Department of Justice (2010-2012)
  • Office of National Courts Nominee for the 2011 U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General's Award for Excellence in Legal Support


Affiliations

Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, Maryland



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Feb.22.2019 Law360 Names Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group a "Practice Group of the Year" for the Ninth Consecutive Year