Government Experience

  • Government Accountability Office—Office of General Counsel, 2001-2022
  • Government Accountability Office—Deputy Assistant General Counsel, Procurement Law, 2022
  • Government Accountability Office—Senior Attorney, Procurement Law, 2001-2021
  • Government Accountability Office—Judge, GAO Contract Appeals Board, 2008-2022


  • University of Notre Dame, B.A. (1985) cum laude
  • State University of New York at Albany, J.D. (1988) cum laude
  • The Catholic University of America, M.A. (1996) cum laude
  • The Army Judge Advocate General’s School, L.L.M. (1997)


  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Louis Chiarella

Senior Counsel

Government contractors of all sizes can count on Lou Chiarella to be both a trusted counselor and zealous advocate.  With more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of government contracting, Lou has the unique ability to recognize the legal issue immediately at hand and to understand the long game.

From the world’s largest defense contractors to the smallest businesses undertaking their first foray into the government contracting space, Lou can advise on a broad range of legal issues, such as contract formation and negotiation issues; business and compliance matters; subcontractor agreements; suspension and debarment; ethics and conflicts rules; and OCI mitigation strategies.  Lou also takes great pride in his balanced (counselor and advocate) approach to addressing clients’ legal and business needs, employing his experience as both a GAO bid protest hearing officer and a judge on the GAO Contract Appeals Board.  During Lou’s 20+ years at the GAO, he resolved over 2500 protests, issued over 200 published bid protest decisions, and conducted more than 50 bid protest hearings.  As one of only a few former GAO bid protest hearing officials now in private practice, Lou’s extensive familiarity of the GAO protest process enables him to avoid the many practice pitfalls while advancing persuasive arguments that achieve their wanted results--including in classified cases.

Finally, Lou’s 30 years of experience in the Army JAG Corps provides him with a unique understanding of the Defense Acquisition System and all aspects of major systems acquisitions, including the requirements-generation process, funding, technology, programming, and contracting.  As it is DoD’s plan to invest $1.8 trillion in current and future major defense acquisition programs, Lou’s extensive knowledge of this landscape is an essential business asset that distinguishes him from most other government contract practitioners.


Professional Activities and Memberships

  • Adjunct Professor of Law, George Washington University School of Law, Government Procurement Law Program (2022 to Present): Teaches a range of government contract law courses, at both the JD and LLM levels, as part of the world’s preeminent government contracts law program.

Representative Matters

  • GAO Bid Protests Adjudicated
  • Spatial Front, Inc., B-420921.2, B-420921.3 (Dec. 21, 2022) – Protest of a $59 million Department of Agriculture task order for IT services sustained where the agency unreasonably determined the labor categories quoted by the awardee to perform the requirements were within the scope of the awardee’s Federal Supply Schedule contract.
  • American Electronics, Inc., B-421021 et al. (Dec. 5, 2022) – Protest of a $185 million Department of the Navy contract for F-35 support services denied where the agency’s technical, past performance, and cost realism evaluations of the protester were reasonable.
  • Calhoun International, LLC, B-421047 (Nov. 14, 2022) – Protest of a $51 million task order by the Department of the Army for human intelligence operations support services denied where the protester failed to establish that it was competitively prejudiced by the alleged technical evaluation error.
  • Vigor Marine LLC, B-420955.2 (Oct. 31, 2022) – Protest challenging, as unduly restrictive of competition, the terms of a solicitation issued by the Department of the Navy for dry-dock repair and alteration services dismissed as untimely and one that did not qualify for review under GAO’s significant issue exception.
  • Tech Marine Business, Inc., B-420872 et al. (Oct. 14, 2022) – Protest of a $38 million Department of the Navy task order for professional and engineering support services sustained where the agency’s evaluation documentation was inadequate to support the reasonableness of its technical evaluation.
  • WHR Group, Inc., B-420776, B-420776.2 (Aug. 30, 2022) – Protest of blanket purchase agreements for FBI employee relocation services sustained where the agency failed to adequately document the protester’s technical evaluation rating, and where the best-value tradeoff improperly increased the relative importance of price and decreased the relative importance of the non-price factors from that set forth in the solicitation.
  • Wolverine Tube Inc., B-418339.4, B-418339.5 (July 26, 2022) – Protest of a $173 million Department of the Air Force contract for next generation cargo pallets denied where the challenge to the evaluation of the awardee’s price failed to state a valid basis of protest, and where the discussions with the protester were reasonable and without prejudice.
  • Worldwide Language Resources, Inc., B-418767.5 (July 12, 2022) – Protest of a $186 million Department of the Army task order for linguist support services denied where the agency’s technical evaluation of the protester was reasonable and consistent with the solicitation’s stated evaluation criteria.
  • PavCon, LLC, B-420640 (July 5, 2022) – Protest of a decision by the Department of the Air Force not to fund offeror’s proposal under a commercial solutions opening procurement for research and development denied where there was no requirement for the agency to conduct discussions and where the evaluation was reasonable and consistent with the solicitation.
  • Guidehouse LLP, B-419848.3 et al. (June 6, 2022) – Protest of a $24 million Department of Homeland Security task order for financial support services sustained where the agency’s impaired objectivity OCI analysis was unreasonable and mistakenly focused upon whether the two efforts were similar in size and scope rather than whether the awardee would be in a position to review its own work.

Press Coverage