Photograph of Nicole Owren-Wiest
Listed by Chambers USA
in Government Contracts
(2014-2017)

Named a "recommended
lawyer" in Government
Contracts by The Legal
500
(2015-2017)
Nicole Owren-Wiest, Partner Washington, D.C.
nowrenwiest@crowell.com
Phone: +1 202.624.2863
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

Nicole Owren-Wiest is a partner with Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Nicole has over 15 years’ experience representing aerospace, defense, professional services, IT, and emerging technology companies in all aspects of federal government procurement. She has successfully represented some of the largest government contractors in the world, as well as many small and large businesses performing their first government contracts. Nicole has significant experience in the areas of government contract cost accounting, cost allowability, the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS), Truthful Cost or Pricing Data, and business systems audits. Nicole also focuses much of her practice on counseling and litigation matters involving government data rights and intellectual property issues. Nicole regularly represents contractors in connection with claims preparation and negotiation, terminations for convenience and default, and litigation of contract disputes before the courts and boards of contract appeals, and in bid protests before the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC). 

As a business-oriented thought leader in practice management, Nicole is a certified Legal Lean Sigma Institute (LLSI) Yellow Belt, and uses the LLSI process and project management tools to continually improve the value proposition the firm delivers to its clients. Prior to joining the firm, Nicole was corporate counsel at The Boeing Company. According to Chambers USA, clients have commended her for being "a true government contracts expert, with a client-oriented style, focus on practical results and sensitivity to business priorities."

Representative Matters

  • Represented Supreme Foodservice GmbH in a series of appeals related to Supreme’s SPV contract to provide food, water, and other supplies to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The highlighted matter involves multiple consolidated appeals at the ASBCA involving government and contractor claims valued at over $11 billion. Nicole handled the oral argument of Supreme’s cross-motion for partial summary judgment, which the ASBCA granted in part.
  • Regularly litigates and counsels clients in contract cost allowability and compliance areas, including the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 31 cost principles and compliance with the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS), the Truthful Cost or Pricing Data Act (formerly TINA), Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) audits, and Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) Contractor Purchasing System Reviews (CPSRs) and other business systems audits.
  • Obtained dismissal of government claim for executive compensation costs in Appeals of J.F. Taylor, Inc., ASBCA No. 56105, in which the Board found the DCAA executive compensation review method fatally flawed statistically.
  • Obtained pre-discovery summary judgment for Sparton DeLeon Springs based on the Contract Disputes Act’s statute of limitations in an appeal before the ASBCA of a government claim demanding repayment of direct costs. The Board rejected the Government’s argument that its right to audit under the Allowable Cost and Payment clause effectively tolls the CDA’s six-year statute of limitations, and denied the government's motion for reconsideration.
  • Assists clients in preparing, submitting, and negotiating requests for equitable adjustment, certified claims, and termination settlement proposals. Successfully resolved numerous claims and termination settlement proposals through negotiation and alternative dispute resolution methods, as well as litigation. Successfully helped numerous contractors prepare for and respond to DCMA CPSR, resulting in favorable final determinations and avoiding potential contract payment withholds. 
  • Represents contractors in connection with government requests for validation and challenges to contractor data rights assertions, including appeals of contracting officer final decisions challenging contactor’s data rights assertions.
  • Counsels clients on data rights, licensing and technology agreements, proprietary information and non-disclosure agreements, and other intellectual property issues, including protection of proprietary and confidential information from release under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
  • Successfully defended one of the largest defense contractors in a qui tam action alleging defective pricing.
  • Conducts internal investigations regarding a wide variety of issues and defends clients in U.S. Department of Justice and inspector general investigations.
  • Litigates bid protests at federal agencies, the GAO, and the COFC. Successfully represented clients in protests before the GAO involving billions of dollars and those involving classified procurements.
    • Notable published decisions include: The Boeing Company, B-311344, et al., (co-counsel in successful protest and ultimate award of the $35 billion Air Force tanker contract); and Turner Construction, Inc. v. United States, 94 Fed.Cl. 586 (Fed.Cl.) (co-counsel—overturned GAO decision that had stripped $330 million contract from client, resulting in reinstatement of contract).

Recognition

  • Listed by Chambers USA as one of “Americas Leading Lawyers for Business” in Government Contracts (2014-2017), particularly recognized for her skills in the area of cost accounting, and “Americas Leading Lawyers for Business - Up and Coming” (2011-2013)
  • Named by The Legal 500 US as a “recommended lawyer” in Government Contracts (2015-2017)


Affiliations

Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, Washington, U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Federal Circuits, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Professional Activities and Memberships

American Bar Association (ABA), Section of Public Contract Law

  • Section Nominating Committee (2016-2017)
  • Publications Board (2016-Present)
  • Former Co-Chair (2008-2012), Vice-Chair (2012-Present), Accounting, Cost and Pricing Committee
  • Former Co-Chair (2013-2016), Vice-Chair (Present), Research & Development and Intellectual Property Committee
  • Member, Commercial Products and Services Committee
  • Editor-in-Chief (2011-Present), Senior Editor (2010-2011) and Associate Editor (2007-2010), The Procurement Lawyer
  • Co-Chair, San Francisco Annual Program (2013)

American Bar Association, Litigation Section
Federal Circuit Bar Association

  • Vice Chair, Government Contracts and Construction Law Committee

Board of Directors, Mary Leonard Law Society (1998-2000)
National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), Procurement Division

  • Contract Finance Committee
  • Procurement Planning Committee

U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Procurement Council (2013-Present)



In the News



Firm News & Announcements

Nov.06.2017 Nationally Recognized Government Contracts Lawyer Nicole Owren-Wiest Joins Crowell & Moring