Portrait of
Named a
Washington, D.C.
"Rising Star" (2013-2015)
by Super Lawyers Magazine.
Stephen J. McBrady, Partner Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2547
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

Steve McBrady is a partner in Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group, resident in the firm's Washington, D.C. office. In 2013, 2014, and 2015, Steve was recognized as a Washington, D.C. "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers Magazine for his government contracts and international work.


Steve represents clients on a wide range of federal, state, and international government procurement matters, including compliance counseling, DCAA audits and internal investigations, and cost allowability issues under the FAR cost principles and the Cost Accounting Standards.  

Steve regularly represents clients in litigation before the boards of contract appeals, state and federal courts, arbitration panels, and state-level contract appeals boards. He has represented clients in matters involving the government's breach of contract, claims for contract changes, termination for default, termination for convenience, Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA) compliance and defective pricing, contract negotiations, indemnification under Public Law 85-804, and government claims involving the Cost Accounting Standards and the allowability of contractor costs. Over the past several years, Steve has litigated cases in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Nevada, and California. He also regularly assists clients with complex internal investigations relating to the civil False Claims Act, TINA, disclosures to the U.S. Government, and other civil matters.

Steve frequently speaks at Government and industry events around the country, and his legal commentary has been featured in the Washington Business Journal, Bloomberg, Law360, BNA Federal Contracts Report, Thomson Reuters, L2 Federal Resources, Construction Magazine, and the Government Contracts Legal Forum. He currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Law360 Aerospace and Defense, and the Editorial Board of Government Contracting Weekly, a TV program on Washington, D.C.'s CBS affiliate WUSA*9.

In recent years, Steve has provided training to in-house counsel and client business teams on the preparation and negotiation of requests for equitable adjustment (REAs), the preparation of contractor claims under the Contract Disputes Act, and new developments with respect to the CDA statute of limitations.

Representative engagements include:

Government Contracts Litigation

  • Counsel of record in dozens of appeals at the ASBCA arising out of cost disallowances, unilateral rate determinations, and government demands for payment, driven by the CDA statute of limitations.
  • Counsel of record in CDA appeal concerning $250 million government contract indemnification claim under Public Law 85-804.
  • Counsel of record in CDA appeal concerning the allowability of post-retirement benefit costs.
  • Counsel in major State-level disputes in the District of Columbia, Virginia, California, Nevada, and South Carolina, on diverse sets of issues including enterprise software, healthcare services, construction, and power plant infrastructure.
  • Counsel of record in proceedings before the National Arbitration Panel arising out of contract disputes with U.S. government-owned corporation.
  • Counsel for numerous defense and construction clients with respect to the preparation and negotiation of requests for equitable adjustment.

Construction Litigation and Commercial Contracts

  • Counsel of record in litigation arising out of multiple large-scale residential development projects in the Washington Metro Area.
  • Counsel of record in complex commercial contract dispute involving telecom services provider.
  • Pre-dispute counseling with respect to large construction projects in several states.
  • Counseling IT start-ups on a range of issues including corporate formation, intellectual property, subcontract and supplier agreements, tax and corporate inversion related issues.

Government Contracts Counseling and Investigations

  • Represented major defense contractor in connection with DCAA audit of claim seeking recovery of incurred and estimated costs in excess of $100M.
  • Conducted internal investigation arising out of DCAA audit report asserting defective pricing on IDIQ contract.
  • Conducted five-month compliance review following contractor's suspension by agency on the basis of allegations regarding contractor's ORCA certifications.
  • Counseled client regarding $7 billion Multiple Award Task Order Contract RFP for renewable and alternative energy at DoD installations.
  • Conducted internal investigation for contractor in response to DCAA inquiry regarding allowability of certain environmental costs charged to government.
  • Represented client with regard to sensitive False Claims Act investigation arising out of allegations by qui tam relator.
  • Counseled data security provider with regard to pricing issues on GSA schedule contracts.
  • Counseled U.S. construction and A-E contractors with regard to federal government contract compliance issues including provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Prompt Payment, Miller Act, and other industry-specific issues.
  • Counseled large state university system with regard to American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for green / renewable energy projects.
  • Counseled IT contractors regarding 28 U.S.C. § 1498 litigation before the Court of Federal Claims arising out of competitor's alleged patent infringement in the performance of government contracts.
  • Counseled energy client regarding GSA Areawide Utility Contracts under FAR Part 41, including issues related to client's unregulated demand-side management affiliate.
  • Advised technology vendor with regard to Health IT initiatives contained in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

International Government Contracts and Public-Private Partnerships

  • Represented U.S. academic medical center engaged in first-of-its kind training agreement with a Latin American government involving strategic partnerships with a major pediatric hospital system and physician specialist organization.
  • Advised U.S. architect-engineer with regard to a first-of-its-kind $200 million public-private partnership procurement in Uruguay.
  • Advised U.S. academic medical center with regard to cutting-edge $1.5 billion public-private partnership procurement in the Middle East.
  • Advised U.S. outdoor advertiser with regard to $150 million design-build-finance-operate-maintain P3 procurement with major U.S. metropolitan transit authority.

Prior to joining the firm, Steve served as a Legislative Aide to U.S. Senator Susan M. Collins, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Ranking Member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. He received his B.A. from Cornell University and completed a semester of undergraduate study at the University of Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne) and VII (Jussieu). He received his J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, where he was a Legal Research and Writing Fellow.

Steve is active in the community, having been recognized as a member of the Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll in 2011, 2012, and 2013. He has also served on the Mayflower Foundation's Board of Advisors, and the Alumni Board of Cheverus High School, a Jesuit college preparatory school in Portland, Maine.


Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Virginia, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia

Other Affiliations 

Board of Advisors, Mayflower Foundation
Aerospace & Defense Law360 Editorial Advisory Board Member, 2014-2015

Speeches & Presentations


Client Alerts & Newsletters

In the News

  • Communication With COs Essential Before Shutdown
    September 23, 2015 — Bloomberg BNA

    Stephen J. McBrady, a Washington, D.C.-based partner in Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group, is quoted in Bloomberg BNA discussing how federal contractors should talk with their contracting officers regarding potential effects if the government shuts down on October 1, 2015. In the event of a shutdown, "reasonable costs of dealing with the shutdown should be recoverable under cost-type contracts" and that "contractors have to take steps ‘across the board' to document any increased costs, both for winding down and starting back up, to support equitable adjustment claims," McBrady said.

  • Analysts: Contractor Control Over IR&D May Decline
    September 3, 2015 — Bloomberg BNA

    Washington, D.C.-based Government Contracts Group partner, Stephen J. McBrady, is quoted in Bloomberg BNA discussing the recent white paper issued by the Department of Defense (DOD) on independent research and development (IR&D) projects. The proposed white paper may cause contractors to face challenges in receiving reimbursements for their project. "The federal government could decline to reimburse IR&D costs if the contractor doesn't review the project with the appropriate DOD staffer," McBrady said.

  • New 'Blacklisting" Rules Have Contractors In Uproar
    June 5, 2015 — Compliance Week

    Stephen McBrady, a Washington, D.C.-based partner in the firm's Government Contracts Group talks with Compliance Week about new requirements for government contractors to disclose previous violations of labor and employment laws when submitting a bid. Under the proposed rules, contractors would need to obtain data about their sub-contractors. "That brings up a whole host of other issues," said McBrady. For example, it's not unusual for one company to have a sub-contractor that is its competitor on the next contract up for bid. That raises concerns about confidentiality. Among the other concerns, McBrady notes, "Is it reasonable to expect that a small business prime contractor will be able to analyze and collect the labor law compliance information from its large sub-contractor?"

  • Expert Tells Federal Contractors to Play It Safe, Invest in Compliance
    May 12, 2015 — Bloomberg BNA

    Crowell & Moring's Ounce of Prevention Seminar, hosted by the firm's Government Contracts Group, is featured in a BNA article discussing compliance measures for federal contractors. George Washington University law professor Steven Schooner, who spoke at the conference, discussed key compliance cases to highlight the importance of risk avoidance for contractors.

  • 5 Issues Gov't Contractors Need To Know About In 2015
    January 7, 2015 — Law360

    Law360 highlights the firm's Government Contracts Group and the recent webinar the Group conducted titled, "What Will the New Year Bring for Government Contractors?" This article details the five issues federal contractors should pay attention to in 2015, as forecasted by Crowell & Moring attorneys in their preview of the year ahead.

  • Government Contracts Cases to Watch In 2015
    January 2, 2015 — Law360

    Stephen J. McBrady, a Washington, D.C.-based partner in Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group, discusses trends in government contracts litigation and their potential impacts. In particular, he notes that a recent Federal Circuit decision upholding the dismissal of an $80 billion overbilling suit against Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. may affect strategy for contractors and the government, as they can now potentially agree to toll the statute of limitations for the Contract Disputes Act, which establishes the procedures for handling claims related to federal government contracts. "Because the statute of limitations was jurisdictional, it could not be waived, or tolled my mutual agreement," McBrady said. "In that respect, Sikorsky is a game-changer."

  • Corporate Inversion Executive Order Possible, Crowell Partner Advises Contractors
    September 11, 2014 — BNA

    Washington, D.C.-based Government Contracts Group attorneys, Angela B. Styles and Stephen J. McBrady, discuss how President Obama might soon issue an executive order making it tougher for corporations that move overseas for tax purposes to win federal contracts. "How hard they will make it to do business with the U.S. government is anyone's guess," Styles said. The order requires contractors to disclose violations of more than a dozen state and federal labor laws and regulations. McBrady added that, "As a result, contractors should review labor law compliance and current arbitration agreements, as well as submit comments on any proposed regulations."

  • Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals: ASBCA Stays Appeals to Avoid Confusion With Courts, Allow for Full Resolution
    June 30, 2014 — BNA Federal Contracts Report

    Government Contracts Group counsel Stephen McBrady discusses how over the past few years prosecutors have attempted to halt contractors' appeals before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) because of alleged similarity to litigation taking place in district court. McBrady says, "when the government seeks to suspend contract claims pending the outcome of criminal or civil cases, the board, following Supreme Court's decision in Landis v. North American Co., 299 U.S. 248, 57 S. Ct. 163, 81 L. Ed. 153 (1936), requires the government to 'make out a clear case of hardship or inequity in being required to go forward'" if the stay may cause harm.

  • Discussions With VA Did Not Alert Protester To Serious Quotation Deficiency, GAO Rules
    January 30, 2014 — BNA Snapshot

    Washington, D.C.-based counsel and member of the firm's Government Contracts Group, Steve McBrady, discussses the recent decision released by the GAO that, acccording to the article, the Department of Veterans Affairs held misleading discussions because it failed to identify a critical quotation deficiency. McBrady says the case is, "a reminder to all contractors considering their protest options that simply because the agency characterizes an exchange (or in this case, numerous exchanges) as 'clarifications', that does not mean that GAO will necessarily agree."

  • NDAA Shines Spotlight On Contractor Indemnification
    January 10, 2013 — Law360

    Government Contracts Group counsel and Washington, D.C.-based attorney, Stephen McBrady, offers his insight on the importance of indemnification, and says that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will restore some transparency to the process of indemnification.

  • DCAA's Focus On Internal Audits Could Incite Legal Battles
    August 28, 2012 — Law360

    Washington, D.C.-based counsel Stephen J. McBrady comments on a few of the hurdles contractors may have to overcome now that the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) has new policies for internal audit reports.

  • Law Firms Concentrating their Promotions
    January 16, 2012 — Washington Post, Quoted

  • Stimulus Bids Running 10 Percent Lower Than Estimates
    August 3, 2009 — Washington Business Journal

    Washington, D.C.-based counsel Stephen J. McBrady comments on the challenges facing contractors bidding on projects funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as bids for stimulus projects are coming in up to 10 percent lower than government-estimated costs.

Firm News & Announcements

Jan.09.2015 Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group Named to Law360's "Practice Groups of the Year" for Fifth Consecutive Year
Jan.02.2015 Crowell & Moring Elects Six New Partners and Promotes Eight Associates to Counsel
Sep.30.2014 Super Lawyers 2014 Recognizes 90 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
Sep.01.2013 Super Lawyers 2013 Recognizes 64 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
Jan.26.2012 Crowell & Moring Elects Seven New Partners and Promotes 22 Attorneys to Counsel Positions
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