Photograph of David B. Robbins

Government Experience

  • 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)

Education

  • 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

Admissions

  • 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.

Government Contracts Strategic Video Series


David Robbins - Investigations & Enforcement Landscape

Investigations & Enforcement Landscape
Click here to watch this short video discussing future challenges affecting contractors in investigations and enforcement.

David B. Robbins

,
 Partner Washington, D.C.
drobbins@crowell.com
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. He is a member of the Government Contracts Group Steering Committee and a co-leader of the Firm’s False Claims Act Practice. David is also the primary author and editor of ABA Publication’s peer reviewed book The Procurement Fraud Guidebook: The System, Stakeholders, and Response Strategies.

David is a leading litigator and investigations lawyer practicing at the intersection of white collar defense and government contracts. His docket includes a broad range of litigation matters including civil False Claims Act, whistleblower reprisal defense, and prime/sub disputes. David also handles high stakes, complex internal investigations, strategic transactions, mandatory disclosures, claims, trade secrets litigation, ethics/compliance, conflicts of interest, fraud and public corruption defense, bid protests, GSA Schedule contracting, mandatory disclosures, Procurement Integrity Act, Anti-Kickback Act, and suspension and debarment matters.

Legal500 calls David "a key name when it comes to investigations, suspension and debarment." David’s government service enables him to offer strategic advice based upon managing and coordinating thousands of past investigations, procurement fraud matters, and suspensions/debarments. David’s service included:

  • Director of Procurement Fraud Remedies for the Department of the Air Force, and the only fraud remedies coordination official in private legal practice.
  • Air Force Suspending and Debarring Official (acting).
  • Co-chair 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

David frequently publishes, speaks, and serves as an expert witness on government contracts topics. He also co-hosts 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.

Recent Representative Experience

FALSE CLAIMS ACT LITIGATION AND INVESTIGATIONS

  • Successfully defended a surety company in a nationwide False Claims Act investigation.
  • Successfully defended manufacturer in False Claims Act case alleging quality failures.
  • Successfully defended manufacturer in a False Claims Act case alleging pricing issues.
  • Investigated and defended False Claims Act allegations discovered by client during pre-sale diligence; investigated, mitigated, and resolved allegations permitting sale of company.
  • Successfully defended multiple qui tam actions filed against clients in the construction industry.
  • Active False Claims Act defense efforts include clients in services contracting, insurance/reinsurance, cybersecurity/information protection, healthcare, construction, manufacturing, insurance, and small business set-aside markets and industries.

LITIGATION

  • Ficarra v. SourceAmerica (EDVA 2019), motion to dismiss granted in whistleblower reprisal case.
  • Advanced Systems Technology and Management, Inc. v. Guan (EDVA 2018), preliminary injunction granted in theft of trade secrets case.
  • JBL System Solutions LLC v. Williams et al. (EDVA 2019), precedential decision that proposed debarments are sufficiently final agency action to confer jurisdiction under Administrative Procedure Act.

WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL DEFENSE AND INVESTIGATIONS

  • Successfully defended company from allegations of criminal fraud in the disaster recovery contracting industry following issuance of target letter. No prosecution resulted. 
  • Successfully defended services contracting industry executive after receipt of target letter from U.S. Attorney’s office. Moved the executive from a target to a cooperating witness through multiple proffer sessions. 
  • Successfully defended several senior executives of services industry contractors following various allegations of criminal fraud.
  • Active white collar criminal defense matters include clients in the services contracting, manufacturing, parts supply, and foreign military sales markets and industries.
  • Routinely engaged as counsel to special committees of boards of directors to advise the board concerning risks in white collar matters.

INTERNAL 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. 
  • Conducted multiple investigations into allegations of bribery and Anti-Kickback Act violations, successfully preventing company liability in each instance. 
  • Investigated allegations of misconduct and human trafficking in international contracting. 
  • Investigated various matters alleging misconduct in supply chains, including suspected Anti-Kickback Act violations, sham suppliers, counterfeit parts, supplier cost and pricing misconduct, among others.  
  • Investigated allegations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and United Kingdom Bribery Act violations by foreign subsidiaries of U.S.-based companies. 
  • Investigated and successfully defended whistleblower reprisal allegations before multiple agencies including Department of Defense and NASA. 
  • 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.

SUSPENSION/DEBARMENT DEFENSE

Successfully resolved dozens of suspensions and proposed debarments. Managed 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: Departments of the Air Force, Navy and Army; Department of Homeland Security; Defense Logistics Agency; General Services Administration; Environmental Protection Agency; various Intelligence Community agencies; Department of Education; Department of Energy; Federal Highway Administration; Federal Transit Administration; and the World Bank, among others.



Affiliations

Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, Maryland, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Memberships

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


Speeches & Presentations

  • "Managing Emerging Compliance and False Claims Act Risks," National Association of Surety Bond Producers Webinar (November 5, 2019). Speakers: David B. Robbins and Jason M. Crawford.
  • "Anatomy of a Procurement Fraud Investigation," Crowell and Moring Training, Washington, D.C. (October 29, 2019). Presenters: David B. Robbins and Gail D. Zirkelbach.
  • "Procurement Fraud and Enforcement," Government Contracts "101" - Back to Basics, McLean, VA (October 23, 2019). Moderator: Nkechi A. Kanu; Panelists: Trina Fairley Barlow, Brian Tully McLaughlin, David B. Robbins, and Gail D. Zirkelbach.
  • "Understanding DOJ’s New Compliance Guidance," Government Contracts Breakfast Series, Tysons, VA (June 25, 2019). Presenters: Peter Eyre and David B. Robbins.
  • "Procurement Fraud, Investigations, and FCA," Crowell & Moring's Ounce of Prevention Seminar (OOPS) 2019, Washington, DC (May 8, 2019). Moderator: David B. Robbins; Speakers: Brian Tully McLaughlin, Jason M. Crawford, and Nkechi Kanu.
  • "The End Game: Government and Stakeholder Expectations," Crowell & Moring's Investigations Workshop 2019, Washington, DC (May 8, 2019). Moderator: David B. Robbins; Speakers: Rebecca Monck Ricigliano, Laura M. Kidd Cordova, and Daniel L. Zelenko.
  • “Special Compliance and Ethics Considerations for Contractors,” Government Contracts "101" - Back to Basics, Washington, D.C. (October 10, 2018). Presenters: Trina Fairley Barlow, David Robbins, Gail D. Zirkelbach, Jana del-Cerro, and Nkechi Kanu.
  • "Ethics and Compliance in a Consolidating Market," OOPS 2018, Crowell & Moring's 34th Annual Ounce of Prevention Seminar, Washington, D.C. (May 17, 2018). Presenters: David B. Robbins, Laura J. Mitchell Baker, and Stephanie L. Crawford.
  • "Trends To Watch In 2018: Compliance, Transactions, False Claims Act And Small Business Investigations," Federal Publications Seminars Webinar (March 15, 2018). Presenters: David B. Robbins, Judy Choi, Jason M. Crawford, Charles Baek, Nkechi Kanu, and Monica DiFonzo Sterling.
  • "What Will the New Year Bring: Top Headlines, Headaches, and Developments for Government Contractors to Watch in 2018," Crowell & Moring Webinar (January 25, 2018). Presenters: Crowell & Moring Government Contracts Group.
  • "National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2018: What You Need to Know," Crowell & Moring Webinar (December 11, 2017). Presenters: David B. Robbins, Robert A. Burton, Lorraine M. Campos, John E. McCarthy, Jr., Nicole Owren-Wiest, Laura J. Mitchell Baker, Elizabeth Buehler, and Rosamond Xiang.
  • "Risk Management and Mitigation in the Supply Chain and Its Prime Contract," NCMA Workshop & Executive Leadership Training, Los Angeles, CA (October 19, 2017). Presenters: David B. Robbins, Christopher D. Garcia, and Daniel Wierzba.
  • "Selling Your Business: From Founding to Managing Sale Proceeds," Crowell & Moring Webinar (May 19, 2017). Presenters: Richard B. Holbrook Jr., David B. Robbins, Sam Garbia, Marc Marlin, and Rick Schultz.
  • "Investigations 201 - When Workers Blow the Whistle - Steps for Conducting Effective Investigations of Whistleblower Complaints," Crowell & Moring Webinar (May 10, 2017). Presenters: Trina Fairley Barlow, David W. O'Brien, David B. Robbins, and Christine B. Hawes.
  • "Suspension & Debarment, Ethics & Compliance, Disclosures," OOPS 2017, Crowell & Moring's 33rd Annual Ounce of Prevention Seminar, Washington, D.C. (May 4, 2017). Co-Presenters: Peter Eyre, David B. Robbins, and Laura J. Mitchell Baker.
  • "Not off the Hook: Corporate Monitoring After a Procurement Fraud or Suspension/ Debarment Matter." 23rd Annual Federal Procurement Institute, Annapolis, MD (March 16, 2017). Moderator: David B. Robbins.
  • 23rd Annual Federal Procurement Institute, ABA Section of Public Contract Law, Annapolis, MD (March 15-18, 2017). Program Co-Chairs: David B. Robbins and John E. McCarthy Jr.
  • "What Will the New Year Bring: Issues and Developments for Government Contractors," Federal Publications Webinar, Washington, D.C. (February 2, 2017). Presenters: David B. Robbins, Robert A. Burton, Lorraine M. Campos, Stephen J. McBrady, Adelicia R. Cliffe, Skye Mathieson, and Olivia Lynch.
  • "What Will the New Year (and Administration) Bring for Government Contractors?" Crowell & Moring First 100 Days Webinar, Washington, D.C. (January 25, 2017). Presenters: Crowell & Moring Government Contracts Group.
  • "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.
  • "Roles of Internal and External Evaluators of Ethics & Compliance Programs," ABA Public Contract Law Section Ethics, Compliance, and Professional Responsibility Committee Event (December 8, 2016). Moderator: David Robbins; Panelists: Robert Meunier; Tom Caulifield; W. Dan Blalock; Normand Lussier.
  • "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.


Publications



Client Alerts & Newsletters



In the News



Firm News & Announcements

Oct.18.2019 Crowell & Moring’s David Robbins Launches Book on Procurement Fraud
Apr.08.2019 Crowell & Moring Releases Government Contracts Resource Mobile Application
Feb.22.2019 Law360 Names Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group a "Practice Group of the Year" for the Ninth Consecutive Year
Feb.22.2016 Former Government Suspending and Debarring Official and Procurement Fraud Remedies Coordination Official Joins Crowell & Moring