Nicole Owren-Wiest

 Partner Washington, D.C.
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 nearly 20 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).


  • Listed by Chambers USA as one of “Americas Leading Lawyers for Business” in Government Contracts (2014-2018), 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)


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)

Speeches & Presentations

  • "The Government Contract Intellectual Property Workshop," Federal Publications Seminars, Arlington, VA (November 6-8, 2018). Presenter: Nicole Owren-Wiest.
  • "Costs and Pricing: No Contract is Really Final," Government Contracts "101" - Back to Basics, Washington, D.C. (October 10, 2018). Presenters: Nicole Owren-Wiest, Skye Mathieson, and Charles Baek.
  • "Recent Cost, Compliance and Damages Decisions Involving the DCAA and DCMA, and Related Trends," ABA Section of Public Contract Law - Accounting, Cost & Pricing Committee, Washington, D.C. (June 12, 2018). Panelist: Nicole Owren-Wiest.
  • "The Government Contract Intellectual Property Workshop," Federal Publications Seminars, Las Vegas, NV (June 4-6, 2018). Presenter: Nicole Owren-Wiest.
  • "Accounting, Cost & Pricing," OOPS 2018, Crowell & Moring's 34th Annual Ounce of Prevention Seminar, Washington, D.C. (May 18, 2018). Presenters: Nicole Owren-Wiest and Elizabeth Buehler.
  • "Cost and Pricing: What is new and what is coming?" DHG's 23rd Annual Government Contracting Conference, Tysons, VA (May 3, 2018). Presenter: Nicole Owren-Wiest.
  • "New for 2018: DoD Issues Commercial Item Final Rule and Guidebook" Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP Webinar (March 2, 2018). Presenter: Nicole Owren-Wiest.
  • "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.
  • "Intellectual Property, Information Technology and Cybersecurity," PubKGroup's 3rd Annual Year In Review Webinar (December 7, 2017). Panelist: Nicole Owren-West and Kate M. Growley.
  • "The Government Contract Intellectual Property Workshop," Federal Publication Seminars, San Diego, CA (November 14-16, 2016). Presenter: Nicole Owren-Wiest.
  • "FUN with the DFARS Season 2," Public Contracting Institute Webinar (October 19, 2016). Co-Presenter: Nicole Owren-Wiest.
  • "Government Contracts Pricing," DCode42 Teleconference (September 23, 2016). Presenter: Nicole Owren-Wiest.
  • "GovCon Industry Update," DHG's 21st Annual Government Contracting Update - Navigating the Issues: A Roadmap to Success, Tysons, VA (May 5, 2016). Presenter: Nicole Owren-Wiest.
  • "3rd Annual Executive Seminar for Government Contractors," Government Update, McLean, VA (April 28, 2016). Presenter: Nicole Owren-Wiest.
  • "Government Contracts Pricing," DCode42, Washington, D.C. (April 12, 2016). Presenter: Nicole Owren-Wiest.
  • "The Government Contract Intellectual Property Workshop," Federal Publication Seminars, Washington, D.C. (March 9-11, 2016). Presenter: Nicole Owren-Wiest.
  • "Intellectual Property Panel," Federal Bar Association North Alabama Chapter: 43rd Annual Symposium on Government Acquisition, Huntsville, AL (December 2, 2015). Panelist: Nicole Owren-Wiest.
  • "Cost & Pricing: Commercial Pricing and Other Recent Developments," Federal Bar Association North Alabama Chapter: 43rd Annual Symposium on Government Acquisition, Huntsville, AL (December 2, 2015). Presenter: Nicole Owren-Wiest.
  • "Building Bridges to Succeed in Federal Contracting and Grants," ABA Section of Public Contract Law Fall Educational Program, Charleston, SC (November 12-13, 2015). Presenter: Nicole Owren-Wiest.


  • "Is A Federal Shutdown Your Next Holiday Surprise?" Law360 (December 20, 2018). Authors: J. Chris Haile, Rebecca L. Springer, Robert A. Burton, Nicole Owren-Wiest, Peter Eyre, Stephen J. McBrady, and Trina Fairley Barlow.
  • "Government Contract Costs, Pricing & Accounting Report," 2016 Thompson Reuters (November 1, 2016). Author: Nicole Owren-Wiest.

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In the News

Firm News & Announcements

Jan.02.2019 Washingtonian Names Six Crowell & Moring Partners to 2018 “Top Lawyers” List
May.09.2018 Chambers USA 2018 Ranks 52 Crowell & Moring Lawyers and 24 Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
Nov.30.2017 Washingtonian Names Five Crowell & Moring Partners to 2017 "Top Lawyers" List
Nov.06.2017 Nationally Recognized Government Contracts Lawyer Nicole Owren-Wiest Joins Crowell & Moring