Federal Programs and Government Contracts

Federal procurement matters implicate a wide variety of statutes and regulations. In addition to the Federal Acquisition Regulations, some of the more significant laws that may be implicated in a litigation or investigation context include the Armed Services Procurement Act, the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, the Competition in Contracting Act, the Contracts Disputes Act, the Anti-Deficiency Act, the Truth in Negotiations Act, the False Claims Act, the Procurement Integrity Act, the SAFETY Act, the Small Business Act, the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, numerous conflict of interest statutes, Export Administration Regulations, and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

Government contract-related disputes are a source of litigation between the contractor and the government, between prime contractors, between prime and sub contractors, and between competitors. Additionally, government contracting matters often give rise to significant collateral proceedings including criminal and civil investigations and qui tam cases involving alleged violations of procurement integrity, government ethics requirements, false submissions to the government, and other regulatory provisions. Such collateral matters often lead to suspension and debarment proceedings or civil claims by third parties.

Williams & Connolly represents government contractors, including corporations and individuals, in these myriad types of complex civil, criminal and regulatory actions. Over the last 15 years, the firm has represented health care companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, hospitals, PBMs, accounting firms, aerospace, military and defense firms, information technology and communications firms, commercial real estate firms, and other companies in all stages of such proceedings.  Our lawyers have defended corporations and individuals in all aspects of governmental criminal and civil investigations and proceedings arising out of federal programs. They also have years of commercial and government contract litigation experience in the traditional areas of bid protests, contract disputes (including actions in the Court of Federal Claims), intellectual property claims, and suspension and debarment cases. The firm’s lawyers also frequently defend against civil actions brought against government contractors by plaintiffs’ attorneys, including cases brought under the False Claims Act, Alien Tort Claims Act, Anti Terrorism Act, Torture Victim Protection Act, and common law torts.

Williams & Connolly lawyers also advise clients on major government acquisition programs and on procurement integrity and government ethics requirements.  Our practice is informed by the substantive day-to-day experience gained by our lawyers from serving in high-level positions throughout the government, including the General Counsel of the Department of Defense, the Secretary and Undersecretary of the Air Force, Chief Counsel of the Food and Drug Administration, General Counsel of the Treasury Department, the White House Counsel’s Office, and as prosecutors and in other trial positions in the Department of Justice.  One of our senior lawyers also has been the Executive Vice-President, General Counsel, and Chief Compliance Officer for a Fortune 500 government contractor in the aerospace and defense industry.  Several of our lawyers are serving or have served on the Defense Science Board and other federal advisory committees. Several others have served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the uniformed services.

Representative Experience


A representative sampling of Williams & Connolly’s cases in this context includes:

  • The representation of one major defense contractor in litigation with another major defense contractor regarding overcharges to the Government for Humvee armor resulting in a $275 million judgment in our client’s favor.
  • The defense of a large, privately-held government contractor in the engineering and construction industry in state and federal criminal and civil investigations arising out of Boston's “Big Dig” project, the largest government-funded road construction project in the United States.
  • The defense of tort suits brought by hundreds of plaintiffs against a large government contractor in the defense industry whose personnel were working at the Abu Ghraib prison.
  • The filing of a $100 million bid protest on behalf of two major defense contractors relating to the procurement of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Program.
  • A successful jury verdict defending a significant defense contractor in a trial challenging its provision of security services in Iraq.
  • The representation of a former senior DOD official in Congressional investigations and civil Bivens litigation relating to U.S. policy during the global war on terrorism.
  • The representation of a U.S. defense contractor asserting breach of contract claims against another government contractor arising from an overseas joint venture to provide government contracting services in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • The representation of a senior national security official in investigations relating to the handling of classified information.
  • Advising a national university concerning requirements to do work under classified programs.
  • Advising a major defense contractor concerning intellectual property rights under a government program.
  • Advising a GSA supply schedule contractor on contract compliance issues and in connection with a False Claims Act matter.
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