Wiley Rein LLP


Many contracts with the federal government are subject to special cost accounting and allowability rules under the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).  Understanding the rules for allowability and allocability of costs on government contracts is critical to maximizing legitimate cost recovery and complying with the myriad cost allowability requirements imposed by these regulations and standards.  In addition, contractors are subject to increasingly rigorous and comprehensive audits of their accounting practices and policies, particularly by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA).  Our government contracts attorneys are experts in cost accounting matters and are routinely called upon by clients of all sizes to assist with internal compliance with CAS and cost accounting rules and to counsel clients in how best to respond to audit findings and concerns.  For example, partner Nicole Owren-Wiest was singled out by Chambers USA 2012 as one of the nation’s “Leading Lawyers” in this area and recognized as “a future leader in the costs disputes sphere.”  We regularly work with our clients to resolve cost accounting and related disputes before litigation occurs.  Our expertise includes: 

  • Advising clients on the intricacies of the CAS and the FAR cost accounting principles, including all aspects of cost allowability, CAS Disclosure Statements, changes in disclosed accounting practices, and incurred cost submissions.
  • Assisting clients with responding to DCAA audits and audits by other federal agencies, including preparing responses to auditor questions, findings, and draft reports.
  • Advising clients and litigating Government and contractor claims relating to disallowed costs, CAS noncompliances, and accounting change cost impacts.
  • Preparing cost support for requests for equitable adjustment (REA) and claims under the Contract Disputes Act.
  • Preparing termination settlement proposals in convenience terminations.
  • Advising clients and litigating claims relating to executive compensation issues.
  • Assisting clients in responding to allegations of defective cost or pricing data and advising clients regarding the Truth in Negotiations Act.
  • Analyzing cost accounting issues that may arise in other contexts, such as allegations under the False Claims Act (FCA), debarment proceedings, and bid protests.