Photo of John R. Prairie


J.D., cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center

B.S., magna cum laude, Villanova University

Law Journals

Editor, Georgetown Law Journal

Bar and Court Admissions

District of Columbia Bar

Virginia Bar

U.S. Court of Federal Claims

John’s practice includes a broad range of litigation, counseling, and transactional matters for companies that work with federal, state, and local governments. John represents both traditional and “non-traditional” government contractors, as well as grant recipients, throughout all phases of the procurement lifecycle, including: counseling clients on solicitations and notices of funding availability; structuring and negotiating teaming and subcontracting arrangements; bid protests; counseling clients on government regulatory and compliance requirements; contract claims, terminations, and disputes; instituting and enhancing ethics and compliance programs for contractors and grantees; government investigations and audits; and suspension and debarment proceedings.

John represents a wide array of organizations that do business with the federal government. He represents some of the largest defense contractors in the world in high stakes bid protest and claims litigation. He also regularly assists small and emerging firms, as well as commercial companies with a limited footprint in the government market, with navigating the complex requirements of performing federal contracts and grants. John has particular expertise with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) small business programs and federal grants issues.

Representative Experience

  • Regularly represents government contractors and subcontractors in federal courts and before various administrative forums in a broad variety of litigation matters, including contract claims and disputes before the Boards of Contract Appeals (BCA) and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC), and bid protests at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the COFC.
  • Represents clients in threatened suspension and debarment proceedings.
  • Particular expertise on issues relating to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) prime, subcontracting, and teaming requirements, including the unique requirements applicable to the SBA's 8(a) Business Development, HUBZone, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned, and Women-Owned Small Business Programs, as well as the SBA's Mentor-Protégé programs.
  • Represents government contractors and grantees in a wide variety of disputes with the government, including claims, terminations, cost disallowances, and contracting officer final decisions.
  • Regularly counsels government contractors and federal grantees in the development and enhancement of ethics and compliance programs.
  • Significant experience with the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, as well as many other federal grant programs.
  • Conducts internal investigations relating to various government contracting and grants issues, and defends clients in Department of Justice (DOJ) and agency inspector general investigations.
  • Represents government contractors in the structuring and negotiation of teaming and subcontracting arrangements, as well as disputes between prime contractors and subcontractors.
  • Performs due diligence in transactions involving the acquisition of a government contractor, including assisting venture capital and private equity firms with the acquisition of a participant in SBA’s small business programs. 

Professional Experience

  • Adjunct Professor in Government Contracts, Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University (Fall 2016)


  • American Bar Association (ABA), Section of Public Contract Law (2006-Present)
    • Vice-Chair, Contract Claims and Disputes Resolution Committee
    • Vice-Chair, Small Business and Other Socioeconomic Programs Committee
  • Professional Services Council (PSC) (2008-Present)


  • Named one of DC's "Rising Stars" for Government Contracts by Super Lawyers magazine (2016)
  • Listed by Chambers USA as one of “Americas Leading Lawyers for Business - Up and Coming” in Government Contracts (2015-2017) 
  • Named by The Legal 500 US a “recommended lawyer” in Government Contracts (2015-2016)

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