Photo of Nicole J. Owren-Wiest

Education

J.D., Willamette University College of Law

B.S., Minnesota State University

Law Journals

Symposium Editor, Willamette Law Review

Bar and Court Admissions

District of Columbia Bar

Washington Bar

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

Nicole represents aerospace, defense, professional services, 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.

Representative Experience

  • Representing 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 four consolidated appeals at the ASBCA which represent a total of approximately $10.6 billion. 
  • 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 successful dismissal of Government claim for executive compensation costs in Appeals of J.F. Taylor, Inc., ASBCA No. 56105, Jan. 18, 2012, 12-1 BCA P 34920, in which the Board found the DCAA executive compensation review method fatally flawed statistically.
  • Obtained 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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 (DOJ) and inspector general investigations.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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., June 18, 2008 (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., 2010) (co-counsel—overturned GAO decision that had stripped $330 million contract from client, resulting in reinstatement of contract).

Professional Experience

  • Law Clerk, Oregon Department of Justice, Appellate Division (1998-2000)
  • Advisory Board, Government Contract Costs, Pricing & Accounting Report
  • Editor-in-Chief of The Procurement Lawyer
  • Faculty, The Government Contract Intellectual Property Workshop, offered by Federal Publications Seminars

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (ABA), Section of Public Contract Law
    • Section Nominating Committee (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)

Recognitions

  • Listed by Chambers USA as one of “Americas Leading Lawyers for Business” in Government Contracts (2014-2016), 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 a “recommended lawyer” in Government Contracts (2015-2016)

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