J.D., Willamette University College of Law
B.S., Minnesota State University
Symposium Editor, Willamette Law Review
Bar and Court Admissions
District of Columbia 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 contracts law. 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 possesses extensive experience helping clients with government contract cost accounting, cost allowability, and contract estimating and pricing matters, as well as with business systems audits, compliance programs, government data rights and intellectual property issues. Nicole also represents contractors in bid protests before the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC), and 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.
As a business-oriented thought leader in practice management, Nicole is a certified Legal Lean Sigma Institute (LLSI) White 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.
- 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 Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA), Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) audits, and Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) Contractor Purchasing System Reviews (CPSRs) and other business systems audits.
- 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).
- Litigates government contract-related disputes in federal and state courts and in mediation and arbitration. Notable published decisions include: Appeals of J.F. Taylor, Inc., ASBCA No. 56105, Jan. 18, 2012, 12-1 BCA P 34920, (co-counsel—overturned DCAA executive compensation review method).
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.
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.
- 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
- American Bar Association (ABA), Section of Public Contract Law
- Vice-Chair (2012-Present) and Co-Chair (2008-2012), Accounting, Cost and Pricing 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)
- Vice-Chair (Present) and Co-Chair (2013-2016), Research & Development and Intellectual Property Committee
- Commercial Products and Services Committee
- 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)
- 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)
News & Insights
- February 2017 | Newsletter
- February 6, 2017 | Press ReleaseWiley Rein Offers Legal Lean Sigma Institute’s ‘Yellow Belt’ Certification Course for Its Attorneys in Two-Day On-Site Course
- January 13, 2017 | Alert
- November 2016 | Article2016 Thomson ReutersNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Author, Gary S. Ward, Author
- November 14-16, 2016 | San Diego, CA | Speaking EngagementFederal Publications Seminars
- November 7, 2016 | Alert
- October 19, 2016 | Webinar | Speaking EngagementPublic Contracting InstituteNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Co-Presenter
- October 3, 2016 | Alert
- September 23, 2016 | Online | Speaking EngagementGovernment Contracts PricingDCode42Nicole J. Owren-Wiest, Speaker, John R. Prairie, Speaker
- September 14, 2016 | Media MentionBloomberg BNA’s Federal Contracts Report
- August 30, 2016 | AlertDOD Proposes Streamlining Awards for Certain Small Businesses and “Nontraditional Defense Contractors”
- August 9, 2016 | Alert
- June 17, 2016 | Alert
- June 15, 2016 | Press Release
- June 13, 2016 | Denver, CO | Speaking EngagementThe Government Contract Intellectual Property WorkshopFederal Publications Seminars
- May 27, 2016 | Press ReleaseChambers USA Recognizes 31 Wiley Rein Attorneys Across 13 Practice Areas as Among Best in the Country
- May 11, 2016 | AlertProposed Rule Would Expand the Presumption of Development at Private Expense for Challenges to Restrictions on Commercial Item Technical Data
- May 5, 2016 | Tysons, VA | Speaking EngagementDHG's 21st Annual Government Contracting Update - Navigating the Issues: A Roadmap to SuccessNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Speaker
- April 28, 2016 | McLean, VA | Speaking EngagementGovernment UpdateFederal Publications SeminarsNicole J. Owren-Wiest
- April 12, 2016 | Washington, DC | Speaking EngagementGovernment Contracts PricingDCode42Nicole J. Owren-Wiest, Speaker, John R. Prairie, Speaker
- March 9-11, 2016 | Washington, DC | Speaking EngagementFederal Publications Seminars
- December 14, 2015 | AlertDepartment of Defense Withdraws Controversial Proposed Rule on Commercial Items, But Expect Close Scrutiny to Continue
- December 2, 2015 | Huntsville, AL | Speaking EngagementIntellectual Property PanelFederal Bar Association North Alabama Chapter: 43rd Annual Symposium on Government AcquisitionNicole J. Owren-Wiest
- December 2, 2015 | Huntsville, AL | Speaking EngagementCost & Pricing: Commercial Pricing and Other Recent DevelopmentsFederal Bar Association North Alabama Chapter: 43rd Annual Symposium on Government AcquisitionNicole J. Owren-Wiest
- November 12-13, 2015 | Charleston, SC | Speaking EngagementABA Section of Public Contract Law Fall Educational ProgramNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Tara L. Ward, Event Co-Chair
- October 2015 | Article“Offered For Sale” Headed for the Scrap Heap? Proposed DFARS Rule May Change Requirements for Commercial Item Determinations and Price Reasonableness EvaluationsPratt’s Government Contracting Law ReportNicole J. Owren-Wiest
- August 26, 2015 | Online Webinar | Speaking EngagementBloomberg BNA
- August 4, 2015 | Media MentionBloomberg BNA’s Federal Contracts Report
- August 3, 2015 | Alert“Offered for Sale” Headed for the Scrap Heap? Proposed DFARS Rule May Change Requirements for Commercial Item Determinations and Price Reasonableness EvaluationsNicole J. Owren-Wiest
- July 29, 2015 | Washington, DC | Speaking EngagementNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Speaker
- June 3, 2015 | Press ReleaseLegal 500 US Recognizes 32 Wiley Rein Lawyers Across Seven Practices Nationally; Four Partners Are ‘Leading Lawyers’
- June 2-4, 2015 | San Diego, CA | Speaking EngagementThe Government Contract Intellectual Property WorkshopFederal Publications SeminarNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Instructor
- May 21, 2015 | Tysons Corner, VA | Speaking EngagementGovCon Industry Update20th Annual DHG Government Contracting Annual Update: Looking Back and Focusing ForwardNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Panelist
- May 19, 2015 | Press ReleaseChambers USA Recognizes 31 Wiley Rein Attorneys Across 13 Practice Areas as Among Best in the Country
- April 28, 2015 | ArticleBloomberg BNA's Federal Contracts ReportNicole J. Owren-Wiest
- March 31, 2015 | Washington, DC | Speaking EngagementThinking Like a Leader -- 2015 Legal and Compliance Strategy Panel: Where the Defense and Aerospace Industries are at Most Risk of Enforcement and PenaltiesACI's Networking and Leadership Forum for "Women in Defense and Aerospace Law, Compliance & Ethics"Nicole J. Owren-Wiest, Moderator
- March 11 - March 13, 2015 | Arlington, VA | Speaking EngagementThe Government Contract Intellectual Property WorkshopFederal Publications SeminarsNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Instructor
- March 5, 2015 | Speaking EngagementIP Protection: Under AttackFederal Circuit Bar Association WebinarNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Speaker
- February 11, 2015 | Arlington, VA | Speaking EngagementGovernment Rights in Technical Data and Computer SoftwareACI's Advanced Forum on DCAA AuditsNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Moderator
- February 10, 2015 | Herndon, VA | Speaking EngagementNCMA Tysons' Contract Lifecycle SeriesNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Speaker
- December 2014 | ArticleThe Government Made Me Do It: The Federal Circuit Expands the Reach of § 1498(a) to Protect Private Companies Performing “Quasi-Governmental Functions” from Traditional Patent Infringement LiabilityIntellectual Property Today
- November 12 - November 13, 2014 | Arlington, VA | Speaking EngagementCommercial Item AcquisitionFederal Publications Seminars
- November 6, 2014 | Washington, DC | Speaking EngagementAn Update on Experience Regarding the DFARS Business Systems RuleABA PCLS's Acquisition Reform and Emerging Issues Committee and Accounting Cost & Pricing Committee Joint MeetingNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Panelist
- October 31, 2014 | Miami, FL | Speaking EngagementABA Section of Public Contract Law's 2014 Fall Program: Government Contracting in a Tech-Savvy WorldNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Moderator
- October 29, 2014 | Alert
- October 24, 2014 | Arlington, VA | Speaking EngagementACI's Advanced Forum on DCAA Audits: Proven Strategies to Manage Increasingly Complex and Frequent AuditsNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Speaker
- October 23, 2014 | ArticleThe Government Made Me Do It: The Federal Circuit Expands the Reach of § 1498(a) to Protect Private Companies Performing “Quasi-Governmental Functions” from Traditional Patent Infringement Liability
- August 29, 2014 | Media MentionLaw360
- August 26, 2014 | AlertDOD Guidelines Highlight Strategies to Create and Maintain a Competitive Environment, Including Heightened Focus on Data Deliverables and Government Data RightsNicole J. Owren-Wiest
- August 1, 2014 | Media MentionNicole Owren-Wiest Weighs in on Proposal to Shift Audit Responsibility From Government to Federal ContractorsCompliance Week
- July 16, 2014 | Media MentionLaw360
- June 17 - June 19, 2014 | San Diego, CA | Speaking EngagementFederal Publications SeminarsScott A. Felder, Instructor, Nicole J. Owren-Wiest, Instructor
- Spring 2014 | Newsletter
- June 2, 2014 | AlertFinal Rule on Compensation for Defense Contractors Continues the March Toward Lower Allowable Compensation for All Contractors
- May 23, 2014 | Press ReleaseChambers USA Recognizes 34 Wiley Rein Attorneys Across 15 Practice Areas as Among Best in the Country
- April 15, 2014 | Arlington, VA | Speaking EngagementAIA/NDIA 2014 Technical Data Rights ForumNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Moderator
- March 20, 2014 | Annapolis, MD | Speaking EngagementABA’s 20th Annual Federal Procurement Institute – Navigating the Procurement Headwinds: Shifting Procurement Constraints and PrioritiesNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Panelist
- March 4, 2014 | Washington, DC | Speaking EngagementFederal Publications SeminarsScott A. Felder, Instructor, Nicole J. Owren-Wiest, Instructor
- December 16, 2013 | Alert
- December 4, 2013 | Frankfurt, Germany | Speaking EngagementUS Defence Contracting & FAR Compliance in EuropeNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Panelist
- December 4, 2013 | Frankfurt, Germany | Speaking EngagementChange and Termination Clauses: Successful Clause Negotiation and How to Obtain Compensation upon ExecutionUS Defence Contracting & FAR Compliance in EuropeNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Panelist
- November 5, 2013 | Arlington, VA | Speaking EngagementDCAA Access Rights to Your Internal Audit Reports: How to Respond to Government Requests and Minimize the Risks of DisclosureACI's 5th Annual Advanced Forum on DCAA AuditsNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Panelist
- Summer 2013 | Newsletter
- May 29, 2013 | Press ReleaseWiley Rein’s Government Contracts Practice and Rand L. Allen Receive Top Tier Honors from Chambers USA for the Fifth Consecutive Year
- May 23, 2013 | AlertDOD Publishes Final Rule on Government Support Contractor Access to Contractor Proprietary Technical Data & Software
- May 2013 | ArticleDCAA's Use Of Statistical Sampling: Understanding And Surviving The HazardsGovernment Contract Costs, Pricing & Accounting Report, Vol. 8, Issue 3Nicole J. Owren-Wiest
- May 15, 2013 | Speaking EngagementA Dixon Hughes Goodman WebinarNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Speaker
- April 25, 2013 | McLean, VA | Speaking EngagementTrends and Recent Developments in Government ContractingMAPI Government Contracts CouncilNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Speaker
- April 17, 2013 | Arlington, VA | Speaking EngagementPreparing for Executive Compensation Reviews in the Wake of the J.F. Taylor and Metron Decisions: What Recent Experiences Reveal about DCAA’s Current Statistical MethodologyACI’s Government Contract Cost & Pricing ConferenceNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Panelist
- Winter 2013 | Newsletter
- January 4, 2013 | Press ReleaseWiley Rein Files Amicus Brief for Trade Groups Regarding the Proper Standard for Determining Cost Reasonableness in Government Contracts, as Well as the Causation Necessary to Support Government Counterclaims for Fraud
- August 6, 2012 | Chicago, IL | Speaking EngagementEffective Dispute Resolution: What's Working NowABA Section of Public Contract Law, Annual MeetingNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Speaker
- June 12, 2012 | Press ReleaseWiley Rein's Government Contracts Practice and Rand L. Allen Receive Top Tier Honors from Chambers USA for the Fourth Consecutive Year
- June 7, 2012 | Press ReleaseChambers USA Recognizes Thirty-Two Wiley Rein Attorneys Across Fifteen Practice Areas as Best in the Country
- April 17, 2012 | Arlington, VA | Speaking EngagementDCAA Audit Preparation Roundtable Discussion and Q&A: Lessons Learned from Recent ExperiencesACI's Government Contract Cost & Pricing ConferenceNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Speaker
- March 29, 2012 | Media MentionLaw360
- March 2012 | Article'Handle With Care' - ASBCA Finds Unreasonable DCAA's Misuse Of Statistics In Evaluating Reasonableness Of Executive CompensationGovernment Contract Costs, Pricing & Accounting Report Vol. 7, Issue 2Nicole J. Owren-Wiest, Richard B. O'Keeffe, Jr.
- March 1, 2012 | Washington, DC | Speaking EngagementArbitration of Prime/Sub DisputesThe ABA Public Contract Law Section Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee and the Interagency ADR Working Group Contracts and Procurement SectionNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Panelist
- Winter 2012 | NewsletterWhat's Next for DCAA Executive Compensation Audits? What to Do in the Wake of the J.F. Taylor, Inc. Decision
- February 24, 2012 | Alert
- January 24, 2012 | Alert"Fatally Flawed Statistically and Therefore Unreasonable" Armed Services Board Finds DCAA Executive Compensation Review Methodology DefenselessNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Richard B. O'Keeffe, Jr.
- December 29, 2011 | AlertNicole J. Owren-Wiest
- November 4, 2011 | AlertASBCA Reverses Course and Holds that the $10,000 Penalty Waiver of FAR 42.709-5 Applies to Individual Cost ElementsNicole J. Owren-Wiest
- October 25, 2011 | ArticleFinal Rule on DFARS Data Rights Requirements and Procedures Continues Trend Toward Expanded Government RightsBNA Federal Contracts Report
- October 1, 2011 | Los Angeles, CA | Speaking EngagementProtests for CEOs: Avoid the Last Resort… or Make the Most of ItPublic Contracting InstituteNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Speaker
- September 21, 2011 | ArticleFinal Rule Revises DFARS Data Rights Requirements and Procedures for Commercial Items and Major SystemsNicole J. Owren-Wiest
- June 13, 2011 | Press ReleaseWiley Rein's Government Contract Practice and Rand L. Allen Receive Top Honors from Chambers USA; Group Boasts Five "Leading Lawyers"
- May 24, 2011 | ArticleLaw360
- May 19, 2011 | AlertInterim DFARS Rule Authorizes Payment Withholdings Up to 10% for Contractor Business Systems With Significant Deficiencies
- April 11, 2011 | Arlington, VA | Speaking EngagementYear in Review of Disallowed Costs: Recent Challenges to Compensation, IR & D and Legal Fees and Lessons Learned for Determining AllowabilityAmerican Conference Institute's 2nd Advanced Forum on Government Contract Cost and PricingNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Speaker
- March 31, 2011 | Coral Gables, FL | Speaking EngagementIntellectual Property: Negotiating IP Rights to Protect Your Data and Trade SecretsMAPI Manufacturers Alliance 2011 Spring Government Contracts Council MeetingNicole J. Owren-Wiest, Speaker
- March 2011 | ArticleGovernment Contract Costs, Pricing & Accounting Report
- December 31, 2008 | Press Release