Practices  |  Government Contracts

Government Claims and Terminations


With recent budget constraints and the prospect of perpetual federal budget uncertainties, the government has become increasingly aggressive in asserting its legal rights against contractors in such areas as contract performance, award fee determinations, defective pricing, cost allowability, default terminations, and data rights.  For contractors, shrinking revenues, market forces, and business imperatives compel companies to push back in situations for which, in the past, easy accommodations would have been reached.  We regularly counsel and defend contractors in these areas, which can involve a host of goals and strategies, such as negotiated settlements, alternative dispute resolution, and litigation of claims under the Contract Disputes Act (CDA).

Representative experience includes:

  • Successfully challenged the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) to executive compensation review methodology.  See Appeals of J.F. Taylor, Inc., ASBCA 56105, January 18, 2012, 12-1 BCA ¶ 34920.
  • Mediated a dispute before a board judge involving the allowability of legal expenses in subcontractor litigation, resulting in a finding of allowability for the expenses and settlement of the dispute. 
  • Litigated a Contract Performance Evaluation Report dispute – taking the case to the board of contract appeals, winning the client a fresh evaluation and resulting in significantly improved results which have repaired damage to the client’s past performance record.
  • Defended termination for default, resulting in a settlement agreement converting the termination to a termination for convenience and the issuance of favorable past performance ratings. 
  • Assisted multiple clients in appeals from validations of restrictive markings involving both technical and software data rights.  
  • Defended a challenge to contractor’s costs, resulting in decision that established that contractor testimony can substitute for missing documentary evidence in proving the allowability of costs. 
  • Negotiated a no-cost termination for convenience for a contractor that was on the verge of defaulting on performance.
  • Successfully responded to a show-cause notice threatening to terminate a multi-billion-dollar program for default, leading to the favorable restructuring of the program. 
  • Prepared legal justification in response to a customer’s threat to terminate for default a program for the commercial variant of a U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) aircraft, resulting in payment to our client of nearly $40 million.
  • Worked with a major accounting firm in preparing an internal audit report resulting in the exoneration of our client despite a principal subcontractor having admitted to engaging in erroneous billing.
  • Negotiated no-cost termination for convenience with mutual releases on behalf of a contractor that could not obtain necessary funding to perform recently awarded contract as a result of downturn in financial markets.

Our People

Name Position Telephone Email
Rachel A. AlexanderPartner202.719.7371Download vCard
Rand L. AllenPartner202.719.7329Download vCard
Attison L. Barnes, IIIPartner202.719.7385Download vCard
Moshe B. BroderAssociate202.719.4186Download vCard
Todd BrombergPartner202.719.7357Download vCard
Kathryn BucherPartner202.719.7530Download vCard
Jon W. BurdPartner202.719.7172Download vCard
Ralph J. CacciaPartner202.719.7242Download vCard
Philip J. DavisPartner202.719.7044Download vCard
Scott A. FelderPartner202.719.7029Download vCard
J. Ryan FrazeeAssociate202.719.3751Download vCard
Tracye Winfrey HowardPartner202.719.7452Download vCard
Paul F. KhouryPartner202.719.7346Download vCard
Cara L. LasleyAssociate202.719.4192Download vCard
Samantha S. LeeAssociate202.719.7551Download vCard
Eric W. LeonardPartner202.719.7185Download vCard
Kevin J. MaynardPartner202.719.3143Download vCard
Scott M. McCalebPartner202.719.3193Download vCard
Christopher M. MillsPartner202.719.4740Download vCard
Kendra Perkins NorwoodAssociate202.719.7069Download vCard
Richard B. O'Keeffe, Jr.Partner202.719.7396Download vCard
George E. PetelAssociate202.719.3759Download vCard
Dorthula H. Powell-WoodsonPartner202.719.7150Download vCard
John R. PrairiePartner202.719.7167Download vCard
William A. Roberts, IIIPartner202.719.4955Download vCard
Kara M. SacilottoPartner202.719.7107Download vCard
Craig SmithOf Counsel202.719.7297Download vCard
Mark B. SweetPartner202.719.4649Download vCard
Kay TatumPartner202.719.7368Download vCard
Roderick L. ThomasPartner202.719.7035Download vCard
Brian WalshPartner202.719.7469Download vCard
Gary S. WardAssociate202.719.7571Download vCard
Tara L. WardOf Counsel202.719.7495Download vCard

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