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 clients that work with federal, state, and local governments. John represents contractors in bid protests; contract claims and disputes; terminations; mergers and acquisitions; False Claims Act matters; and suspension and debarment proceedings. John also counsels contractors on regulatory requirements under government contracts, ethics and compliance issues, and government investigations and audits.

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. 

John has particular expertise with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) small business set-aside programs, as well as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

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 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the COFC.
  • Represents government contractors in a wide variety of disputes with the government, including claims, terminations, cost disallowances, and contracting officer final decisions.
  • Represents clients in connection with government investigations involving federal contracts and grants, including investigations by federal agencies, agency offices of inspector general and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
  • Advises clients in transactions involving the acquisition of a government contractor, including assisting venture capital and private equity firms with the acquisition of participants in the SBA small business programs.
  • Represents clients in threatened suspension and debarment proceedings.
  • Particular expertise on issues relating to 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.
  • Significant experience with the SBIR and STTR programs, as well as many other federal grant programs.
  • Experience with a wide variety of non-traditional procurement vehicles, including Other Transaction Agreements (OTA) and Technology Investment Agreements (TIA).
  • Represents government contractors in the structuring and negotiation of teaming and subcontracting arrangements, as well as disputes between prime contractors and subcontractors.

Professional Experience

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


  • 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
    • Vice-Chair, Mergers and Acquisitions Committee
  • Professional Services Council (PSC) (2008-Present)


  • Recognized by Law360 as a "Rising Star" in Government Contracts (2017)
  • Named one of DC's "Rising Stars" for Government Contracts by Super Lawyers magazine (2016)
  • Listed by Chambers USA as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" (2018-2019) and “Americas Leading Lawyers for Business - Up and Coming” (2015-2017) in Government Contracts  
  • Named by The Legal 500 US a "next generation lawyer" (2017-2019) and “recommended lawyer” (2015-2019) in Government Contracts 

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