Government Contracts Litigation LITIGATION/CONTROVERSY

WilmerHale Offers One of the Premier Government Contract Investigations and Litigation Practices in the Nation.

WilmerHale has a premier practice in the area of government contract litigation, investigations and protests, offering unparalleled depth and experience to government contractors and other clients doing business with the Federal government. Our team draws from the skills and experience of one of the most prominent regulatory practices in the country, with more than 100 lawyers who previously served in senior government positions, and many other lawyers with decades of experience with government contract-related controversies. WilmerHale blends the capabilities of these subject matter experts with a team of litigation and investigations lawyers who have handled some of the most complex and notable government contract-related investigations in recent years.

An American Lawyer "A-List” law firm recognized as a Top 20 firm in a recent survey of 240 general counsels across the nation, WilmerHale relies on the unique experiences of lawyers who were directly responsible for the litigation and settlement of major contract claims and protests during periods of previous government service. Anchored by a former Deputy Attorney General of the United States (who also served as General Counsel of the Department of Defense (DOD)), a former Deputy General Counsel of the DOD and the former senior civilian attorney in the US Air Force’s (USAF) Materiel Command, the WilmerHale team provides superior counseling across the full spectrum of government contract-related controversies.

We Resolve a Wide Range of Disputes Arising in the Pursuit or Performance of Government Contracts.

With 89 WilmerHale lawyers named in the 2012 edition of Best Lawyers in America—including Jamie Gorelick’s selection in the area of "Bet-the-Company Litigation”— defense contractors and other federal government contractors have turned to WilmerHale for assistance with the most difficult government contracting problems involving dozens of federal agencies and departments. Recently, we assisted clients resolve disputes with the Department of Defense, Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Homeland Security, General Services Administration (GSA), and the various military departments, among others. In each instance, our seasoned lawyers pursued comprehensive, administrative resolutions that reduced the risk of suspension and debarment and otherwise minimized any potential collateral impact.

WilmerHale provides superior expertise across a wide range of issues inherent to government contracting. We advise clients on a host of ethics and compliance issues, including ethics in hiring, competitor proprietary data issues under the Procurement Integrity Act, gifts and gratuities, false certifications and false claims, the Anti-Kickback Act, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). We also assist with defective pricing, product warranties, quality assurance and testing requirements, domestic manufacturing statutes (including both the Buy American Act and the Trade Agreements Act), terminations for convenience and default, export control, environmental remediation, GSA schedule obligations (including most-favored customer and price-adjustment clauses), audit obligations, and small business issues. Our team also handles challenges involving improprieties in the award process, organizational conflicts of interest (OCI), intellectual property and data protection, technology transfer agreements, and industrial security issues.

WilmerHale’s Experienced Government Contract Litigators Handle Bid Protests, Claims, Court Litigation and Appeals with Equal Dexterity.

WilmerHale’s litigation engagements in the government contracts arena have ranged from basic government contract claims involving emerging companies to some of the most complex and prominent controversies involving the multi-billion dollar defense programs of our top-tier defense contractor clients. Known for being more than excellent counselors, WilmerHale lawyers are proven litigators. Our litigators have tried to verdict more than 110 complex civil cases since 2002. We have provided aggressive and creative advocacy across the broad spectrum of courts and forums where government contract disputes are litigated.

The Experience of WilmerHale’s Bid Protest Practice is Unsurpassed.

For more than two decades, WilmerHale has initiated and defended bid protests over RFP selection criteria and the choice of a contractor. Our team has grown stronger in 2011 with the addition of the attorney responsible for defending all USAF protests for more than 13 years. Having litigated more than 400 protests (with over 200 reported decisions), this attorney is one of the most experienced bid protest litigators in the country. The extensive experience of WilmerHale’s seasoned protest litigators, combined with the firm’s outstanding litigation department, provides a unique capability in the largest and most difficult protests.

In addition to bid protests, WilmerHale represents clients in mediations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, government contract claims litigation in the US Court of Federal Claims and the Boards of Contract Appeals, and federal court litigation among defense and other contractors involving government contract-related issues. We litigate trial-level proceedings with a deep understanding of how the issues will be viewed by the Federal Circuit. When the litigation moves to the federal courts of appeals, including the critical Federal Circuit, few firms match WilmerHale's capabilities and experience. Led by a former Solicitor General of the United States and recognized in Chambers USA 2010 among the premier appellate departments in the nation, our seasoned appellate lawyers have argued more than 125 cases before the US Supreme Court, and regularly handle matters in federal and state appellate courts throughout the United States, including the representation of clients in more than 35 patent and other cases in the Federal Circuit in the last two years. The group was named to The National Law Journal’s Appellate Hot List in 2010 for the third consecutive year.

Our Investigations Practice Involving Allegations of Procurement Fraud and Other Forms of False Claims Is Unmatched.

WilmerHale has advised defense industry leaders and other government contractors on some of the most notable investigations involving allegations of procurement fraud or other alleged impropriety in government contracting, such as our assistance to The Boeing Company on matters pertaining to the USAF KC-767 Tanker Lease Program. We have conducted investigations involving civil fraud, export controls, conflicts of interest, domestic preference obligations, quality assurance and testing requirements, competitor proprietary data, and many other issues.

Our False Claims Act (FCA) experience is particularly notable. WilmerHale leverages the experience of former DOD and DOJ lawyers (including a dozen former prosecutors), who were directly responsible for the litigation, management and settlement of major FCA investigations and cases. By focusing on precedent-setting legal defenses, we have been able to obtain early dismissal or resolution of suits brought by qui tam plaintiffs and the government. And by conducting credible internal investigations and negotiating with the DOJ, we have helped clients to avoid criminal prosecution and to secure appropriate civil resolutions of parallel criminal, civil and administrative proceedings. For cases that go to trial, our courtroom advocates have tried and won FCA cases before juries.

WilmerHale Offers One of the Premier Government Contract Investigations and Litigation Practices in the Nation.

WilmerHale has a premier practice in the area of government contract litigation, investigations and protests, offering unparalleled depth and experience to government contractors and other clients doing business with the Federal government. Our team draws from the skills and experience of one of the most prominent regulatory practices in the country, with more than 100 lawyers who previously served in senior government positions, and many other lawyers with decades of experience with government contract-related controversies. WilmerHale blends the capabilities of these subject matter experts with a team of litigation and investigations lawyers who have handled some of the most complex and notable government contract-related investigations in recent years.

Read More


Sort By
Ogden, David W.

David W. Ogden

Chair, Government and Regulatory Litigation Practice Group

+1 202 663 6440 (t)

Adegbile, Debo

Debo P. Adegbile


+1 212 295 6717 (t)

Anderson, Thomas E.

Thomas E. Anderson


+1 202 663 6227 (t)


Philip D. Anker


+1 212 230 8890 (t)

Bassett, David B.

David B. Bassett


+1 212 230 8858 (t)

Batter III, John F.

John F. Batter, III


+1 617 526 6754 (t)

Berman, Bruce M.

Bruce M. Berman


+1 202 663 6173 (t)

Boast, Molly S.

Molly S. Boast


+1 212 230 8887 (t)

Born, Gary

Gary Born


+44 (0)20 7872 1020 (t)


WilmerHale’s Government Contract Investigations and Litigation Team Has Compiled a Substantial Record of Success Across a Wide Range of Controversies.

With a client base spanning many industries, WilmerHale’s government contract litigation lawyers have handled an extensive assortment of significant matters, including the following:

  • We conducted an internal investigation for a top contractor involving a USAF contract pertaining to construction services in Afghanistan.
  • We represented a titanium supplier in a Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) inquiry regarding alleged non-conformance with technical specifications in the aerospace metal supply chain to DOD primes.
  • We represented one of the largest US defense contractors in a Federal Circuit appeal concerning privity rules in government contracting and the liability of the United States for subcontractor claims.
  • We filed a Government Accountability Office (GAO) pre-award bid protest of a solicitation by the Joint Contracting Command/Multi-National Forces/Iraq and Afghanistan pertaining to a procurement of complex weapons scanning systems.
  • We prevailed in a bid protest action on behalf of an incumbent IT contractor by obtaining a permanent injunction from the US Court of Federal Claims that enjoined the US Coast Guard from transferring work to a competitor via an improperly sole-sourced contract.
  • We represented a leading federally-funded research and development center (FFRDC) in a GAO bid protest proceeding involving allegations of OCI and other FAR violations on multi-billion dollar government contract.
  • We conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a top-tier defense contractor regarding allegations of conflict-of-interest-related impropriety on several multi-billion dollar defense programs.
  • On behalf of a major provider of HR outsourcing services, we secured a rescission of a termination for default of a $290 million multi-year OPM information technology contract.
  • We represented a leading telecommunications company in a DOJ and DOD Inspector General investigation of an Army contract pertaining to an complex telecommunications system in Iraq.
  • We defended a top information technologies company in a Defense Contract Audit Agency audit involving compliance with a most-favored customer pricing clause in a General Services Administration (GSA) schedule contract.
  • Lead counsel in GAO bid protest of an award by the Department of the Army's Property and Fiscal Office involving medical and dental services for deploying members of the National Guard.
  • We represented a defense communications systems supplier in a protracted dispute with the US Navy and Department of Justice over claims for environmental remediation costs at a government-owned facility, resulting in a court-approved settlement.
  • We defended a leading commercial services company in an FCA inquiry by a United States Attorney's Office involving products supplied on a GSA schedule.
  • We resolved a government contract dispute involving the allowability of consulting fees for sales agent services in obtaining government contract awards.
  • We advised an engineering services provider on potential pre-award bid protest of an agency’s preliminary finding of an "impaired objectivity” OCI.
  • We pursued a major defense contractor’s breach of contract and fraud claims in federal court litigation alleging government contract accounting impropriety by the seller during a $200 million acquisition of a satellite communications government contracting business.
  • We represented an aviation company in the Court of Federal Claims regarding its protest of a Defense Energy Supply Center award for air fueling services.
  • We prevailed on summary judgment on the eve of trial in state court litigation involving the defense of a $100 million commercial damages claim alleging the improper exercise of fueling rights by an airport operator pursuant to government contracts with a local airport authority.
  • On behalf of an international construction company, we pursued government contract claims arising from the denial of payment requests on account of alleged violations of domestic manufacturing requirements in a US Government-financed host country contract.
  • We represented one of the top global express delivery companies in regulatory and associated federal court litigation arising from unsuccessful challenges by its two competitors to its right under federal statutes and regulations to do business in the United States.
  • We defended a defense contractor in federal court litigation pertaining to the transfer of advanced weapons technologies under a technology transfer agreement.
  • We secured a decision terminating debarment proceedings on behalf of a USAF contractor, without an administrative agreement or any adverse action; we settled asserted civil fraud claim without admission of liability or payment of multiple damages or penalties; and we resolved a related contract dispute with a no-cost termination for convenience.
  • We secured the dismissal on favorable terms of a qui tam FCA suit brought against a defense contractor and the company’s former CEO arising from the sale of allegedly defective products to the USAF.
  • We represented a defense contractor before the US Army debarring authority in connection with claims involving the alleged delivery of defective products.
  • We successfully defended the US Department of Labor’s award to our client of a fifty-million dollar federal financial management services contract against parallel fast-track bid protest proceedings in the Government Accountability Office and the US Court of Federal Claims.
  • We resolved on favorable terms an investigation and related debarment proceeding of a medical device manufacturer by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and a US Attorney’s Office arising from the sale of allegedly defective medical devices to the US Army.
  • On behalf of a telecommunications industry client, we persuaded the Small Business Administration Office of Hearings and Appeals to reverse its previous ruling concerning our client’s classification under the Small Business Act.
  • We represented a government contractor in a FCA case alleging that the company failed to supply the General Services Administration with office products from permissible countries under the Buy American Act and Trade Agreements Act.
  • We assisted a supplier of engineering support services with its successful challenge to unwarranted ratings by the Department of the Navy under the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS).
  • We litigated both pre-award and post-award protests before the Government Accountability Office concerning irregularities in the Department of Health and Human Services’ awarding of Head Start training and technical assistance contracts.

Publications & News


July 2, 2014

DC Circuit Issues Major Ruling Affirming Broad Applicability of Attorney-Client Privilege to Corporate Internal Investigations

On June 27, 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued a major decision clarifying the scope of the attorney-client privilege as applied to corporate internal investigations.

April 25, 2014

WilmerHale Attorneys Recognized in Annual Washington DC Super Lawyers Listing

The annual edition of the Washington DC Super Lawyers magazine, published by The Washington Post Magazine, released its 2014 listing which includes 37 WilmerHale attorneys.

December 19, 2013

The Lawyer Ranks WilmerHale Among Top 10 Global Litigation Practices

The Lawyer has ranked WilmerHale among the top 10 litigation practices in the world in this year's list of the Global Litigation Top 50—an annual analysis of which of the world's largest firms are generating the most fee income from disputes.

November 1, 2013

WilmerHale Among U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” and Again Named International Arbitration “Law Firm of the Year”

The 2014 edition of the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list names WilmerHale as “Law Firm of the Year” in International Arbitration—this is the second consecutive year that the firm has won this honor—and honors WilmerHale as a first-tier law firm in 27 national and 60 metro-area rankings.

March 22, 2013

Fourth Circuit Expands FCA Limitations Period

In United States ex rel. Carter v. Halliburton, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit expanded the scope of potential False Claims Act (FCA) liability for government contractors by holding that the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act (WSLA) suspends the six-year statute of limitations in qui tam FCA cases even when the government has not intervened.

January 2, 2013

The False Claims Act: 2012 Year-In-Review

The upward trends in False Claims Act (FCA) enforcement that we described in our 2011 Year-In-Review continued in 2012. In the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) secured $4.9 billion in FCA settlements and civil judgments, beating the previous record by more than $1.7 billion. Federal FCA recoveries since January 2009 add up to $13.3 billion, which is the largest four-year total in DOJ history. Our full review is available in PDF format.

December 4, 2012

Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 Signed into Law

On November 27, 2012, President Obama signed S. 743, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012, into law. The Act strengthens existing protections for federal workers who disclose evidence of fraud, abuse, or waste they have encountered in the course of their employment. The new law clarifies the scope of protected disclosures, expands the class of persons protected, and corrects perceived unfairness in certain aspects of the process of seeking relief for violations.

October 18, 2012

Affordable Care Act Litigation: The Next Round

August 31, 2012

The 2013 Best Lawyers in America® List Includes 101 WilmerHale Lawyers

June 7, 2012

Chambers USA 2012 Final Results Announced