Businesses selling goods or services to the government face a variety of challenges. At the federal, state, and local level, procurement laws, rules, and regulations are complex and frequently changing. Additionally, with billions of dollars in government contracts awarded each year, fierce competition can drive up bid costs and intensify the already demanding financial terms contractors face.
In this environment, businesses need thoughtful planning and custom strategies to stay protected and positioned to succeed. Our Government Contracting Practice Group can help with that. The services we provide clients touch all points of the contract life cycle, including:
Our attorneys help clients with contract interpretation, questions regarding the proposal and evaluation process, cost accounting, change orders, and other issues unique to government contracting. Government contracts require contractors to comply with a host of regulations and to have certain policies/procedures in place. We can help guide companies to ensure that they have the proper policies in place.
Claims and Requests for Equitable Adjustment
We help clients negotiate with contracting agencies over out-of-scope work and other changed conditions that can result in unexpected costs. If the dispute is not resolved, we prepare certified claims, requests for equitable adjustment, settlement claims for terminations for convenience, and other relief authorized by the Contract Disputes Act.
Our team has helped resolve federal claims that would have otherwise closed the company. We successfully have resolved federal claims with government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Administration and U.S. Department of Labor, through extensive negotiations and filing claims pursuant to the Contract Disputes Act.
When disputes arise, our goal is working efficiently and quickly to find a resolution that works for our clients. We can move with the speed required to intervene or file a protest with the procurement agency, or to seek or respond to a preliminary injunction motion.
In addition, we represent our clients in arbitration and in federal district court and state court suits between prime contractors and subcontractors. We use mediation, early neutral evaluation, arbitration, and other alternative dispute resolution procedures to resolve disagreements.
Companies pursuing government contracts may, at times, want to challenge the award to another contractor. We can help determine if it makes sense to pursue a protest, and, if so what forum it should be filed in – the Government Accountability Office or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. In many cases, protests are resolved through corrective action (for example, an agency’s decision to re-evaluate a proposal, permit revised proposals, or reinstate a proposal into a competitive range) rather than a trial or evidentiary hearing.
Joint Ventures and Teaming Agreements
Often times, the largest contractors need to partner with other contractors to pool resources and share risks. We counsel clients on issues such as whether to enter into a teaming agreement or form a joint venture. We draft, review, and negotiate subcontracts. We also handle disputes that may arise because of payment, performance, or dissolution of a joint venture or teaming arrangement.
Preference Status: Assisting Small, Disadvantaged, Women and Veteran-Owned and HUB Zone Companies
We represent a number of small, disadvantaged, woman and veteran-owned and HUB Zone companies. We assist them in qualifying for such preference status and ensuring that government agencies provide these companies with the contracting opportunities mandated by statute or executive order.
Our recent combination with renowned trial boutique Kaufman & Company, adding locations in Washington, D.C. and New York, only enhances the government contracting services and benefits that we can provide to clients in those markets.
December 21, 2021 – Due to the ongoing pandemic, federal contractors nationwide – and the attorneys who represent them – have been closely monitoring the government’s implementation of a vaccine mandate. The potential of an enforceable mandate has left contractors wondering whether they would be subject to sweeping vaccine requirements if...
December 21, 2021
March 25, 2020 – The coronavirus creates unique challenges for companies doing business with the government. Some pressing issues and questions include: (1) what to do if your company cannot continue performance of a government contract; (2) which clauses are important and should be reviewed in your contract; (3) how...
March 25, 2020
Incorrect Wage Classifications: Potential Personal Liability for Contractors? How a federal agency’s error in identifying the correct wage rates in its solicitation nearly put one of its contractors out of business. by Manju Gupta Recently, a situation arose in which a government agency had solicited a contract using the incorrect...
March 12, 2020
Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce the election of three partners to the firm, effective January 1, 2020. This class of new partners includes attorneys with backgrounds in diverse legal disciplines and who reflect Ulmer’s commitment to providing sophisticated advice and counsel. “We are happy to welcome Kristin,...
November 20, 2019
Ulmer & Berne LLP is proud to announce that Manju Gupta, Counsel to the firm, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of DANCECleveland, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing the passion and verve of modern and contemporary dance into the hearts and minds of the people of Northeast Ohio....
November 29, 2018