Government Contracts

Baker Botts offers distinct benefits for clients in the competitive arena of government contracting.

  • Our experience in both commercial and government contract law enables us to help clients implement commercially viable solutions to address the complex regulatory, compliance, technical, and accounting requirements of government contracts and subcontracts
  • Our lawyers have extensive, practical knowledge of procurement and compliance in federal, state, local, and foreign government contracting. A number of our lawyers also have prior experience as government counsel
  • We draw on expertise from our government contracts practice and other relevant practice groups to provide seamless representation to clients when working with government agencies in the U.S. or abroad
  • We frequently work with clients to resolve changes and performance disputes through negotiation. When negotiation is not possible, we have the experience to resolve disputes through litigation or alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
  • We offer effective defense strategies against audits, investigations, and enforcement actions

Our Government Contracts practice represents companies throughout the world and across many industries. Clients range from small and medium-sized companies just entering government markets to Fortune 500 companies with sophisticated, complex contracting issues. In fact, six of the top ten federal contractors in the United States trust Baker Botts for their legal needs.

Clients rely on Baker Botts in specific contracting matters, such as:

We welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can assist government contractors in their efforts to effectively manage and address these and other complex challenges they face in their efforts to compete for and perform government contracts. 

With 14 offices worldwide, Baker Botts has extensive experience counseling clients on anticorruption issues throughout the world, including under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the UK Bribery Act (UKBA), and local anticorruption laws. We counsel clients on the design and implementation of anticorruption programs, conduct internal investigations, undertake due diligence on potential agents and joint venture partners, provide anticorruption training and assist companies with voluntary disclosures to U.S. and other authorities.

Bid Protests:
Government contractors frequently have to deal with the challenges of bid protest litigation concerning the award of a government contract either as a protester or as the target of a protest. Baker Botts lawyers regularly prosecute bid protests and intervene to defend awards before contracting agencies, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC).

Claims and Contract Disputes:
The complex nature of many government contracts can result in claims or disputes concerning change, delay, technical, pricing, cost accounting and scheduling issues that can have a negative impact on business cash flow. Our lawyers are adept at resolving claims and disputes through negotiation or, when necessary, through litigation or ADR. We effectively represent clients before the various Boards of Contract Appeals and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. We also are experienced in resolving related commercial disputes, including prime contractor/subcontractor litigation and arbitration.

Contract Formation and Performance:
Sound legal advice at the contract formation stage can help prevent compliance and performance issues once a contract is in effect. Our lawyers have extensive experience counseling both public and private clients on legal and regulatory requirements regarding solicitations, proposals, contracts and subcontracts. After award, we counsel on performance standards and compliance obligations, and represent clients in government audits and enforcement actions.

False Claims Act:
The False Claims Act (FCA) is a powerful civil and criminal remedy that the government has increasingly utilized to address allegations of fraud involving government contracts. Baker Botts lawyers have defended clients from individuals to Fortune 500 companies in false claims actions, including in qui tam litigation.

Government Investigations and Enforcement Actions:
Baker Botts has the depth of experience and resources necessary to represent clients in all phases of their defense against governmental investigations and prosecutions regarding allegations of fraud, corruption and other compliance matters arising from internal or external corporate reporting mechanisms, federal and state subpoenas or whistleblower complaints.

Grants and Cooperative Agreements:
These complex legal instruments require their own specialized due diligence. We assist clients operating under either grants or cooperative agreements with reviewing the applicable statutory and regulatory provisions, financing mechanisms, reporting requirements, and intellectual property rights, especially with respect to the Bayh-Dole Act.

Intellectual Property Protection:
Baker Botts’ lawyers have helped some of the largest federal contractors in the U.S. to protect their intellectual property, including through patent infringement litigation. We counsel clients regarding rights to any intellectual property, including technical data, which is created or customized specifically for government agencies or otherwise affected by a government contract.

Mergers and Acquisitions:
Special considerations arise in a merger, purchase, joint venture or spin-off of, or with, a company that is a government contractor. These considerations include antitrust issues, restrictions on the assignment of contracts and claims, cost and accounting issues, foreign ownership restrictions, security limitations, and potential successor liability for fraud and FCA violations. Our practice covers the entire lifecycle of business operations. We help clients structure their investments, implement their investment strategies, and manage their ongoing operations. Our lawyers conduct due diligence that often includes identifying and addressing potential compliance and liability issues. We also represent clients in Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reviews, identifying and resolving any national security issues and reviewing strategic alliances.

We advise on the full range of legal issues associated with offset requirements for defense and security contractors across the globe. This includes experience negotiating offset agreements, organizing joint ventures and structuring other investments to generate offset credits, as well as conducting the extensive due diligence investigations surrounding such investments.

Public-Private Partnerships:
The legal and regulatory issues relating to public-private partnerships vary depending on the purpose of the partnership, the government agencies involved and whether the agencies are part of the U.S. government or a foreign government. We assist both public-sector and private-sector clients in the most complex facets of these partnerships. For example, we advise government agencies on structuring commercially viable agreements that achieve policy goals, appropriately allocate risks and bring value to the investment. We help contractors ensure that an agreement aligns private-sector incentives with public-sector goals, and clearly defines performance standards. We also represent our clients in related dispute resolution, including arbitration.

Regulatory Compliance:
Compliance with all regulatory and performance requirements is one of the most complex aspects of doing business with government agencies. We have extensive experience advising clients on mandatory disclosure, cost accounting, cyber-security, Equal Employment, and Affirmative Action compliance. In addition, we routinely counsel clients on the international aspects of government contracts, including export controls, ITAR, OFAC sanctions regulations, and U.S. antiboycott compliance issues. We also offer compliance management training and guidance for clients and their employees to mitigate risk and avoid costly corrections.

Suspension and Debarment:
The federal government has greatly increased its use of suspension and debarment in recent years to address concerns about contractor responsibility related to criminal actions, civil judgments, and contract performance issues. These actions by a federal agency, which render a contractor ineligible for award of a contract or participation in federal programs, are effective government wide and can also impact eligibility for state contracts. Our lawyers have assisted clients in preventing and responding to both suspension and debarment actions, and in proactively structuring safeguards to avoid future comparable problems.

Technology Transfer & IP Management:
Our lawyers assist clients in negotiating and drafting technology licensing agreements and commercially viable research and development agreements, including Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs). We also represent clients regarding all legal aspects of technology transfer activities.

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