The federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars each year buying various types of products and services, including products and services available on the commercial markets as well as those produced or offered to meet the government’s unique needs. In addition, the federal government also spends approximately the same amount of money funding research projects through grants and other non-procurement contract instruments. Activities and transactions in this market are governed by a mix of commercial and uniquely federal rules and regulations which can differ substantially based on several factors, including the type of product or service being acquired, the acquiring agency, and the characteristics of the contractor itself. Any business that decides to enter into the government market must accurately identify and reliably mitigate the many risks arising from its complex and changing legal landscape.
Cohen Mohr specializes in the practice of federal, state, and local procurement, administrative and contract law. We understand the statutes and regulations that govern federal procurement. We also understand how the federal procurement system operates in the real world — that is, how the government actually buys the things you sell.
Many of our clients provide high technology goods and services. Our clients include computer, peripheral, imaging and telecommunications hardware manufacturers; application, enterprise and utility software developers and publishers; specialty metal and materials fabricators; specialty engineering services firms; information technology service providers; military weapons and computer systems integrators; research and development firms; and dealers/distributors of high technology products.
Cohen Mohr also represents a wide variety of other companies selling products and services to all levels of government (state, local, and federal). For example, we represent construction contractors and subcontractors, management consultation services firms, training providers, audiovisual services providers, civil engineering firms, and office equipment manufacturers and dealers, to name a few.
We have helped clients with every stage of the government procurement process, starting with analysis of the risks associated with entering the government market, and continuing through the issues arising during the solicitation, award, performance, and completion of their government contracts. Indeed, our representation spans the entire range of federal, state, and local government contract formation and administration. For example, our attorneys have helped clients understand, respond to, and, where necessary, to litigate issues and disputes arising in negotiated solicitations; GSA Schedule contracting; offer, acceptance and award; mistake in bid; contractor responsibility and responsiveness; cost reimbursement contracts; contract audits; suspension and debarment; small business contracting; the Service Contract Act; the Buy American Act; the Trade Agreements Act; the Freedom of Information Act; appropriation of funds; rights in technical data; contract interpretation; termination for convenience claims; change orders; excusable delays; inspection and acceptance of goods; cost accounting; warranties; and default terminations. This list is not exhaustive.
Cohen Mohr provides merger and acquisition assistance at every stage, from planning strategic considerations involved in structuring and financing transactions to negotiating effectively to take full advantage of the business opportunities presented. The firm works with companies and their directors to formulate and implement an acquisition strategy, respond to acquisition invitations of other bidders, or structure strategic joint ventures involving multiple parties and lines of business.
Termination of a government contract or subcontract before the completion of a performance can present significant challenges for any contractor. In cases where the government (or a higher tier contractor) has terminated contracts for its convenience or for default (based on an alleged failure of performance by the contractor), Cohen Mohr has helped clients identify, analyze, and respond to the fact and legal issues raised by such an action. We have helped clients prepare and defend termination settlement proposals when required or, where appropriate, to challenge the government’s (or higher tier contractor’s) allegations of non-performance in cases of termination for default. Often, when we have been engaged prior to the institution of formal adverse action by the government or higher tier contractor, we have been able to help the contractor demonstrate the non-existence of the alleged failure of performance or, where appropriate, to develop, negotiate, and implement a corrective action plan to respond to the government’s or higher tier contractor’s concerns and avoid termination. Cohen Mohr also represents contractors and subcontractors in formal legal proceedings challenging adverse contract actions, including litigation between the contractor and the government in the government contracts forums (Boards of Contract Appeals or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims) and between contractors and subcontractors in U.S. district courts and state courts.
At a client’s request, Cohen Mohr’s attorneys will conduct an internal investigation in advance of any government inquiry into possible problems, as well as prepare responses to subpoenas and investigations, and represent the client in any suspension and/or debarment proceedings if necessary.
Cohen Mohr counsels clients with regard to the sometimes complex requirements of various government ethical mandates and the steps they must take and document to satisfy those requirements, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Procurement Integrity
- Truth in Negotiating
- Prevention/reporting of false claims and false statements
- Restrictions on lobbying and political contributions
- Avoiding conflicts of interests
- Preventing kickbacks
- Preventing bribery and illegal gratuities
- Employment of former government employees
- Palmetto GPA, LLC, B-299154, Dec. 19, 2006, 2006 CPD ¶ 200
- Multimax, Inc., et al., B-298249.6, et al., Oct. 24, 2006, 2006 CPD ¶ 165
- Lucent Technologies World Services, Inc., B-295462, Mar. 2, 2005, 2005 CPD ¶ 55
- Resource Consultants, Inc., B-290163, et al., Je. 7, 2002, 2002 CPD ¶ 94
- Emery Worldwide Airlines, Inc. v. United States, 264 F3d 1071 (Fed. Cir. 2001)
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