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Morris Manning & Martin, LLP

Government Contracts & Grants

Morris, Manning & Martin’s Government Contracts team understands the federal government's procurement process. For a federal or state government contractor, or for a business that has decided to enter into the government market, the accurate identification and mitigation of the risks arising from the procurement process is a necessity. Our extensive background working within the federal and state procurements brings a significant advantage to our clients when navigating their relationships with government agencies. In addition to contract formation matters, our lawyers specialize in administrative and contract law spanning the full range of federal, state, and local government contract formation and administration.

Comprehensive Representation

Our team assists clients with every stage of the government procurement process, beginning with an analysis of the risks associated with entering the market and continuing through the issues arising during the solicitation, award, performance, and completion of government contracts. Transactions in this market are affected by a mix of commercial and uniquely federal rules and regulations, many of which can vary substantially based on several factors, including the type of product or service being acquired, the acquiring agency, and the characteristics of the contractor itself. We help clients understand, respond to, and, if necessary, litigate issues and disputes arising in government contracts formation and administration.

Industry Knowledge

Many of our clients provide high technology goods and services. In addition, MMM's government contract team also represents a wide variety of other companies selling a wide variety of products and services to all levels of the government. Our lawyers have significant depth working with clients in industries including:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Defense and aerospace
  • Healthcare and life sciences goods and services
  • Homeland security
  • Information technology
  • Leasing
  • Office and video equipment
  • Telecommunications

Key Services

  • Contract analysis, counseling and financing
  • Corporate transactions involving government contracts
  • Cost and pricing matters
  • Data Rights
  • Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation (DFAR) matters
  • Fraud, false claims and Qui Tam defense
  • Freedom of Information Act
  • Grant award and administration advice
  • International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)
  • Negotiation of teaming agreements, supply and service contracts, and subcontracts
  • Responses to Requests for Proposals
  • Security clearance matters
  • Service Contract Act
  • Small Business law, including size protests and joint ventures
  • Statutory and regulatory interpretation
  • Suspensions, debarments and other exclusions
  • Technology transfers and software licensing
  • Trade Agreements Act compliance and substantial transformation
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Areas of Focus

Audits

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At a client’s request, our team will conduct an internal investigation in advance of any government inquiry into possible problems.  We also represent contractors responding to audits, investigations and subpoenas.  We organize the contractor’s response and represent it when dealing with the requesting agency.  We are present during audit visits and in meeting with agency counsel. Past representative cases include allegations of overbilling, price reduction triggers under GSA Schedule contracts, supplying products that failed to comply with Buy American and Trade Agreements Act requirements, and kickbacks. 

Bid Protests & Litigation

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Contractors who lose a bid in response to a solicitation can protest the loss to the procuring agency, the Government Accountability Office, or the Court of Federal Claims. Likewise, contractors awarded a contract may intervene in bid protests filed against the awarding agency. In either event, we represent contractors in the bid protest process. Strict and short time deadlines apply to bid protests, so our extensive knowledge in federal procurement allows us to engage quickly and provide the advice, counsel and representation contractors need. Our considerable expertise in bid protests allows us to apply our past experience to your protest matter. We work efficiently and cost-effectively to protect the contractor’s interests in the bid protest.

Recent cases include:

MMM Client Arch Systems Successfully Protests Contract Award Ineligibility

MMM Client Arch Systems Successfully Defends Award Protest

MMM Client Total Computer Solutions Wins Corrective Action In Award Protest

 

Claims

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MMM represents contractors and subcontractors to prosecute, and defend against, claims related to change orders, acceleration of performance, out-of-scope work and the like. We review the contract documents, research the applicable law, and advise the contractor how best to proceed. We draft the contractor’s claim or request for an equitable adjustment, and then file and prosecute the case through trial or settlement. Our claims representation includes litigation between the contractor and the agency before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, the Civilian Board of Appeals, and the Court of Federal Claims. We also litigate in federal and state courts for claim disputes between contractors and subcontractors. 

Compliance

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MMM counsels clients with regard to the often complex requirements of various government ethical mandates and the steps they must take and document to satisfy those requirements. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Avoiding conflicts of interests
  • Employment of former government employees
  • Preventing bribery and illegal gratuities
  • Preventing kickbacks
  • Prevention/reporting of false claims and false statements
  • Procurement Integrity
  • Restrictions on lobbying and political contributions
  • Truth in Negotiating

We also represent contractors to help understand and comply with the legal requirements arising out of government contracts, including Cost Accounting Standards, socio-economic requirements, Trade Agreements Act, Service Contract Act, and other government mandates.

GSA Schedules

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MMM has extensive knowledge of every facet of the GSA Schedule program. MMM attorneys work with clients almost daily on various GSA Schedule issues from cradle to grave. Specifically, MMM assists clients in identifying and applying for the correct GSA Schedule and Special Item Numbers, preparing and submitting a proposal package that will avoid immediate rejection, negotiating pricing, and drafting a Final Proposal Revision that clearly sets forth the contractor’s obligations. Throughout the entire process, MMM educates the client on its obligations and how Schedules “work” so that troubles down the road are avoided. After award MMM attorneys often assist vendors with preparing modifications, managing pricelist files in SIP, and submitting filings such as the 72A sales report and small business subcontracting reports. Most importantly, MMM provides day-to-day guidance on how to comply with the often misunderstood rules associated with GSA Schedules such as the price reduction clause or how to sell Open Market Items on a GSA Schedule task order.

Mergers & Acquisitions

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MMM provides merger and acquisition assistance at every stage, from planning strategic considerations involved in structuring and financing transactions to negotiating effectively to fully capitalize on 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, and structure strategic joint ventures involving multiple parties and lines of business. We also conduct due diligence on the government contract portfolios of acquisition targets. When needed, our team relies on the depth of our full corporate to bring in needed expertise to successfully advise clients and close deals.

Terminations

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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 a contract, whether for its convenience or for alleged default, MMM works with contractors to identify, analyze, and respond to the fact and legal issues raised by the termination. We help contractors prepare and defend termination settlement proposals when required and, where appropriate, challenge the government’s (or higher tier contractor’s) allegations of non-performance in cases of termination for default. Often, when we are engaged prior to formal adverse action by the government or higher tier contractor, we are able to help the contractor demonstrate the non-existence of the alleged failure of performance, and where appropriate, to develop, negotiate, and implement a corrective action plan or settlement to respond to the concerns and avoid termination.