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Tom Pettit represents government contractors in litigation, mergers and acquisitions, and investigations. He advises on a variety of regulatory compliance issues. Tom is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom whose prior employment before joining Arnold & Porter included a top 20 federal contractor and the general counsel's office of a federally-funded research and development center. He is well-versed in the needs and concerns of the defense, aerospace, intelligence, and national security communities.

Tom litigates bid protests, contract claims, and prime-subcontractor disputes before the U.S. Government Accountability Office, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Boards of Contract Appeals, Small Business Administration Office of Hearings and Appeals, and other forums.

He also represents strategic and private equity buyers and sellers in complex corporate transactions involving government contractors, including mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, teaming arrangements, joint ventures, and subcontracting partnerships. Tom also regularly advises on small business issues, including mentor-protégé and joint venture agreements, size and status compliance, and size and status protests, as well as labor and employment issues unique to government contractors, including compliance with the Service Contract Act and the Davis-Bacon Act.

He counsels on compliance with cybersecurity requirements, including DFARS 252.204-7012, NIST SP 800-171, CMMC, cyber incident investigations and reporting, and U.S. Department of Justice investigations into cybersecurity compliance.

While in the Marine Corps, Tom served as a Sergeant in the Intelligence Support Battalion and deployed to Iraq with I Marine Expeditionary Force during Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he supported intelligence and civil affairs objectives. He continues to support military veterans through his active pro bono practice. His work includes helping veterans receive benefits and discharge upgrades and representing active duty servicemembers facing a variety of other legal challenges, including consumer and landlord-tenant disputes.


  • Amentum Government Services in advising on the government contracts aspects related to its US$1.9 billion acquisition of PAE. 
  • Converged Security Solutions in the acquisition of Solutions by Design II, an IT modernization and cybersecurity provider for the federal government.
  • American Securities and Lindsay Goldberg in connection with $2.4 billion acquisition of AECOM Management Services Business.
  • Borden Dairy Company on pre- and post-closing government contracting issues in connection with its contested chapter 11 cases and the 363 sale of substantially all of its assets in a transaction valued at approximately $340 million.
  • Wheels Up Partners in connection with its acquisition of Mountain Aviation.
  • Owl Cyber Defense Solutions in connection with the acquisition of Trident Assured Collaboration Systems.


Best Lawyers
"Ones to Watch" — Commercial Litigation (D.C.) (2021-2024)



  • J.D., American University, Washington College of Law, 2016, summa cum laude, Order of the Coif
  • B.A., Political Science, Virginia Polytechnic & State University, 2011, cum laude


  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Government & Military Service

  • U.S. Marine Corps