Arnold & Porter LLP's Government Contracts Practice Named Law360's "2012 Practice Group of the Year"

April 22, 2013

Washington, D.C., April 22, 2013 -- Law360 has named Arnold & Porter's Government Contracts practice to its  2012 "Practice Groups of the Year" list.

According to Law 360, the "government contracts pros at Arnold & Porter LLP had the Beltway buzzing in 2012" with  precedent-setting victories, on behalf of such clients as Systems Applications & Technologies Inc. and Raytheon Co., which will help protect all federal government contractors.

An initial victory for SA-Tech at the Court of Federal Claims, the newspaper noted, did more than just restore a $26.9 million Army support contract the company had won in, which it nearly lost when agency  opted to  cancel the contract in the wake of a Government Accountability Office protest.  That decision set the stage for  the Federal Circuit to affirm the lower court's jurisdiction in that setting, thereby creating a new framework for other contractors to challenge future agency corrective action decisions.

Arnold & Porter's team also helped Raytheon defeat a $25 million government claw back claim at the Armed Forces Board of Contract Appeals, which stemmed from a 1999 payment on an even earlier contract.  This precedent  again provides clarity to the entire industry in an area with little previous guidance. The firm convinced the Court of Federal Claims that the Contract Disputes Act's six-year statute of limitations could not be extended to accommodate so-called "new" claims spurred by a Pentagon re-audit nearly nine years after payments had originally been received.  The CDA took effect in 1995, the newspaper explained, and had been applied only to contracts entered after that date; in any event, the government had often asserted that older claims, as in this case, could not be barred under the act's SOL until the audit process was fully completed, thereby potentially greatly increasing the contractors' risk of exposure to older claims.

While litigation may be a major component of the practice group's 50 lawyers, the newspaper emphasized that they collectively cover nearly every aspect of government contracts, including investigating and defending allegations brought under the False Claims Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  The firm's current caseload includes a DCAA audit of a firm providing security services at overseas U.S. facilities and FCA allegations against a major pharmaceutical company.

The firm's team was reported to be "well-positioned to tackle" two looming issues that will affect many industries: the changing government regulatory environment for intellectual property and data rights, and the growing problem of counterfeit parts contaminating the nation's supply chain.

Arnold & Porter was one of five firms selected for honors in the Government Contracts category. Law 360 Practice Group of the Year winners were selected in 22 practice areas from nearly 550 submissions. Editors made their selections based on significance, complexity, and size of matters in the past year.

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