Government contracts involve and are governed by unique and particular laws, legal principles, and legal procedures. We can advise clients on issues arising out of specific contract awards and performance. We can advise on a variety of performance issues, including interpretation of contract clauses, and identification and pricing of change orders, especially for large construction projects.
We understand the public policy and the agency decision-making process behind contract decisions. Like all legal representation, public contract law requires the attorney to have a detailed understanding of the client’s business and goals.
Submission of Bids and Proposals
We can counsel clients as they respond to solicitations or make unsolicited proposals. Our attorneys know that doing business with government agencies is very different from working in the commercial sector. Effective legal representation in government procurement matters requires a thorough understanding of procurement law and the units of state and local government.
The Procurement law is designed to ensure fairness and competition. We handle bid protests at the agency level, as well as bid protest appeals before quasi-judicial bodies like the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals (MSBCA). In these proceedings, we can defend our clients as “interested parties” against a disappointed offeror’s challenge to a properly awarded contract. We also represent “protesters” in challenging the government’s contract award decision when it is flawed and not in accordance with the solicitation’s selection criteria or other applicable rules and regulations.
When a large government contract goes awry, the dollar amount at stake can be staggering. We can assist in drafting claims, shaping entitlement theories, formulating methods of computing the amount of recovery, and processing and litigating claims. We handle a wide variety of claims involving change orders, constructive changes, and equitable adjustments under various standard government clauses.
Our attorneys represent clients in contract performance disputes before boards of contract appeal, and trial and appellate courts. Our work in this area includes:
- Preparing claims or requests for additional payment (equitable adjustments) related to a change in the scope of the contract;
- Recovering costs incurred as a consequence of defective specifications;
- Defending against government claims of non-performance;
- Responding to breach of contract claims;
- Resolving disputes between prime and subcontractors under government contracts;
- Representing clients in suspension or debarment proceedings;
- Resolving contract termination disputes; and
- Defending against “affirmative claims” and indemnification actions brought by the government.
Kahn, Smith & Collins has extensive experience in all forms of dispute resolution including mediation, arbitration, bench trials, and jury trials. If we are unable to obtain a satisfactory settlement, and after a complete assessment of the litigation risk and strategy, we do not hesitate to litigate claims. We fight efficiently and tenaciously for our clients. Our attorneys have successfully handled complex cases before state and federal courts, and state and federal administrative agencies.
Firm members have been recognized as outstanding among their peers in The Best Lawyers in America and Baltimore magazine, listed in 2010 Super Lawyers, and have achieved the highest AV peer review rating in Martindale-Hubbell.
Litigation Against the Government
The Procurement and Government Contract Litigation Practice Group of Kahn, Smith & Collins understands that litigation against the government can be very different from litigation among private parties. Litigation against the government can feel like fighting with your arms tied behind your back. Sovereign immunity, executive privilege, and strict notice requirements all pose inherent challenges to contractors. Few firms in Maryland have the experience of Kahn, Smith & Collins in successfully litigating cases against the government.
Legal Consultation and Referral Service
We take pride in the firm’s many accomplishments before state and local government, at the bargaining table, and in the courts. We are equally proud of our ability to provide individual clients comprehensive and effective legal representation.
If you are concerned about a government contract related issue, you should not hesitate to contact us. We will review your concerns to determine if we can be of assistance. Also, if you need representation outside of Maryland or in a specialized area of law which this firm does not handle, we will try to help you find a qualified attorney.