Contracting with the U.S. Government is a complex process with huge benefits for both the government contractor and the requiring activity.  The process includes developing an agency requirement, market research, acquisition planning, requesting proposals, evaluating proposals, awarding the contract, administering the contract and then closing out the contract.

Each phase of the process has a myriad of potential legal issues that can be avoided or positioned for successful resolution.  Understanding these issues can help eliminate disputes before they arise, resolve disputes as they appear, and, ultimately, help establish a strong relationship with the agency.  That relationship is key to positive results, successful contract completion, and a positive past performance rating for winning more government contracts.

To that end, there are several “focus areas” that are worthy of highlighting and are significant practice areas for Ward & Berry:

Focus Areas

Bid Protests

The ability to challenge the award or proposed award of a government contract is critical to ensure the government contracting process is transparent and provides “full and open competition” for all responsible offerors.

REAs, Claims, Appeals

Contract changes inevitably affect costs associated with government contracts.  The ability to request equitable adjustments and submit claims is essential to ensuring contractors are compensated for their good faith performance.


Government Contract Compliance Programs are a fundamental part of protecting and insulating businesses in the performance of a government contract.  Businesses need solid government contract compliance programs, policies, and processes to fully perform all requirements in a government contract.


The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program are a vital part of the government reinvestment in small business innovation.  These programs offer non-dilutive government funding for research and development initiatives that address government needs while developing for commercialization.

Other Transaction Authority

Other Transaction Authority and “Other Transactions” (OTs) were created to give the DoD the flexibility necessary to adopt and incorporate business practices that reflect commercial industry standards and best practices into its award instruments.  OTs gives the DoD quicker access to state-of-the-art technology solutions.

Teaming and Joint Ventures

Being able to leverage the capabilities of other companies to compete for government requirements is an important part of competing in the innovation ecosystem.   The collaborative benefits include helping companies become competitive for requirements that they otherwise would not, while building additional capacity, expertise, and past performance.