Aerospace, Defense & Government Services

Overview

The aerospace, defense, and government services (“ADG”) industry continues to undergo dynamic growth as global defense spending rises, new threats and challenges arise, technological innovation accelerates, and supply chains become increasingly complex and intertwined.

With more than 60 professionals supporting the ADG industry across the firm, our market-leading team brings an multidisciplinary approach and bench strength to help clients navigate their most pressing issues, including bid protests, claims and disputes, government investigations and False Claims Act (“FCA”) defense, mergers and acquisitions, employment issues, insurance recovery, intellectual property, suspension and debarment, and international contracting.

What Sets Us Apart

Our multidisciplinary ADG team is well positioned to serve the unique needs of government contractor, aerospace, and defense clients regarding regulatory issues, transactional opportunities, and complex litigation. The team’s broad perspective helps our clients uncover new opportunities for success while avoiding delays and pitfalls.

How We Can Help

Our attorneys represent a variety of aerospace, defense, and government services clients in the following practice areas:

Government Contracts

Key Contacts: Dominique L. Casimir and Justin A. Chiarodo

Blank Rome’s preeminent Government Contracts practice brings a singular focus on providing the highest level of service to help clients in the ADG industry. Our team is the foundation of our success, with more than 20 attorneys focused exclusively on government contracts law and litigation, including:

  • Maintaining one of the leading bid protest practices, representing both protestors and intervenors in bid protest matters in federal procurements;
  • Maximizing recoveries on contractor claims involving some of the largest contractors and government programs, as well as successfully defending against government claims (including terminations for default and convenience); and 
  • Guiding companies and individuals through high-stakes suspension and debarment matters, helping to preserve continued eligibility for federal programs and benefits.
Mergers & Acquisitions

Key Contacts: Kipp B. Cohen and Dean S. Nordlinger

Blank Rome’s leading Mergers & Acquisitions practice has decades of experience providing businesses, including government contractors and their investors, with sophisticated analysis and advice in connection with mergers, acquisitions, sale transactions, and investment transactions in the ADG sector. Our practice is set apart by our proven track record in successfully closing transactions, deep industry knowledge, efficiency, and collaboration.

Drawing on the experience of our nationally recognized Corporate/M&A and Government Contracts practices, our integrated and multidisciplinary team handles all aspects of M&A transactions in the government sector, representing clients from start to finish, including structuring, documenting, negotiating, and closing transactions (as well as advising on post-closing integration and regulatory matters). Our significant depth and cross-disciplinary approach make us well suited to tailoring our due diligence and identifying issues and concerns (including non-apparent, but often very important) areas of risk. We also handle the full range of post-closing integration matters, including preparing and processing novation agreements, change-of-name agreements, cost accounting issues, ethics and compliance program enhancement, and addressing employee retention and key personnel matters.

White Collar Defense & Investigations

Key Contact: Jennifer A. Short

Blank Rome’s White Collar Defense & Investigations attorneys have extensive experience representing companies and individuals in the ADG sector in investigations and litigation, most notably involving the False Claims Act (“FCA”). Our FCA practice draws upon the experience of many former federal prosecutors and leverages capabilities from the firm’s government contracts; state, federal, and joint investigations & litigation; and white collar defense practices to provide comprehensive service and advice to our ADG clients, always with an eye towards the client’s overall business objectives and needs.

Cyber-Fraud Investigations & Defense

Key Contact: Justin A. Chiarodo, Sharon R. Klein, Jennifer A. Short, Paul H. Tzur

Blank Rome’s dynamic Cyber-Fraud Investigations & Defense team is comprised of attorneys from our White Collar Defense & Investigations, Privacy, Security & Data Protection, and Government Contracts Groups. With decades of extensive experience protecting companies in the ADG sector targeted under the False Claims Act (“FCA”), we are uniquely positioned to advise you on best practices, help you develop compliance and audit programs, and assist you with investigations and enforcement actions that arise from the U.S. Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) recent Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative.

Our knowledgeable and skilled attorneys advise ADG clients on potential cybersecurity risk areas and compliance with cybersecurity regulations and standards, working together across disciplines to:

  • Help companies identify if (and what) contractual and/or regulatory obligations they may have to the government;
  • Advise as to policies and procedures to implement to ensure compliance with existing and anticipated reporting obligations;
  • Respond to DOJ and Inspector General requests for information and documents that implicate cybersecurity processes, controls, and compliance;
  • Defend and resolve civil FCA allegations;
  • Assist with compliance initiatives to comport with regulatory requirements;
  • Review companies’ public statements regarding cybersecurity to assure that they are accurate (not false or misleading), including website postings and Q and K filings;
  • Document policies and procedures to demonstrate security compliance;
  • Assist in data mapping and risk assessments, and filling any identified gaps;
  • Conduct table-top exercises and support actual incident response;
  • Draft vendor management documents to assure that third-party suppliers also securely protect data;
  • Assist in documenting security in cross-border data transfers; and
  • Provide awareness training at every level from employees to directors and officers.
Labor & Employment

Key Contact: Frederick G. Sandstrom

Blank Rome’s nationally recognized Labor & Employment attorneys represent clients in a wide array of issues faced by the ADG sector, including employment, ERISA, and labor litigation and counseling. Our team is also at the forefront of many issues impacting the ADG industry, including addressing discrimination claims, EEOC charges, non-compete agreements, wage and hour claims, and Department of Labor audits.

Insurance Recovery

Key Contact: James S. Carter and David A. Thomas

Our Insurance Recovery practice works with policyholders in the ADG industry and takes a creative and business-minded approach to insurance. With decades of proven success in recovering billions of dollars on innovative theories, our clients turn to us for our analysis, experience, reputation, and record of success. We break new ground, making new law for our clients and shaping it for others with precedent-setting litigation, mediation, arbitration, and settlement strategies that lead to landmark rulings, new types of coverage, and major advances.

Intellectual Property & Technology

Key Contact: Dipu A. Doshi

Our Intellectual Property & Technology attorneys have substantial experience in effectively counseling the ADG industry on a full spectrum of IP matters, including patent prosecution, addressing IP and data rights disputes and, as necessary, litigating these issues. Our IP attorneys often collaborate with members of our firm’s Government Contracts practice group on issues arising both from efforts to win government contracts and performing ongoing contracts and government-funded programs.

Tax

Key Contact: Nicole L. Johnson

Blank Rome’s prominent State + Local Tax (“SALT”) team works with ADG clients to:

  • Obtain tax compliance certification necessary to proceed with a project;
  • Determine the proper tax treatment of the gain from the sale of a business;
  • Determine how to source sales for corporate income tax purposes throughout the United States; and
  • Provide assistance to resolve state tax assessments.
International Trade

Key Contact: George T. Boggs

Blank Rome’s International Trade attorneys have extensive experience in approvals by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”), U.S. export controls (including those administered by the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce), U.S. economic sanctions programs, customs and import regulation, anti-dumping and other trade remedies, foreign acquisitions of U.S. businesses, trade agreements, and defense industries. Our experienced team in Washington, D.C., is well positioned to assist domestic or overseas clients with global trade issues impacting the ADG industry.

Experience

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • UAV Factory, a global leader in tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (“UAV”) design and manufacturing, having delivered more than 300 aircraft to defense, intelligence, and commercial customers in more than 55 countries, in its sale to AE Industrial Partners (“AEI”), a private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense & government services, power generation, and specialty industrial markets.
  • J.F. Lehman & Co., a leading middle-market private equity firm focused exclusively on the aerospace, defense, maritime, government and environmental sectors, in connection with its acquisition of CodeMettle, LLC, in partnership with the company’s founders and management.
  • Avantus, NewSpring Holdings’ government services platform, in its acquisition of MissionTech Solutions, LLC, a Virginia-based consulting and solutions company in the national security space.
  • Darkblade Systems Corp., a provider of specialized capabilities to priority programs within the defense and intelligence communities, in its sale to Intrepid Solutions and Services LLC, a leading provider of IT modernization, cybersecurity, analytics, and advanced intelligence training services to customers across the U.S. intelligence community. Founded in 2010, and with deep roots in signals intelligence, electronic warfare, cybersecurity, counter improvised explosive device and counter unmanned aircraft system (“UAS”) domains, Darkblade Systems delivers a wide range of scientific, engineering, technical, operational support and training services.

White Collar Defense & Investigations

  • Defended major IT systems integrator in Department of Justice (“DOJ”) investigation of potential False Claims Act violations involving reseller and teaming agreements with Original Equipment Manufacturers (“OEMs”).
  • Conducted investigation of potential environmental regulatory violations by client’s subcontractor under federal facilities maintenance contract.
  • Responded to Office of Inspector General for subpoena of records related to engineering and design support provided for National Science Foundation research facility.
  • Represented SAIC in defending against the government’s claims that the company violated the civil False Claims Act by failing to disclose an asserted Organizational Conflict of Interest (“OCI”) to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”).
  • Represented CEO in criminal and civil DOJ investigation into alleged bribery, conflict of interest, and Procurement Integrity Act (“PIA”) violations during award of U.S. Navy contracts.
  • Represented executive in Army investigation of alleged bribery, gratuity, and kickback violations in conjunction with military training contract.
  • Conducted internal investigation to address allegations of retaliation under the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) based on former subcontractor’s asserted reporting of company’s fraudulent activity in government contracting practices.
  • Represented former executive of company specializing in secure government facilities engineering and management during government and internal investigation of potential price fixing activity.
  • Defended DOJ civil investigation into alleged manipulation and falsification of employee qualifications on behalf of Department of Energy Management & Operating Contractor
  • Defended whistleblower lawsuit filed under the civil False Claims Act.
  • Conducted internal investigation of allegations involving timekeeping fraud, small business subcontracting fraud, conflicts of interest, and improper cost & pricing analysis by Department of Energy Management & Operating Contractor.
  • Represented former executive in DOJ investigation of alleged violations of Small Business Administration affiliation rules in obtaining and performing supply contracts for the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and other federal agencies.
  • Represented Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (“SDVOSB”) in criminal, civil, and administrative investigations and proceedings resulting from third-party individual interference in company’s business activities.
  • Represented small business in disclosing potential False Claims Act violations to the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General.
  • Negotiated False Claims Act resolution based on conduct disclosed to the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General.
  • Represented former executive of company specializing in secure government facilities engineering and management during government and internal investigation of potential price fixing activity.
  • Conducted internal investigation to address allegations of retaliation under the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) based on former subcontractor’s asserted reporting of company’s fraudulent activity in government contracting practices.
  • Represented executive in Army investigation of alleged bribery, gratuity, and kickback violations in conjunction with military training contract.
  • Represented CEO in criminal and civil DOJ investigation into alleged bribery, conflict of interest, and Procurement Integrity Act (“PIA”) violations during award of U.S. Navy contracts.
  • Represented former contracts administrator during DOJ and Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) investigation into government contractor’s financial reporting activities related to U.S. Army facility contract.
  • Defended research university in qui tam/whistleblower lawsuit and government investigation into alleged violations of research facility support agreement with the Department of Energy.

Labor & Employment

  • Provided advice and counsel to a large government contractor on employee demand letter that includes potential compliance issues.
  • Advised a leading aerospace and defense company on wide variety of employment matters, including an ADA discrimination claim, an EEOC charge, and advising on non-compete agreements.
  • Represented a semiconductor manufacturer in multiple wage and hour claims, EEOC charges, a Department of Labor audit, and a variety of employment matters.
  • Represented a renewable energy company in connection with a wrongful discharge suit.

Insurance Recovery

  • Representation of a multinational healthcare, consumer goods, transportation and electronics, and safety and industrial conglomerate in various insurance coverage matters.
  • Representation of a financial services provider in insurance coverage disputes involving the aerospace sector.
  • Advised a large government contractor regarding:

    • Representation and warranties (“R&W”) insurance in a number of transactions in which it purchased other companies. We also advised this client on other types of insurance, including directors and officers (“D&O”), property, and cyber insurance.

    • Representation in insurance coverage litigation against one of its liability insurers relating to claims involving asbestos bodily injury arising from the historical use of asbestos at its U.S. shipbuilding facilities.

Intellectual Property & Technology

  • Successfully represented a global leader in engineered materials, optoelectronic components, and optical systems in a patent infringement lawsuit. A court in the Central District of California ruled in favor of our client and granted summary judgment, a complete victory.
  • Assisted a large government contractor with patents for its unmanned underwater vehicle technologies.
  • Secured a significant victory for Oshkosh Corp. by securing an early summary judgment in defending a patent infringement suit filed in the Court of Federal Claims.

International Trade

  • Counseled multiple global aerospace companies on compliance, enforcement, licensing, and disclosure issues surrounding U.S. export controls laws, including compliance with International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) and Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”).
  • Advised a U.S. chemicals manufacturer on suspension and debarment proceedings and export control compliance.
  • Advised an aviation company in connection with the U.S. export controls applicable to prior and future transactions involving aircraft with ITAR-controlled equipment installed.