CO-CHAIR, GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS PRACTICE GROUP
Justin Chiarodo focuses his practice on all aspects of federal, state, and local procurement law. He has spent his entire career helping leading and emerging government contractors successfully navigate high-stakes litigation, compliance, and regulatory matters. Recent engagements include the successful defense of a $6.7 billion award in a major tactical wheeled vehicle procurement, managing the government contracts aspects of a $250 million acquisition of a leading digital services provider, and defeating a $10 million False Claims Act suit based on the public disclosure bar.
Justin’s experience extends to the full range of issues contractors encounter in the public sector marketplace, including bid protests, government investigations, contract claims and disputes, cost accounting and audit matters, regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, suspension and debarment, and the False Claims Act.
Chambers USA notes that Justin is “[c]alled ‘an emergent presence in the government procurement law space.’” Chambers also states that sources say he “is a fantastic lawyer who is very responsive and understands how to resolve complex issues in a timely manner” and that he “is highly skilled and knowledgeable, with the ability to oversee a complex process with agility.”
Justin has represented contractors in more than 50 bid protests before all major protest forums, including procuring agencies, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”), and the Court of Federal Claims, as well as in protests at the state and local level. In addition to defending contract awards, he has a proven track record of obtaining injunctive relief, corrective action, favorable merits decisions, and significant settlements on behalf of clients. With more than 20 published decisions, Justin’s significant protest wins include Lockheed Martin Corp. v. United States, 124 Fed. Cl. 709 (2016) (successfully defeating preliminary injunction alleging range of protest allegations involving administrative record exceeding 300,000 pages in major defense procurement); AllWorld Language Consultants, Inc., 2012 (2016 CPD ¶ 12) (sustained protest of GSA Schedule contract award where putative awardee’s FSS contract did not meet solicitation requirements); and Wyle Laboratories, Inc., (2014 CPD ¶ 16) (precedent-setting sustained decision regarding the impact of corporate transaction on proposal evaluations).
False Claims Act Investigations and Defense
Justin maintains a nationwide False Claims Act (“FCA”) defense practice focused on counseling, government investigations, and litigation. Justin has represented clients in False Claims Act investigations and litigation in the Eastern District of Virginia, District for the District of Columbia, Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois, Northern District of California, Eastern District of Arkansas, and Western District of Washington. This extends to the defense of both companies and individuals in qui tam litigation. He has successfully resolved False Claims Act matters implicating hundreds of millions of dollars in exposure. Among other issues, Justin has handled False Claims Act matters and investigations involving logistics contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan, technology alliances, export control issues, defective pricing, Trade Agreements Act compliance, and the General Services Administration (“GSA”) Schedule.
Ethics, Compliance, and Contractor Responsibility
Complementing his False Claims Act and investigations work, Justin has helped clients develop and strengthen ethics, compliance, and training programs, and has worked to ensure (or reinstate) contractor eligibility for federal programs. Justin has represented contractors before a wide range of federal agencies in responsibility matters, including the Army, Air Force, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, Department of Energy, Defense Logistics Agency, and Small Business Administration. He has represented contractors in suspension and debarment matters arising from civil and criminal investigations, and works closely with members of the Firm’s white collar criminal defense and investigations practice in criminal investigations involving government contracts.
In 2018, Justin co-authored the chapter “History and Development of Suspension and Debarment” in The Practitioner’s Guide to Suspension and Debarment, Fourth Edition (ABA Book Publishing, 2018).
Claims and Disputes
Justin seeks creative and early resolutions wherever possible in government contracts disputes. Where litigation is necessary, he brings experience representing government contractors at the trial and appellate levels in a broad range of contentious civil matters, from termination claims to breaches of contract to federal takings actions. He has served as lead counsel in government contracts disputes in both state and federal courts, and before arbitral forums. Justin has appeared before the Civilian and Armed Services Boards of Contract Appeals, Court of Federal Claims, and Federal Circuit, and has considerable experience litigating government contracts disputes in the Eastern District of Virginia and Virginia State Courts.
Mergers & Acquisitions and Transactions
Justin assists government contractors and their investors in evaluating and structuring mergers, acquisitions, and investments involving government contractors and government contracts. His experience extends to the fully panoply of issues arising in connection with investments and transactions involving government contracts, including small business program eligibility, due diligence, facility and personnel security issues , the mitigation of foreign ownership, control, and influence, and Anti-Assignment Act and novation matters.
Counseling and Regulatory Matters
Justin counsels clients on a wide range of government contract and regulatory issues, including disclosure obligations under the Mandatory Disclosure Rule, unsolicited proposals, cybersecurity, mergers and acquisitions, domestic preference provisions under the Buy American and Trade Agreements Acts, export control issues, conflict of interest issues and “revolving door” restrictions, small business and socio-economic programs, cost accounting, government audits, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, procurement integrity issues, and the GSA Schedule.
Outside the Firm
Justin is the proud father of three and among other things is a huge fan of Britpop, Madchester, and the new wave, and frequenting (when able) Washington, D.C.’s outstanding live music venues.