government contract bid protest

Former Government Contracting Officials & Bid Protest Attorneys – We Have Worked For Federal Agencies and are Familiar With the Mistakes Made in the Government Contract Protest Process 

Only US Court of Federal Claims Bid Protests & Appeals to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

We Work With Small, Medium and Larger Contractors Who Have High-Stake Cases and Want to Protest Government Contract Awards at the US Court of Federal Claims

Filing a protest takes a special approach. Although you know that something has gone wrong, the question is how should you present the issue before the court.

Having a government contract protest attorney who has been on the government’s side and is familiar with the various mistakes made by the agency, puts us in a better position to fight on your behalf.

Avoid Jurisdictional Challenges in the Government Contract Protest Process and Agency Attempts to Throw Your Case Out

When government contractors file a bid protest before federal courts, if you do not have the jurisdictional rules in place, you will more than likely have to fight the government’s motion to dismiss.

This can cost tens of thousands just to handle that specific issue.

Already Received a Decision in a GAO Protest? We Can Help

If you have already filed a bid dispute at the GAO and received an adverse ruling, our government contract protest Attorneys can help you prepare a new protest at the US Court of Federal Claims (COFC).

The COFC bid protest approach is not a direct appeal of the GAO decision. Instead, the COFC will certainly treat the case as a new protest. 

However, the Court will review the GAO protest record. This can be tricky, depending on the basis for your protest. Our law office can help.

What are Common Mistakes to Avoid?

– Make sure that you do not craft a government contract protest as a mere disagreement with the agency’s source selection decision.  This will almost always get the case dismissed.

– Do not raise an issue that the Court has no subject matter jurisdiction to here

– Do not file a government contract protest case, if you are not an interested part or have a substantial chance of receiving the award

Why do Contractors Come to Us for Direction When They Protest Government Contract Awards? 

Contractors come to us for direction when they protest government contract awards because they need experienced legal representation that can effectively guide them through the process.

  • Our goal is to help our clients avoid the most costly mistakes when litigating government contract protests.
  • We take the time to look at every possible angle and decide the best approach to filing or defending a bid protest.
  • Our bid protest lawyers have years of experience working with government contracting agencies and understand the intricate regulations and procedures that govern protests.
  • We have represented government contractors, helping them to secure awards or overturn unfavorable decisions through corrective action by government agencies.
  • Our team is well-versed in the applicable statutes, regulations, and the government contract protest process. 
  •  We are also familiar with Court of Federal Claims protest procedures, Appeals to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, as well as filing agency-level protests.
  • Our government contract protest attorney possess a deep understanding of contract administration processes and contractor responsibility determinations — essential elements for a successful bid protest.
  • We show our clients that spending resources upfront to assess the merits can save tens of thousands in litigation that has no true merit.

At our law firm, we specialize in helping contractors to file bid protests that have merit.

(No Attorney Can Guarantee that Your Protest Will Win.) Our goal is to ensure that you are able to make your case without being burdened by the complexities of the process.

We strongly believe that effective legal representation is essential for any contractor wishing to protest government contract awards.

With our help, you can rest assured that your case will be backed by the knowledge and experience necessary to achieve success.

Difference Between US Court of Federal Claims Protests and GAO Bid Protests

The primary difference between US Court of Federal Claims (COFC) bid protests and Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid protests is the type of relief available.

  • When cases are high-level high-stakes, our bid protest lawyers advise our clients that an advantage of filing a bid protest with the COFC is that this court permits more expansive discovery. In comparison, GAO may only permit the agency to produce documents specifically relevant to the protester’s arguments. This can create a disadvantage for our clients because they want expansive discovery to see what and how the agency came to its decision.
  • GAO decides its case within 100 days. Whereas the Court of Federal Claims may take longer. Yet, clients tend to prefer the fact that there are actual federal judges who decide bid protest cases at COFC.
  • The cost of filing a bid protest at GAO is less expensive than at the COFC .
  • When litigating a case at the COFC, attorneys from the Department of Justice (DOJ) represent the government instead of the agency attorneys at GAO.
  • When GAO issues an unfavorable decision, you file a new protest at the COFC (note that filing a new protest at COFC is not  a direct appeal of the GAO decision.)
  • There is no automatic stay at the COFC – you have to file a temporary restraining order. However, you can acquire an automatic stay at the GAO.
  • If you miss the GAO protest deadline, you can still file at the COFC.

We File COFC Bid Protest at the Court of Federal Claims

Given the formality and discovery allowances at the COFC, our bid protest lawyers prefer to file at the Court of Federal Claims.  Clients who have high-level contracts sometimes prefer to file at the COFC for some of the above reasons.

We understand that filing a bid protest can be an intimidating process, which is why our law firm is here to help you every step of the way. Our team of experienced attorneys will provide you with the representation and guidance needed to ensure that your case has a chance for success. See HWI Gear, Inc. v. United States, No. 20-930 (Dec. 29, 2020)

Pre-Award Protests

Pre-award protests include challenging defects in the solicitation or the solicitiation’s terms.  Apparent ambiguities, incomplete terms and whether the solicitation is created to favor one contractor over another, or whether the government created unwarranted restrictions on the solicitation.

The timeline for filing a  pre-award protest against any improprieties in the solicitation – must be filed before the closing date set for receipt of proposals

What Must a Successful Bid Protest Prove?

To prevail in a bid protest, the protester must demonstrate that the federal agency’s actions were either “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law.” Additionally, the protester must show that their proposed solution is reasonable and would result in a fair outcome. To prove these points, a successful protest must include evidence such as the agency’s decision-making process and any other facts pertinent to the case. Call our government contract protest attorneys for immediate help.

It is important for contractors to understand how their bid was evaluated when filing a bid protest.

Equally important, we advise our clients that the role of the judge in a bid protest case is not to second guess the source selection decision. Instead, the court looks for whether the decision was unreasonable, an abuse of discretion, or not in accordance with procurement laws

What Mistakes Must Government Contractors Avoid in Bid Protest Litigation?

Contractors must adhere to all instructions related to the litigation process. This includes the requirements listed in the solicitation, as well as any additional information provided by the agency. Failing to comply with instructions may result in an unsuccessful protest outcome.

Understand the grounds for protest. Government contractors must also understand what types of grounds are permissible for filing a bid protest and which ones are not. Generally, protests must be filed within 10 days from when a contractor knew or should have known about the basis of the protest, so it is important to act quickly.

You must provide factual and legal evidence to support their claim in order to be successful in their bid protest.

Avoid simply disagreeing with the agency’s decision. When your argument ultimately just shows a disagreement, courts will quickly dismiss the case.

Call Our Bid Protest Lawyers Today.

If you have recently been awarded the contract and have to defend a bid protest (intervenor), or if you are the unsuccessful bidder and want to file a bid protest, call our professionals at 1.866.601.5518. You Must Act Quickly or Lose Your Rights.

Call Watson’s Government Contract Bid Protest Attorneys

Watson’s bid protest attorneys represent small businesses and large defense contractors throughout the United States and overseas. Call toll-free at 1.866.601.5518 for a Free Initial Consultation.[/vc_column_text]


Practice Leader

High-Profile Government Contractor Defense Attorney

Theodore P. Watson
Bid Protest Attorney & Consultant
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Kornacki government contracts compliance attorney
federal contracting claims and Agency protest

Wojciech Z. Kornacki
Bid Protest Attorney & Consultant
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Jo Spence
Attorney and Consultant
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Cheryl Adams
Attorney and Consultant
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To learn more about Watson & Associates, LLC or to set an appointment to discuss your case,  Contact the Court of Federal Claims and GAO bid protest attorneys at the law firm toll-free at 866-601-5518 or 202-827-9750 in Washington DC. 

We practice exclusively in federal contract law in Washington, DC and cannot use sensitive information gathered from previously-litigated cases to cause an unfair advantage for clients.