FAR Termination for Default


The government contract lawyers at Watson & Associates, LLC provide aggressive legal counsel to small businesses and large companies doing business with the federal government. We understand the limitations and rules that contracting officers must follow when issuing government contract termination for default actions.

As federal procurement attorneys, we help clients throughout the United States and overseas to navigate through the termination for default process and also with the following:

  • Responding to cure notices and show cause letters
  • Appealing the contract termination for default action to the respective Board of Contract Appeals or Court of Federal Claims
  • Litigation and negotiations to have defaults turned in to termination for convenience
  • Consulting and preventive guidance
  • FAR compliance and outside counsel services
  • Help with terminations that lead to investigations and suspension and debarments

What is the termination for default clause?

Government contracts can be terminated in part or whole by the contracting officer (CO). The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR Part 49) allows the CO to protect the government’s interests when he or she makes a reasoned decision that the government interests are at risk. Contract termination for cause is another name for termination for default. It means that the government must prove that there is a justifiable reason for the ultimate decision.

What can lead to a default termination?

During the contract performance stage, your company may display signs that lead the government to believe that you will not meet the contract requirements ( anticipatory repudiation) and that the agency is at risk of non-performance. The contracting officer can issue you a cure notice, and later a show cause letter. If any of these tools fail, then the agency may issue a notice of contract termination.

How our government contract default termination lawyers help you

When the contracting officer issues a termination of contract notice, you must act quickly. If you plan on appealing a government contract termination for cause, you will want to retain legal counsel for proper representation in one of the federal procurement appeal courts.

Watson’s government contract lawyers provide aggressive legal representation to clients across the United States and overseas. We assess cure notice responses and show cause letters to the contractor. We help clients to minimize any response claims that the contracting officer attempts to come after you for. We help with various termination clause actions, legal defenses, termination appeals to the various courts, and more. At the end of the day, our government contract appellate attorneys work hard to help you accomplish the goal of converting default decisions into a termination for convenience.

Given the short appeal deadlines, call our law firm and speak in confidence to our termination for default attorneys. 1-866.601.5518.

How do you respond to termination by default letters from the CO?

There are many risks associated with getting a notice of contract termination from the CO. If you end up with a default, your past performance in government contracting will be at risk and you may not be able to do business with the government in the future. You can respond to the termination for default decision in two ways.

First, submit a reconsideration request to the contracting officer. This can be risky because he or she may not respond. Be aware that the reconsideration may not stop the clock for filing an appeal.

Second, and most common, you can appeal the default decision to the Armed Service Board of Contract Appeal (ASBCA), the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. This is the point where you may want to seriously consider hiring a termination for default lawyer.

  • Appealing government contract cases have specific deadlines
  • FAR termination for default regulations do not automatically allow for tolling of the appeal deadline

How do courts look at government contract default actions?

Courts look at an agency’s default decision as a “drastic sanction” and put the burden of proof on the government to prove that the default was justified. However, as a contractor, you still have an uphill battle to show that the decision was unreasonable. This your federal contract dispute lawyer proves to be valuable.

Legal defenses

  • Excusable Delays
  • Waiver of Contract Due Date
  • CO’s Failure To Follow Procedural Requirements
  • Defective Specifications and Impossibility
  • CO’s Failure To Exercise Discretion
  • CO’s Abuse of Discretion
  • Substantial Completion (Construction and Supply Contracts)

Appealing government contract termination for default decisions

When the contracting officer issues a notice of contract termination, you can appeal the decision to the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) or United States Court of Federal Claims (COFC). In either case, you must act promptly. Each court has its own rules that you must follow.

Be mindful that appealing government contract default decisions to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit also have certain deadlines and court rules to follow. Our attorneys can explain and represent you in these matters.

Termination for Default Resulting from COVID-19

There seems to be a small trend of contract default actions that relate to COVID-19. Get termination for default consulting or hire a government contracts attorney at Watson for immediate help.  Read More About How Do Federal Government Contractors Deal With COVID-19 Problems.

When should I call my attorney?

If you have been served with a notice of contract default, your company’s future is at risk. Getting the facts in place and preparing for an appeal takes time and effort. This is the time to contact an experienced FAR termination for default attorney.

Next Steps

Tips to help you get the most from a consultation with your government contract defaults and terminations lawyer.

  • Before your consult, write down the questions you want to be answered.
  • Have a decision-maker available to decide the next steps and make decisions about any litigation costs etc.
  • At the consultation, write down the options and key points that your contract default lawyer discusses.

For immediate help with government contract litigation, call the Watson & Associates law firm at 1-866-601-5518.


If you have received a notice of default letter and need help with unlawful terminations and dispute resolution, FAR termination for default government contracts appeals, contact our federal government contracts T4D attorneys to protect your contractor termination rights today.  Call for a FREE initial consultation – 1-866-601-5518.