More Opportunities for U.S. Government Contractors

Press Release
Friday, May 18, 2012

LeClairRyan attorney successfully establishes before Federal Cout the right to challenge Government pre-procurement decisions

A recent precedent-setting U.S. Court of Federal Claims decision will result in more opportunities for contractors to bid on federal government procurement projects, according to LeClairRyan shareholder Thomas A. Coulter, who represented two software companies that claimed they were unfairly denied the right to compete for a large project under federal procurement laws.

"The May 2 decision by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims broke new ground in two areas," reported Coulter, who works in the firm's Richmond, Va. and Alexandria, Va. offices and heads the firm's Government Contracts practice area team. "This is the first time that the right of contractors to challenge the federal government's pre-procurement decisions has been recognized in a situation where the government didn't issue a procurement vehicle. Equally important, it places a check on the government's ability to use a private party for procurement decisions in an attempt to eliminate the protection of procurement laws and protest rights."

"Since the Federal Circuit's ruling in this case establishing jurisdiction for pre-procurement challenges, more than 20 other contractors have filed similar pre-procurement decision appeals," Coulter said. "My clients were concerned that the government's use of a third party for procurement would become a common practice and that they and other contractors would miss out on more opportunities issued under the protection of the federal procurement laws and regulations. We are all pleased that this important issue has been resolved in a way that protects contractor procurement rights."

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