FAR Termination for Default :: Termination for Cause

Termination For Convenience & FAR Termination for Default Lawyers

Whether the contracting officer issues you a notice of FAR termination for default or FAR termination for cause, the consequences are equally devastating.  Not only does the termination severely impact your ability to get future government contracts, but your business could also be destined for a downward spiral.

At Watson & Associates, LLC, we have former government contracting professionals who understand firsthand the errors made by contracting officers nationwide. Despite being a drastic sanction for small businesses and large contractors equally, the agencies sometimes unlawfully use this tool to send a message.

What Does Termination for Default Mean in a Government Contract?

When your contract is terminated for default, it means either a complete or partial termination of a government contract because of your actual or anticipated failure to meet contractual obligations.  Whereas, a FAR Termination for Cause is used for contract procurements for commercial items under FAR Part 12 – commercial contracts ( FAR 12.403).

Watson & Associates’ government contractor lawyers help companies aggressively defend and appeal contracts terminated for default or cause. We have actual experience working for federal contracting agencies and understand the mistakes they make.

Both a contract termination for cause or termination for default government contract action can severely cripple your business because of the leverage that the agency has to collect damages if successful on appeal. 

Under FAR 8.406-4 an ordering activity contracting officer may terminate individual orders for cause when the contract is issued under FAR Part 12 – commercial items. The FAR termination for cause shall comply with FAR 12.403, and may include charging the contractor with excess costs resulting from repurchase. In addition, the schedule contracting office shall be notified of all instances where an ordering activity contracting officer has terminated for cause an individual order to a Federal Supply Schedule contractor, or if fraud is suspected.  Under a FAR Part 12 termination for cause, the contractor can defend by asserting that the failed performance of the contract was excusable. If so, the ordering activity contracting officer shall follow the procedures at FAR 8.406-6, as appropriate.

However, under FAR Part 49, the contracting officer can terminate the contract for default when there is evidence to support the contractor’s actual or anticipated failure to perform its contractual obligations.

Watson & Associates, LLC provides experienced government contract termination attorneys to aggressively defend against improper and unlawful terminations for default or cause. We frequently represent small businesses and large defense contractors throughout the United States and overseas to get a FAR termination for default converted to a termination for convenience and or breach damages, if appropriate.

You no longer can make a profit on the contract that you worked so hard to get. If you receive a notice of contract default, having the best attorney to handle your case is imperative.

Termination for Default vs Convenience

In government contracting, the CO can terminate the contract for two reasons: termination for default (cause) and termination for convenience.

Termination for default vs convenience: A FAR termination for default, also known as a FAR termination for cause under FAR 12.403, occurs when the government terminates a contract because the contractor did not its obligations under the contract. This can include failing to deliver goods or services on time, not meeting quality standards, or breaching other terms of the contract.

 Termination for convenience, on the other hand, occurs when the government decides to end a contract for reasons unrelated to the contractor’s performance. This could be due to changes in government needs or budget constraints.

What is the Impact of a Government Contract Terminated for Default Clause or Cause?

 A government contract default or cause can be referred to as the ‘kiss of death” for a contractor that has serious consequences. Not only does it impair your chances to potentially do business with the federal government but you can also be subjected to paid progress payments, re-procurement costs, and more. The more obvious impact is that the default harms the contractor’s past performance rating when trying to bid on future contracts. For these reasons, it is often wise to investigate and even appeal the default.

FAR Termination for Default Attorney Services

With law offices in Washington DC and in Denver, Colorado, the government contract termination appeal lawyers at Watson & Associates, LLC can provide experienced legal counsel, litigation, and the following: 

  • Analyze and assess your specific facts
  • FAR 49 Termination for default Clause government contracts support(T4D)
  • Responding to FAR cure notices
  • Procurement law disputes and Court’s appellate jurisdiction
  • Terminations for convenience settlement proposal help
  • Show cause notice FAR responses
  • Providing legal advice from the early stages of the cure notice or show cause letter.
  • Help you apply the types of contract damages allowed and avoid excess costs incurred by the government;
  • Help with defenses such as latent defects in construction projects
  • Help to gather supporting documentation including agreements and communications
  • Assessment of liquidated damages in contract defaults 
  • Help you to prepare your settlement proposal under FAR termination for convenience clauses.
  • Help with contract negotiation with the relevant parties
  • Appeal the Agency decision on your behalf to CBCA, ASBCA or the US Court of Federal Claims
  • Default Termination appeals to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

To speak with a government contract disputes Attorney and your show cause notice of termination or appeal the contracting officer’s final decision, Call  1-866-601-5518 for a Free Initial Consultation. 


We help you to avoid the most costly mistakes when the agency terminates your federal contracts. When your contract is terminated for convenience by the government, the first thing that you should do is to assess the facts when you receive the termination for convenience letter to see if the agency is liable for a breach of contract. When the contracting officer determines that the contractor fails to prove its case may not always be a legal one.

  • When there is a contract action or contract default, you want to also see whether the facts of your case have merit for a potential appeal. 

Sometimes, assessing the wrongful actions upfront can save your company thousands of dollars in litigation fees in termination for default cases. 

Without the proper approach to either situation, the agency usually wins. Your goal when there is a FAR termination for default is to make a determination whether you have a strong appeal case. You have to act quickly or lose your right to appeal.

At Watson & Associates, LLC our federal contract attorneys help small businesses and large DOD contractors to effectively deal with contract termination of procurement contracts and FAR compliance matters, and guide our clients to the next steps of appealing the contracting officer’s final decision.

Termination for Default Appeals and Litigation 

When the contracting officer determines that he or she, in the government s interest, will issue a FAR termination for default letter and a final decision, you must promptly make a decision to appeal or not to appeal to the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA), Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) or  U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC). Obviously, your business’s future is at risk. 

With the short appeal deadline before you, you want to have an appellate lawyer that can assess the facts and agency record and help you to decide whether there is merit to filing an appeal. Depending on the reason for your termination, you may also be investigated for false claims charges. If that is the case, our defense attorneys can also help.

See How to Defend Qui Tam and False Claims Act charges that Involve Government Contracts

When you appeal a termination for default, the court’s options are limited. The most common remedy is to convert the default into a termination for convenience. However, sometimes one may find that the government actually breached the contract. The remedy in those situations will be different.

You want to hire an experienced government contract termination for default appeal lawyer that understands how these cases are litigated. At Watson & Associates, LLC our goal is to seek out where the government committed a serious error and we can put your company back on track.

Federal Acquisition Regulation – FAR 52.212-4 Termination for Convenience (T4C) Legal Services 

Terminated for Default? Did You Receive a Notice of Termination or Termination Letter From the Contracting Officer?

If yes, then your next steps are critical. A T4C government contract relates to the federal government’s unilateral right to end performance on an existing contract for legitimate reasons.

This level of termination can be for the entire contract or part of the contract. Companies subject to this level of statutory termination, however, have to be for legitimate reasons by the government. Federal contractors are sometimes unaware of what those legitimate reasons are.  

When it comes to federal contract defaults, claims, and other actions,  companies also are unaware of their legal rights, the appeals process, or statutory allowable damages when the agency terminates the contract for convenience. This is where Watson’s government contracts lawyers can help.

Termination for Convenience Settlement Proposal Help

When the government legitimately terminates your contract for convenience, our attorneys and consulting help you get to the next steps.  Our FAR 52.212-4 termination for convenience settlement proposal consulting includes helping you to prepare and submit a viable settlement proposal that articulates your claims; qualifies your claims to meet statutory allowable recoveries.

  • Contracting Officers will usually find a way to either reject your claims or try to settle a lower price.
  • Understand how termination and settlement strategies must keep your company’s future in mind.

Converting a Termination for Default into a Termination for Convenience

At the end of the day, a contractors’ main goal after the CO issues a default termination is to get it overturned on appeal. As a general rule, the only remedy that the appellate court has is to covert the termination for default to one of convenience. Y

ou will have to show that the government’s contract termination was not justified. You will have to also raise legal defenses that have been presented to the contracting officer.   If you claim breach of contract damages on appeal, you must show that either directly or indirectly, you presented your issue to the CO at the agency level. Watson’s termination for default appeal lawyers can help with the common problem.

Can a contractor terminate a government contract? Generally no. The termination clauses are primarily for the government’s benefit.

Overseas & Nationwide Government Contractor Termination Washington DC Appeals 

Our Government termination for default (FAR Part 49 T4D) and termination for cause lawyers provide legal counsel to federal government contractors throughout the United States and overseas including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Virgin Islands. In addition to T4C government contracts, we also provide terminations for default consulting to clients in Dubai, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UK, and Middle Eastern regions. Find out more about debarment of government contractors.

Call Watson’s FAR Termination for Default Clause Appeal Lawyers

To maximize your damages for convenience terminations or help appeal federal government contract termination for default clause cases, call our Colorado or Washington DC T4D and T4C government contract lawyers. Call  Toll-Free 1-866-601-5518.

Watson & Associates’ government contract law lawyers represent clients with government procurement claims, FAR termination for default government contracts disputes, termination for cause, settlement proposals for contracts terminated for default, litigation and appeals in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and Boards of Contract Appeals if the government is terminating a contract for cause.

Watson & Associates, LLC Only Practices Exclusively in the Areas of Federal Law in Washington DC.