Federal Government Contract Claims & Disputes Lawyers

Federal Government Contract Claims and Contractor Dispute Lawyers Offering Nationwide and International Help For Contractors Needing Help to Increase Their Chances of Getting Paid in Federal  Contract Disputes Act Claims. We Help Contractors to Avoid the Most Costly Mistakes with Federal Procurement Claims.

federal government contract claims attorney and contract disputes lawyer

Almost every government contractor runs into an issue where extra work is needed or there is a change to the terms and conditions of the contract. Whether there is a change order or the contracting offer directs you to do something that is not in the contract, or you believe that the contract price needs to be equitably adjusted, FAR 52.223-1 Disputes Clause comes into play. Understanding the requirements of the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 also is critical to your success in getting the proper consideration for changes to the contract.

At Watson & Associates, LLC, we frequently help small businesses and larger DOD contractors to prepare, litigate and appeal government contract claims against various federal agencies. We understand that in many cases, the contracting officer may deny your claim for technical reasons and not so much on the merits.

When it comes to contractor claims against the federal government, our goal is to help you to carefully assess the details, and the contract terms and conditions.

In addition to providing federal contracting help, we are also government contract claims lawyers who frequently practice before the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA), Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA), US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the United States Court of Federal Claims.

Government Contract Claims and Contractor Dispute Lawyer Services

Regardless of your industry, you more than likely will have to analyze or decide how you want to proceed. When handling contractor breach of contract claims against the government, Our CO and Washington DC government contractor dispute lawyers stand ready to guide you through the laws and regulations that govern.

Call  Our Government Contract Claims Lawyers today. 1-866-601-5518 or 202-827-9750.

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

You must understand the legal requirements for submitting federal contract claims Under the Government Contract Disputes Act and FAR Disputes Clause

As stated earlier, the FAR Disputes Act is generally the underlying law that will protect you on the back end of your claim. Many contract claims against the federal government are disputed either for preparation and technical disputes.

Government Contractor Disputes Appeal Attorneys

For appeals and litigation at the Board of Contract Appeals or Court of Federal Claims, the contentions are usually whether there was a contracting officer’s final decision; whether the court has appellate jurisdiction to hear the case; the merits of the claim and whether the contractor is entitled to payment and damages. Our government contractor dispute lawyers help with these matters.

FAR 52.233-1 Government Contract Disputes Act Claim Requirements 

To meet the basic FAR 52.233-1 and Government Contract Disputes Act requirements for filing a federal contract claim to the contracting officer your claim must contain the following:

  1. A written demand or assertion or payment or some other relief under the contract. This must allow the contracting officer to have enough notice of what you are seeking
  2. The claim must be for a sum certain, adjustment or interpretation of contract terms, or other relief arising under or relating to a contract between the government and the contractor.
  3. Federal contract claims exceeding $100,000.00 must be certified by the contractor. You must certify that
    1. the claim is being asserted in good faith (this can implement false claims violations),
    2. the supporting data is accurate and complete to the best of the contractor’s knowledge,
    3. the amount requested is accurate, and
    4. the person asserting the claim is duly authorized to certify the claim.
  4. You must ask for a contracting officer’s final decision.

Tip: Federal contract claims that fall under the Contract Disputes Act must be filed within the six-year statute of limitations.

Tip: All Federal contract claims must be submitted to the contracting officer and no one else.

FAR 52.233 1 Disputes Requirements

FAR 52.223-1 spells out that “Claim,” means a written demand or written assertion by one of the contracting parties seeking (usually the contractor), as a matter of right, the payment of money in a sum certain, the adjustment or interpretation of contract terms, or other relief arising under or relating to this contract. 

FAR 52.223-1 also states that a written demand or written assertion by the contractor seeking the payment of money exceeding $100,000 is not a claim under 41 U.S.C chapter 71 until the contractor has certified the claim. A voucher, invoice, or another routine request for payment that is not in dispute when submitted is not a claim under 41 U.S.C chapter 71.

FAR 52.223 1 states that the submission may be converted to a claim under 41 U.S.C chapter 71, by complying with the submission and certification requirements if it is disputed either as to liability or amount or is not acted upon in a reasonable time.

Pass Through Claims Federal Construction Claims Lawyers

Our government construction claims and FAR disputes clause resolution services cover the full range of engineering/construction (A&E) claims between the government and the prime contractor, or pass through claims between the prime contractor and subcontractor.  As federal construction claims lawyers, we also provide help with Buy American Act compliance matters.

We understand that having a well-written and justifiable claim starts with a candid discussion with the contracting officer since they do not like surprises.  Our goal is to help clients to prepare a persuasive construction claim against the government.

Government Contract Disputes Act Statute of Limitations

 A claim by the Contractor shall be made in writing and unless otherwise stated in this contract, submitted within 6 years after accrual of the claim to the Contracting Officer for a written decision. Contractors are required to meet the Government Contract Disputes Act statute of limitations – no exceptions unless tolled. The timeline is also binding on the government. A claim by the Government against the Contractor shall be subject to a written decision by the Contracting Officer.

What are the Costly Legal Mistakes Seen With Claims Under the Contract Disputes Act of 1978?

Statute of limitations: Oftentimes, the contractor will have a legitimate claim. However, by not fully understanding how to calculate the statute of limitations under the Contract Disputes Act of 1978, government contract claims are submitted late. The contracting officer will have no problem denying the claim in its entirety. When you appeal the decision to the ASBCA, CBCA or Court of Federal Claims, the case may get dismissed because the statute of limitations has passed.

  • Your claim does not meet the CDA requirements 
  • No final written decision of the contracting officer
  • Appellate Court does not have jurisdiction

Help With FAR Release of Claims Form

One of the issues that come up more often is when there is a FAR release of claims form signed by the contract. Courts look at a release as a serious contractual obligation.  When a company executes a contractor release of claims that is complete on its face and reflects the contractor’s unconditional acceptance and agreement with its terms, the release will be binding on the government and the contractor. Courts tend to hold contractors’ feet to the fire on these issues.

Protect your company from dangerous court decisions: Sometimes, you may have resolved previous claims on the instant project that you have now submitted a new government claim. There are cases where the government has refused to pay due to an alleged accord and satisfaction because of the previous release of contract claims. This can be a serious hurdle to overcome. However, there are certain circumstances where courts have overturned the contractor release of claims. 

  • Do not simply sign the FAR release of claims unless you preserve what future issues you want to protect.
  • Make the reservation language in your lease clear that you are not waiving the specific issue at hand
  • Courts are very strict on contractor releases

Call Our Government Contract Claims Lawyers and Contractor Dispute Appeal Attorneys

If you are looking to conquer claims and contracting loopholes to avoid paying your company, Hire Watson’s federal government contract claims lawyers for help with the Contract Disputes Act of 1978.  Contact our Washington, DC government contractor dispute lawyers.

Call for a Free Initial Consultation. Toll-Free 1-866-601-5518.

We Practice Exclusively in the Areas of Federal Law in Washington DC.