Represented computer software company in bid protest involving enterprise management system.
Government & Regulatory Affairs
For both to succeed, organizations and government must work hand in hand.
Political tides will turn, and administrations will come and go, but one thing remains certain—organizations and governments must work together to achieve shared goals.
From advising clients on specific legislation and regulation at all levels of government to giving industry and nonprofits a voice in the implementation of broad, sweeping actions by the federal government, Clark Hill provides detailed legislative, policy, and regulatory insights on issues directly affecting our clients in the context of broader geopolitical and market forces.
Understanding the problem
In today’s world of 24-second news cycles, the natural tendency is to act first, ask questions later. For many, getting it done is more important than getting it right.
Although we agree that time is always of the essence, we also believe intelligent, strategic analysis invariably leads to better solutions.
However, the ability to analyze should not be confused with a lack of agility or speed. We draw on insights gained over our decades of experience in federal and state government, with in-depth industry, regulatory, and legislative knowledge, to provide time-sensitive, strategic guidance at every step—whether planning a multiyear, multipronged lobbying campaign or responding to a rapidly unfolding crisis or opportunity.
Five roads that lead to results
Successful legislative and regulatory solutions require a well-tailored blend of thoughtful guidance, well-managed resources, and effective outreach. Our government and regulatory affairs team draws on the following to achieve our clients’ goals:
- Experience - Each member of our core team has decades of experience in key industries, trade associations, and government entities.
- Knowledge - To translate effectively, you must have more than simple familiarity with an issue. Our knowledge of subject matter is deep and wide.
- Relationships - As respected former industry and government insiders, we do more than open doors, we create them.
- Creativity - Change is indeed the only constant. We incorporate new information, respond in real time, and deploy innovative strategies.
- Collaboration - When needed, we draw on our vast resources and our network of external colleagues to design the best solutions.
Broad industry experience, exclusive client roster
We advise clients operating in nearly every industry of the modern economy. We have particular experience in development and funding in areas associated with today’s economy, including the following:
- Aerospace, military and civilian
- Biomedical research, healthcare, science, and technology
- Cybersecurity and data privacy
- Defense procurement and research
- Education and workforce development
- Homeland security
- Political law
- Public contracting
Clients come to us for the quality of our service and counsel. Likewise, we represent clients performing at the top of their game, including individuals, corporations, trade associations, and nonprofit entities.
Bipartisan coalition building
We are deliberately bipartisan, reflecting that on almost every issue that comes before Washington policymakers, both sides will have an opinion, and often, it won’t be shared. Even though political tensions are always high in Washington, governing still requires compromise at its basic level, and we work hard to help clients understand where areas of potential agreement lie on their issues. We have helped several national association clients increase their outreach to lawmakers and the administration to find areas of common concern and helped them fine-tune their messaging to appeal more effectively to both sides of the aisle. At the same time, we also help clients understand, navigate, and leverage the relevant legislative and regulatory processes. Our backgrounds and access on both sides of the political spectrum help us be our clients’ most effective advocates.
Creating or expanding federal programs
In an era when earmarks are no longer the currency by which entities can receive federal funds, our team of seasoned professionals has developed an effective model to create and grow programs from their research and development phase to full-scale prototype and acquisition. Whether in national security, civilian aerospace and technology, scientific research, or core programs central to the nation’s infrastructure, we can cost-effectively develop and implement plans for clients from a wide variety of industries and regions of the country.
Delivering higher education federal R&D funding strategies
Federal agencies with basic and applied R&D needs are always seeking the strongest and most capable partners who can help them accomplish their missions and deliver innovative solutions to vexing challenges.
We help many preeminent universities understand trends in federal R&D investments, develop targeted agency and Hill contact plans, and assist in developing capture strategies for key center-level grants and large cooperative agreements. We have the experience to help clients market their strengths and capabilities to a range of federal agencies and to understand how to become trusted partners of key program managers.
Helping clients develop successful federal public-private partnerships
We have helped transform a small congressional demonstration project into a full-fledged program of record, with more than 30 state partners, that helps the National Weather Service improve forecasts and severe weather warning times. Our intimate knowledge of federal science and mission agencies and their needs, coupled with decades of Hill experience, enables us to craft multidimensional strategies to build broad support to help move science and technology solutions from the private sector to the public sector proposed solutions to Department of Defense (DOD) needs.
Health and Biosciences Policy & Funding
Hospitals and academic medical centers depend on consistent treatment by CMS on various reimbursement policies, and we have experience getting in the trenches and helping clients make their case when adverse regulatory and reimbursement actions are proposed. Integrated agency and political strategies developed by our principals have successfully won hospital reclassifications and proper reimbursement for a specific cancer treatment center. In addition to our strong working knowledge of HHS and NIH, funding mechanisms and programs, we have also successfully helped clients establish major academic medical research efforts with other agencies such as the DOD.
The Department of Defense (DOD) is the federal government’s largest sponsor of research and development, and it has historically partnered with both academia and private industry to meet its mission requirements. Because the DOD is so “mission-focused,” most of its Research & Demonstration funding is applied rather than basic research. We have excelled in providing insights on not only annual DOD budget requests, but also on key mission requirements to help clients understand how and where they might partner with the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines to bring discoveries, technologies, and devices into their research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) processes. We also have the knowledge to help clients understand how their innovative solutions can make their way into the procurement process and the operational side of the DOD. We have worked closely with the committees of jurisdiction on numerous key R&D and weapons acquisition programs and their budgets as well as helping clients approach various RDT&E commands through the “front door” to match proposed solutions to DOD needs.
Contracting with federal agencies
The federal government, at all levels, is a major procurer of every conceivable good and service, from office supplies to software and IT services to the construction of public buildings to complex manufacturing for advanced defense systems. For many businesses, selling these goods and services to the government presents them with tremendous opportunities but also with significant challenges and risks. Our government contracting attorneys have longstanding relationships with decision makers at all levels. Because we understand how government contracting works and we understand the government’s many needs, we can be very effective working on behalf of our clients’ federal business objectives. Visit our Public Contracting page for more information.
Corporate and trade association compliance
In today’s climate, corporations, trade associations, and nonprofit organizations that want to engage in the political process face an overwhelming amount of roadblocks and red tape. We help clients navigate this complex process by counseling organizations on choosing the most effective path to convey their desired message and result. Whether an organization wishes to lobby, create a political action committee or advocacy organization, or contribute to a specific cause, our immense experience helps clients fulfill their goals.
Election, ethics, and lobbying compliance
Our bipartisan Political Law team has direct experience with federal and state lobbying compliance, pay-to-play and government ethics rules, as well as campaign finance and election laws. Several of our team members have served as elected officials and staff in the executive and legislative branches of federal, state, and local governments, as well as senior roles in political campaigns and political parties. Our experience includes representation of corporations and trade associations for federal and state lobbying disclosure filings, congressional ethics and gift rule compliance, representation of corporations and individuals regarding industry-specific federal and state pay-to-play rules, government ethics counseling, Federal Election Commission, congressional and executive branch investigations, and Foreign Agents Registration Act, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance.
Assist international companies doing business with the United States government and U.S. companies in dealings with foreign government.
Work with Congress on legislative issues affecting government contractors.
Represented companies relative to Corporate Compliance Programs and related policies.
Represented defense contractor on USAF Joint STARS program to reverse deductions to target cost and target price where Government had canceled certain line items of contract after work was performed.
Represented systems integration contractor on Space Station Program in $90 million bad faith termination for convenience claim against NASA.
Work with Federal agencies to resolve issues before they necessitate claims and litigation.
Represented companies regarding Export Administration and Munitions matters including Technical Assistance Agreements.
Represented precision welding equipment manufacturer in defective specification and change claims on construction of electron beam particle vapor deposition machine for Penn State Naval Applied Research Laboratory.
Representation of construction company in equitable adjustment claims before Court of Federal Claims involving loss of efficiency and increased field overhead for construction of NASA Space Station Processing Facility.
Represented companies in voluntary disclosures and internal investigations.
Our client, Daniels Building Company, was the successful awardee of a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs construction contract to renovate existing kitchen and food storage areas at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center in Battle Creek, MI. The procurement was set aside for award only to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (“SDVOSB”) approved through the VA’s Center for Verification and Evaluation (“CVE”). After announcement of the award, a disappointed unsuccessful offeror filed a SDVOSB status protest challenging whether Daniels Building was actually a SDOVSB and thus ineligible for the contract award. Daniels Building engaged Clark Hill to defend this protest, which if sustained could have potentially destroyed our client’s business due to its dependency on federal SDVOSB set-aside contracts.
The protestor alleged that, through two separate joint ventures with two different companies with no connection to the VA’s procurement award, that Daniels was (1) controlled by a large company and thus no longer small; and/or (2) was controlled by non-veterans in conflict with the VA’s regulations. The protestor also alleged that Daniels Building fraudulently obtained its SDVOSB certification by intentionally filing false information with, and withholding key information from, the VA. The Clark Hill team of Bret Wacker, Stuart Schwartz and Nicole Tersigni prepared, in the mandated 5 day response period, a detailed brief demonstrating Daniels Building is in fact owned and controlled by a service disabled veteran; and that the protestor’s attempts to defame and discredit Daniels Building Company were without basis in fact or law. The VA agreed with Daniels Building that its joint venture relationships had no bearing on the ownership or control of our client, and that the protestor’s evidence was not compelling enough to overturn Daniels Building Company’s SDVOSB certification. Our client is now able to move forward with contract performance at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center.
Oversaw major employee qualification audit arising out of municipal patronage hiring.
Facilitated and ensured City cooperation with federal investigations, including for U.S. v. Sorich and U.S. v. Sanchez Shakman/patronage cases and Operation Crooked Code bribery cases
Oversaw major class actions, including challenges to $100 billion pension reform legislation and enhanced retiree healthcare payments.
Successfully oversaw litigation at arbitration, trial, appeal, and Illinois Supreme Court regarding the closure of State facilities and employee layoffs.
Supervised responses to numerous agency audits. Participated in audit exit conferences and testified in front of the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission.
Led drafting of statewide employment administrative order regarding Rutan’s prohibition on political hiring and creating additional internal controls.
Served as member of three-person senior management team, overseeing collective bargaining negotiations, resulting in $900 million in healthcare savings for the State.
Advised Governor and negotiated with the General Assembly and the City of Chicago regarding gaming expansion. Met with gaming and racing stakeholders. Oversaw expert consultant regarding financial impact.
Served as lead in-house attorney on legislation regarding governance, creation, design, build, operation and maintenance of Chicagoland’s third major airport through public/private partnership.
Successfully managed challenge to $31 billion capital bill, seeking to strike down entire bill.
Negotiated dissolution of nation's first lottery private manager contract.
Served as State's lead negotiator on omnibus procurement bill
Oversaw day-to-day legal operations for State for federal Stimulus.
Oversaw legal review of all new and amended State of Illinois administrative rules, including in the areas of professional regulation, insurance, human services, and public health.
Served as lead attorney, as Deputy General Counsel, on the sale of Thomson Correctional Center to federal government.
Resolved a significant dispute in favor of a client with the Defense Contract Audit Agency regarding the allowability of deferred compensation costs
Successfully defended a “software-as-a-service” provider in a protest of a NAFI contract award
Represented a large security firm in successfully protesting the award of a security contract at the Harry S Truman Library and Museum
Negotiated the terms of the largest Stimulus Act construction subcontract at Savannah River Nuclear Site
Represented a manufacturer of advanced wiring systems on combat helicopters in bid protest of an adverse award of a $15 million Navy contract
Obtained a reversal of a U.S. Army decision excluding a client from a multi-billion dollar cloud computing contract procurement
Developed a government contract compliance plan for a multi-billion dollar global home products company
Crafted a “go to market” government business development strategy for a top 10 global independent software developer
On behalf of a leading IT hardware and software reseller, successfully prosecuted a bid protest before the Government Accountability Office resulting in a $7 billion Air Force ID/IQ contract award in favor of the client
Represented the largest non-profit in Las Vegas in overturning an adverse $20 million Ability One contract award of services at Nellis Air Force Base
Obtained approval of the EPA in the novation of a $90 million Great Lakes dredging contract on behalf of local marine construction company