Blank Rome’s Government Contracts Group Named Practice Group of the Year by Law360

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We are pleased to announce that our Government Contracts group has been named a Practice Group of the Year by Law360, which honors “the attorney teams behind litigation wins and major deals that resonated throughout the legal industry this past year.”

Learn more on our website.

Proposed Greenhouse Gas Rule Previews New Compliance Frontier for Government Contractors

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Michael J. Slattery and Justin A. Chiarodo ●

For over 18 months, the Biden Administration has discussed incorporating certain climate-change measures into the federal procurement system. A recent proposed rule forecasts where the Administration may be headed. In a nutshell, the proposed rule would require contractors receiving over $7.5 million in annual contract obligations to disclose greenhouse gas emissions. And it would require those receiving over $50 million in annual contract obligations to also set greenhouse gas reduction targets. Though the rule remains open to comment (through February 13, 2023), the FAR Council has tentatively tied compliance with the rule to responsibility determinations—making this a key new compliance frontier for many government contractors. This post summarizes the proposed rule, including implementation and enforcement mechanisms.

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Background

Climate change has been a procurement priority since early in the Biden Administration. In May 2020, the President issued Executive Order (“E.O.”) 14030, which directed the FAR Council to consider amending the FAR to require contractors to publicly disclose greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and climate-related financial risk, have these entities set science-based GHG-reduction targets, and ensure that federal procurements minimize climate change risk.

Continue reading “Proposed Greenhouse Gas Rule Previews New Compliance Frontier for Government Contractors”

November 9, 2022: “Legal and DoJ Matters”

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Blank Rome partner Justin A. Chiarodo will serve as a panelist at Federal Publications Seminars and Capital Edge Consulting’s 2022 Government Contract Accounting and Regulatory Update, being held November 9 and 10, 2022, in Arlington, Virginia.

Justin’s session, “Legal and DoJ Matters,” will take place Wednesday, November 9, from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m., and the panel will cover settlement and judgments from recent civil fraud and false claims, penalty assessments, and emerging issues.

For more details, visit our website.

New York Law Journal: Recent Developments in U.S. Supply Chain Security

Preparing for Compliance Risks Under the ICTS Rules, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, and the National Critical Capabilities Defense Act

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New York Law Journal, September 22, 2022

Anthony Rapa and Justin A. Chiarodo ●

Supply chain security remains a key bipartisan policy goal and burgeoning compliance risk area. This article examines three recent initiatives that exemplify these trends: the regulations on securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services supply chain, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, and the proposed National Critical Capabilities Defense Act.

Companies with cross-border supply chains should assess their exposure under these emerging regimes and prioritize their compliance efforts accordingly. The risk profile is greatest for companies developing technology and software across borders; companies importing items produced in (or incorporating components produced in) the Xinjiang region of China; parties seeking to invest in certain critical capabilities outside the United States; and government contractors that may be exposed to foreign adversaries in their supply chains.

Information and Communications Technology and Services Rules

One pillar of the U.S. government’s developing architecture for supply chain security is the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (Commerce’s) regulations on Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services (ICTS) Supply Chain (ICTS Regulations), set out at 15 C.F.R. Part 7. Promulgated pursuant to Executive Order 13873, the rulemaking identifies the ICTS supply chain as critical to “nearly every aspect” of national security, acknowledging the degree to which American government, business, and the economy at large rely on ICTS. See Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain, 86 Fed. Reg. 4909 (Jan. 19, 2021).

The ICTS Regulations empower Commerce to review, prohibit, or restrict specified “ICTS Transactions” that present national security risks. The term “ICTS Transactions” is defined broadly to include: “any acquisition, importation, transfer, installation, dealing in, or use of any information and communications technology or service, including ongoing activities, such as managed services, data transmission, software updates, repairs, or the platforming or data hosting of applications for consumer download.”

You can read more on our website.

C4ISRNET: Congress May Tighten Scrutiny of U.S. Investment in Foreign Technologies

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C4ISRNET, September 1, 2022

Justin A. Chiarodo and Anthony Rapa ●

Building on recent national security initiatives to shore up the protection of U.S. critical assets from strategic adversaries (notably including China and Russia), Congress is considering new government powers to review outbound U.S. investments in certain high-technology sectors.

Inbound foreign investments in key sectors are reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). However, screening of outbound investments – a so-called “reverse CFIUS” – would be new, and could significantly impact industries ranging from aerospace and defense to fintech to pharmaceuticals.

How did we get here?

The last several years have witnessed an accelerated national security pivot from the twenty-year global war on terror to strategic competition with major state adversaries. Unclassified assessments of the U.S. national security posture reveal significant threats in domains ranging from artificial intelligence to hypersonic weapons to energy, many of which have been exacerbated by the theft of U.S. technology. The legislation proposing a “reverse CFIUS” review would seek to counter these threats by adding new controls to the flow of U.S. capital and intellectual property abroad.

The contemplated regime formally originated with the proposed National Critical Capabilities Defense Act (NCCDA), which passed the House of Representatives in February 2022 as part of the America COMPETES Act of 2022, H.R. 4521, a larger package focused on U.S. domestic semiconductor production and other aspects of U.S. competitiveness (certain elements of which, not including the NCCDA, eventually were signed into law as part of the CHIPS and Science Act in August 2022). Most notably, the NCCDA would create a Committee on National Critical Capabilities (the “Committee”), with authority to review – and block – covered outbound foreign investments.

You can read more on our website.

June 28, 2022: “Emerging Issues and Trends in Government Investigations and Fraud Enforcement”

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Jennifer A. Short headshot image

Blank Rome partners Jennifer A. Short and Justin A. Chiarodo, chair of the firm’s Government Contracts practice group, will serve as presenters for the CLE/CPD online webinar, Emerging Issues and Trends in Government Investigations and Fraud Enforcement, hosted by the Association of Corporate Counsel’s National Capital Region (“ACC NCR”) on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. EDT.

For more details, visit our website.

Blank Rome’s Government Contracts Practice and Attorneys Highly Ranked in Chambers USA and The Legal 500

Chambers USA 2022

Chambers USA 2022 recognized Blank Rome as a leader in Government Contracts nationally in “The Elite Legal Rankings” and ranked Justin A. Chiarodo and David M. Nadler.

Chambers noted that clients say that Justin “is a skilled and service-minded lawyer who cuts to the chase and avoids red tape” “He is an excellent leader and superb relationship partner” and that Dave “is a terrific lawyer who anticipates issues and is forward-thinking about his advice.”

To view all of Blank Rome’s Chambers USA 2022 rankings, please visit our website.


The Legal 500 United States 2022

Blank Rome was ranked as a “Recommended Firm” in the area of “Government: Government Contracts” and several of our Government Contracts attorneys were highly ranked and recommended in The Legal 500 United States 2022, including:

“Leading Lawyers”: The Legal 500’s Guide to Outstanding Lawyers Nationwide

  • Justin A. Chiarodo
  • Scott Arnold

“Next Generation Partners”: The Legal 500’s Guide to Up-and-Coming Lawyers Nationwide

  • Dominique L Casimir (Government: Government Contracts)

Recommended Attorneys

  • Dominique Casimir
  • Justin Chiarodo
  • Luke Meier
  • Scott Arnold
  • Stephanie Harden

Key Lawyers

  • Scott Arnold
  • Dominique Casimir
  • Luke Meier
  • Stephanie Harden

To view all of Blank Rome’s Legal 500 United States 2022 rankings, please visit our website.

June 23, 2022: “Significant Regulatory and Litigation Developments—from Bid Protests to Vaccine Mandates—and Beyond”

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Justin A. Chiarodo will serve as a panelist at American Conference Institute’s 13th Advanced Forum on DCAA & DCMA Cost, Pricing, Compliance & Audits, being held June 22 and 23, 2022, in Arlington, VA.

Justin’s session, “Significant Regulatory and Litigation Developments—from Bid Protests to Vaccine Mandates—and Beyond,” will take place on Thursday, June 23, from 11:50 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

For more details, visit our website.

Blank Rome Government Contracts: 2021 Year-in-Review and Look Ahead for 2022

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As 2022 shifts into high gear, Blank Rome’s Government Contracts practice is pleased to share our 2021 Year-in-Review, covering key government contracts issues, recent practice news and recognitions, and our look at the year ahead.

Thanks to the continued trust and support of our clients and colleagues and our dedication to our Client Service Principles, we helped guide our clients through an unprecedented past two years, and look forward to partnering with them (and seeing more of them in person!) in 2022. We were particularly excited to welcome Partner Elizabeth Jochum and Associate Samarth Barot to our team.

We look forward this year to deepening our collaboration across our law firm through a new Blank Rome industry group dedicated to serving clients in Aerospace, Defense & Government Services (“ADG”). Leveraging technology to drive seamless collaboration, our ADG team brings together professionals with in-depth knowledge of the industry from across the firm to stay at the forefront of emerging trends, including government relations, human capital, cybersecurity & data privacy, insurance recovery, export controls, government enforcement, and mergers & acquisitions.

We continued to share our perspectives on the industry last year in many forums, from COVID-19 vaccine mandates to developments in cybersecurity regulations to M&A trends. Click here for our thought leadership from the past year.

Finally, if you have not already, we invite you and your team to subscribe to our Government Contracts Navigator blog, where we cover issues of importance to our government contracting community. Unlike other blogs out there, we keep a strong focus on the practical, with our clients’ day-to-day business considerations in mind. Interested in the greatest hits? We have included below a list of the top 10 most read posts in 2021. You can also follow us on Twitter @GovConBR.

Thank you for reading. We look forward to helping you succeed this year and beyond.

Justin A. Chiarodo
Chair, Government Contracts
202.420.2706 | justin.chiarodo@blankrome.com

Please visit our website to read our entire Blank Rome Government Contracts: 2021 Year-in-Review and Look Ahead for 2022.

Get to Know Our Newest Partner, Elizabeth Jochum

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Justin A. ChiarodoDominique L. Casimir, and Elizabeth N. Jochum

In late 2021, we were thrilled to welcome Elizabeth N. Jochum in our Washington, D.C., office as a partner in the Government Contracts practice. A skilled litigator and counselor with a significant background in white collar defense and investigations matters, Elizabeth joined Blank Rome from Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC, where she was a partner.

Elizabeth advocates for government contractors in bid protests before the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims as well as handles appeals before the Armed Services and Civilian Boards of Contract Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. She also represents contractors in size protests, determinations, and appeals before the Small Business Administration. Elizabeth advises prime contractors and subcontractors on a range of matters, including regulatory compliance, contract negotiation, due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, and change and claim preparation.

Now that she has settled in at Blank Rome, we took a few minutes to chat with Elizabeth to find out more about her background, interests, and approach to client service. Here are the highlights, so that you can get to know her!

Welcome (again) to Blank Rome! We are so excited to have you on our team! What brought you to Blank Rome?

Thank you! I am so thrilled to be here, the transition has been incredibly smooth thanks to how welcoming the firm and group have been to my clients and me. I was drawn to Blank Rome because of the government contracts group’s incredible reputation. I have also had the opportunity to work with several members of the group on various matters and speaking engagements so had no doubt they were exactly the kind of smart, business-minded, and collegial people I hoped to work with. I also wanted to offer my clients a broader range of support outside of government contracts—particularly on labor & employment and corporate issues. Blank Rome has incredible capabilities in those areas as well.

Continue reading “Get to Know Our Newest Partner, Elizabeth Jochum”
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