Government Contracts 2016: Analysis

Several international firms stand out for their strength and depth in this field, while a substantial number of leading individuals are listed from local and boutique firms. 

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Jonathan Davey Addleshaw Goddard, London
Totis Kotsonis Eversheds, London
Kate Rees Hogan Lovells, London
Cyrus Mehta Nabarro, London
Martin Schellenberg Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, Düsseldorf
Jan Byok Bird & Bird, Düsseldorf
Ute Jasper Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, Düsseldorf
Anna Ulfsdotter Forssell Advokatfirman Delphi, Stockholm
Philip Lee Philip Lee – Solicitors, Dublin
John Chierichella Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, DC
Angela Styles Crowell & Moring, DC
Jay DeVecchio Morrison & Foerster, DC
Mark Colley Arnold & Porter, DC
Karen Manos Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, DC

Hogan Lovells leads our listings for the second year running with exceptionally strong European and US practice groups. Kate Rees is seen as “the doyenne of high-end procurement law cases in the UK”. Ciara Kennedy-Loest, who splits her time between the London and Brussels offices, is an “exceptionally knowledgeable and user-friendly” counsel; clients “wouldn’t hesitate in recommending her”. The firm’s US presence is based in the capital. Government contracts practice area leader Thomas McGovern is well known as “a strong litigator” and “an excellent choice” among both peers and clients. The “outstanding” Michael Mason is a prominent figure in bidding challenges for multimillion-dollar contracts before the Government Accountability Office.

Bird & Bird is seen as a leading player in European procurement law matters, particularly in relation to IT and telecoms procurement. In London, Roger Bickerstaff is the EU’s leading lawyer in relation to large-scale technology projects, according to respondents who add that he’s “intelligent and innovative in his advice”. Jan Byok has a largely unrivalled reputation in Germany for his “outstanding procurement practice”; he is many peers’ first point of referral in case of a conflict. Denmark’s procurement practice head, Peter Dann Jørgensen boasts “a highly respected practice” focusing on bidding strategy and compliance. As one respondent notes, “He is responsive, as well as a very practical and solution-driven advisor.”

Dentons is prominent in both the Canadian and European markets. In Berlin, Wolfram Krohn is very active advising on some of the biggest tender contracts in German and high-profile challenges before the ECJ. Clients report that he has “an excellent eye for detail” and is “very supportive throughout proceedings”. In London, Mark Bassett’s work is “practical and well-prepared” in relation to high-value procurement contracts. Mark Clough QC is an established figure in EU procurement matters and is seen as “a top adviser”. Michał Drozdowicz is also noted as a leader in Polish procurement matters. In Canada, Paul Lalonde is highlighted for his “excellent technical expertise” in relation to government contracting law.

Crowell & Moring ranks highly in the US with five prominent names featured. Chair of the firm Angela Styles previously served as administrator for federal procurement policy and currently counsels clients on procurement ethics and compliance, as well as civil and criminal fraud matters. Respondents note that she is an “undisputed authority” and “her submissions always get to the heart of the issue”. Thomas Humphrey is “absolutely brilliant and very supportive throughout fraud and criminal proceedings”. David Bodenheimer is “a renowned and vastly experienced figure” in the field and is known to work “tirelessly for his clients”. John McCarthy Jr impresses commentators for his “strong depth of expertise”, while Peter Eyre is cited for his “excellent handling” of cases and compliance reviews.

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton is equally well regarded in this space with four leading lawyers. John Chierichella has longstanding experience in a broad range of government contracts matters, including bid protests, claims and representing clients in investigations before the civil authorities. He is widely praised, with peers noting that he is “the doyen of the bar”. Jonathan Aronie is very active in high-profile matters before the Department of Justice, the Government Accountability Office and the General Services Administration. Respondents say “he is very knowledgeable and client-driven”. Anne Bluth Perry and Keith Szeliga also rank among the leading figures at the DC government contracts bar.

Eversheds has an impressive procurement team across Europe. In London, Totis Kotsonis draws praise from across the continent and is seen as “one of the most active and instantly recognisable players in the market”. He acts for a wide range of public and private sector clients in both non-contentious and contentious matters, and he recently advised the UK Department of Transport on the award of railway franchises. Peter Curran leads the procurement practice in Belfast. He is “incredibly well regarded” and is mandated to act on many of the biggest procurement project in Northern Ireland, including the advising the University of Ulster on the procurement of its new £250 million campus and advising bidders on the Superfast Rollout Project. The “excellent” Tomasz Zalewski heads the procurement team in Poland and advising on bidding strategies and litigation. Meanwhile, Raiko Lipstok is seen as a “go-to figure” in Estonia.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek has the most prominent procurement practice in Germany, according to our research, with two widely endorsed lawyers. Martin Schellenberg regularly advises on some of the largest procurement contracts in the country. He is renowned as “a very calm and knowledgeable expert”, who employs both “a very practical” and “creative approach”. Ute Jasper is extensively experienced in procurement law matters and advising on high-value bids. In particular, respondents cite her as “the best lawyer for complex public transportation projects” and for “always being able to think out of the box and to contribute crucial ideas”.

Three further practitioners stand out as being among the most highly regarded in the US. Jay DeVecchio co-chairs Morrison & Foerster’s government contracts practice and covers all aspects of government contracts law. He is seen as the “strongest among the crowd” by numerous respondents who testify to his “deep knowledge and skillset in court". Mark Colley of Arnold & Porter is “as smart as they come” and “a first-choice counsel” for bid protests, claims and government investigations and related litigation. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher’s government contracts chair Karen Manos is described as “exceptional” and widely held to be “one of the leaders in the field”. She has over 30 years’ experience in a diverse range of government contract issues and stands out in particular for her expertise on accounting issues.          

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Sally Roe is well-known for advising public and private sector clients on high-value contracts and challenges. She is seen as “a top-tier practitioner”, who “conducts herself in a very professional manner in any given situation” and “provides practical and effective solutions”. Clients include the Olympic Delivery Authority, UK Ministry of Defence and Department for Transport.

At Borden Ladner Gervais in Toronto, Sean Gosnell ranks highly for his procurement, expropriation and land development expertise. Clients describe him as “a very effective team player”, who offers “thoughtful and practical advice in a timely manner”.

Phuong Ngo leads Gowling WLG’s national procurement group and regularly advises on bid protests and related litigation. She is “terrific”, according to respondents who note that she is “always motivated to do well for her clients” and “her advice is practical and well-presented”.             

Roberto Hernandez of COMAD SC acts on some of the largest procurement contracts in Mexico. Respondents praise his “diligent and responsive advice” and his “excellent drafting and negotiation skills”. 

Considered “a technically accomplished practitioner”, Júlio César Bueno at Pinheiro Neto Advogados wins praise as “an excellent strategist” who “never fails to deliver intuitive counsel” to clients. At Molino Ríos Abogados, Victor Ríos boasts “a stellar reputation in the Chilean legal market” and is widely recognised for his “remarkable understanding of international contracts” relating to engineering and construction projects.

Doug Jones AO is a “distinguished player” in the market with “tremendous experience” and an “astute mind”. 

Michael Bowsher QC is a “dedicated practitioner” who specialises in procurement law in both contentious and non-contentious situations. He is a “stellar advocate” and “truly top ranking” in the sector.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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