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Mayer Brown, a leading global law firm, has been named a “Practice Group of the Year” for 2012 in the Government Contracts category by the online legal publication Law360. The award recognizes selected firms based on the significance, size, complexity and number of matters on which they worked. View the article.

Law360 lauded Mayer Brown for two major wins in which the firm “helped its clients unseat incumbent contractors that had more than a decade of experience.” In the first matter, the firm secured a $1.9 billion contract for Lockheed Martin from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to assist long-term scientific research in Antarctica. In the other matter, Mayer Brown helped BAE Systems PLC defend a 10-year, $800 million contract to operate the Radford US Army ammunition manufacturing facility against a bid protest from the incumbent contractor who had held the contract since 1950.

Mayer Brown also “made its mark in the organizational conflicts of interest arena,” Law360 said, when it convinced the US Government Accountability Office and the US Court of Federal Claims to sustain protests from VSE Corp. and from Bechtel Infrastructure Corp. that involved former federal employees who went to work for contractors. The firm successfully opposed an improper conflicts of interest argument raised by the government when it attempted to rescind a $68 million award to VSE for support of the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force. In the Bechtel case, the protest brought by the firm was granted based, in part, on allegations regarding the improper conduct of a former high-level government employee. This matter involved a $700 million contract awarded to another contractor to install permanent pump stations and canal closure facilities in New Orleans.

The Law360 article quoted Mayer Brown Government Contracts partner Marcia Madsen (Washington, DC) on the rising importance of organizational conflicts of interest in government contract battles. “It’s an area where guidance is desperately needed, and these two cases flesh out what agencies need to think about when officials leave and what contractors need to think about before hiring a government official,” she said.

The publication also noted the firm’s involvement in several large government contracts protests in California.