Bid Protests

When a federal, state or local government agency fails to conduct a procurement fairly and in accordance with statutes and regulations, a prospective contractor has the right to file a formal bid protest that challenges the government's actions and contract award. The attorneys in Holland & Hart LLP's Government Contracts Group have more than 50 years of combined experience representing companies in bid protests, both pre-award and post-award and have been counsel of record in more than 100 bid protest actions. We help our clients ensure that the competition is conducted on a level playing field and that the agency adheres to legal requirements in making its award. We also represent clients defend an award they received when a disappointed bidder files a protest against the award decision.

Our bid protest experience extends to all available forums, including federal agency-level protests, the United States Court of Federal Claims and the Government Accountability Office. We are well-versed in the differences among these forums and the strategies that are necessary to be successful. We also have significant experience at the state and local level, appearing before many state and local administrative tribunals that hear bid protests.

In addition, we have a practical working knowledge of the rules applicable to contractor debriefings and help our clients prepare an effective debriefing strategy. After the debriefing, we are often better able to provide our clients with advice as to whether a protest might prove successful and, if so, the specific types of government corrective action that might follow.

Prior to filing a bid protest, we work with clients to develop an overall strategy intended to result in the award of a contract rather than just "winning" a bid protest. We focus on the client's goal of meeting the government customer's needs and help develop a strategy that can result in increased business rather than just litigation. This may include discussions with the government to address an issue without resorting to legal action, or it may include forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Whatever course is taken, our focus is on helping our client use the bid protest procedures to protect its rights and help it successfully pursue government business opportunities.


Representative matters include:

  • Successfully defended against a bid protest in the Court of Federal Claims filed by a disappointed bidder for a $950 million multiple contract award by the Air Force for manufacture and delivery of combat aircraft
  • Represented the disappointed bidder in a Court of Federal Claims bid protest challenging the award of a U.S. Postal Service contract for computer hardware valued at several hundred million dollars. The court granted award of bid and proposal and bid protest costs
  • Represented the disappointed bidder in several successful Court of Federal Claims bid protests challenging the General Services Administration's award of a contract to develop the next generation Federal Business Opportunities portal
  • Represented the incumbent contractor in a successful bid protest at the Government Accountability Office and, subsequently, the Court of Federal Claims, challenging a $250 million environmental remediation services contract
  • Represented a bidder in a pre-award agency level protest that reversed its exclusion from the competitive range on a large Department of Health and Human Services procurement. The bidder later received award of a contract valued at approximately $400 million
  • Represented several contractors in different industries in connection with disappointed offeror debriefings and bid protests involving California's Strategic Sourcing Initiative (SSI) designed to reduce the State's supplier base for commodity items
  • Successfully defended against a bid protest filed by a disappointed contractor for a $160 million contract for computer hardware awarded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This single-source award was the largest of its type ever awarded by the Commonwealth
  • Represented disappointed bidder before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals in CDA claim involving Army National Guard breach of fair opportunity to compete contract requirement. Favorable decision resulted in precedential interpretation of statutory language for certain small business set-aside programs

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