Government Contracts Bid Protests: Preparing for and Prevailing in Protests

Determining Whether, Where and How to Challenge a Contract Award

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, December 16, 2010

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will provide practical strategies and tactics for counsel advising businesses on how to navigate the federal contracts bid protest process. The panel will explain factors businesses should consider when deciding whether, where and how to protest an unfavorable contract award.


Companies that have not previously pursued federal government contracts are increasingly doing so in an effort to replace lost revenues. With more businesses competing for contracts, contract award denials are rising, leading to an increase in bid protests.

Bid protests provide an avenue for companies pursuing federal contracts to object to an agency’s contract award decision or to the terms and conditions of a proposed contract. Determining whether to challenge the denial of a contract can be a daunting decision for a business.

Companies and their counsel must have a detailed understanding of the bid protest process to increase their likelihood of success when challenging unfavorable award decisions. Poor decisions about whether, where and how to protest a bid can derail success.

Listen as our authoritative panel of government contracts attorneys discusses factors businesses should consider when deciding whether, where and how to protest an unfavorable contract award. The panel will provide best practices for navigating the bid protest process and meeting federal contract requirements.



  1. Bid protests — overview
    1. Current trends and statistics
    2. Pre-award bid protests
    3. Post-award bid protests
  2. Determining whether to protest
    1. Requesting a debriefing
    2. Strategies for the debriefing
    3. Post-debriefing strategies
  3. Determining where to protest — pros and cons of each
    1. Before the agency
    2. Before the Government Accountability Office (GAO)
    3. Before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  4. Best practices for bid protests
    1. Standing requirement
    2. Meeting filing deadlines
    3. Documents to file
    4. Remedies
    5. Recovery of fees
  5. Deciding (as contract recipient) when to intervene in a bid protest


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What factors should a business consider when deciding whether to file a bid protest?
  • How have the various bid protest forums determined who is an "interested party" with standing to bring a protest?
  • How can government contractors and their counsel ensure compliance with mandatory deadlines when filing a bid protest?
  • What are some effective strategies for prevailing in bid protests?


James J. McCullough
James J. McCullough

Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson

He heads the firm's Government Contracts Practice Group. His practice includes pre-award litigation and counseling on...  |  Read More

Nora K. Adkins
Nora K. Adkins
Senior Attorney, Office of General Counsel
U.S. Government Accountability Office

She works in the Procurement Law section at the GAO. As a senior attorney, she has presided over hearings and has...  |  Read More

Michael R. Golden
Michael R. Golden

Pepper Hamilton

He focuses on federal procurement law, including bid protest litigation, contract formation and negotiated...  |  Read More

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