Joseph W. Whitehead’s practice covers a variety of government contracting issues including transactions, litigation and compliance.

Practice & Background

Mr. Whitehead assists government contractors with compliance, transactions and disputes from the bid and proposal stage to contract closeout. He has experience assisting major government contractors with complex issues and small businesses that have just received their first government contract, grant, cooperative agreement or other agreement. Mr. Whitehead’s experience includes compliance programs, mergers and acquisitions, prime and subcontract drafting and analysis, standard terms and conditions, contract negotiation, bid protests and appeals. Mr. Whitehead also assists government contractors in international transactions and Foreign Military sales.

Mr. Whitehead’s government investigations experience includes the defense of inquiries conducted by government agencies in connection with the False Claims Act. Mr. Whitehead has experience in business and government contract disputes, complex civil and commercial litigation and FCPA investigations.

Mr. Whitehead has spent a significant amount of time in the Middle East advising clients on aerospace and defense contracts and other legal and regulatory matters.

While pursuing his J.D. at the University of Texas, Mr. Whitehead served as an editor of the Texas Review of Law and Politics. He clerked for the Honorable Susan G. Braden of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and from 1999 to 2004 he served on active duty with the United States Air Force.

Representative Matters

Mr. Whitehead’s recent engagements include:

  • three in-house secondments to assist with government contract compliance and transactions. During these secondments, Mr. Whitehead worked closely with in-house counsel and business leaders to create policies, procedures, training materials and contract templates. The companies included a major medical device company, a military maintenance company in the Middle East, and a service provider.
  • representing clients in bid protest before agencies, Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Court of Federal Claims. For example, he represented a client in a series of protests of the Defense Logistics Agency’s award of a $330 million contract to provide food distribution services to the U.S. military in Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The incumbent contractor maintained the work through three successful protests and was awarded costs and fees related to the protests.
  • assisting clients with international bid protest issues in Africa and Guam
  • assisting major private equity firms in conducting due diligence on targets that are government contractors. He also assists with identifying and complying with disclosure and novation requirements.
  • negotiating contracts with U.S. and foreign governments and advising clients on compliance requirements and potential risk
  • drafting and negotiating agreements for government contract teammates, suppliers, vendors and subcontractors.
  • representing a defense contracting firm before the Armed Services Board of Appeals
  • representing construction and development firms in bid protests before the GAO
  • leading a pro bono representation of a non-profit organization with respect to issues regarding grant agreements with USAID and arbitration with prime contractors
  • advising clients with respect to internal investigations of potential statutory violations.

Community Involvement

Mr. Whitehead’s community, civic and charitable activities include being a:

  • member of the board of directors for the Air Force Academy Society of Washington, D.C.
  • founding member of the Service Academy Bar Association

Awards & Accolades

  • Named “Rising Star” by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers (2014-2018)