Stevens & Lee’s administrative law and government contracts lawyers represent private companies who are working for or wish to work with the state of New Jersey and its authorities, counties and municipalities in the sale of the billions of dollars of goods and services that these entities buy annually. We provide comprehensive procurement services to our clients, from participation in the procurement planning process – and from the government entity’s initial decision to purchase the products or services – to the purchase of the service or product through solicitation of bids and implementation. We also assist clients seeking advice on existing public contracts, including compliance and performance-related issues.
Our attorneys assist in the development and review of contract specifications, as well as the challenge to specifications that may be restrictive of business or otherwise defective. We frequently work with government entities in formatting alternatives to publicly advertised bids. Examples include waivers of advertising, pilot or experimental projects, use of existing agreements from other government entities and other forms of public-private cooperation.
When a situation calls for a publicly advertised bid, we help clients explore different legal methods of finalizing contractual arrangements, including negotiations, pre-qualification and best-and-final-offer structures. We also assist in the preparation and review of proposals in response to requests for proposals by state and local government entities. When a bid has been denied, we advise clients on the bid’s viability, and have both successfully challenged and defended bid awards on behalf of our clients.
We ensure compliance with the myriad technical rules governing bid preparation and conducting business with government entities. We have extensive experience with bid execution and delivery, bonding requirements, shareholder disclosure certifications and affirmative action certifications and program compliance. For our clients who have existing government contracts, we regularly assist them in their ongoing compliance issues, and provide advice on change order requests, term extensions, contract assignments, subcontractors, penalties and mitigation, among other issues.
Our team also regularly represents clients in threatened suspension or debarment actions and before investigatory agencies, including the State Commission of Investigation, regarding public contract matters, and the Department of Labor regarding prevailing wage compliance and defense. We have extensive experience with OPRA and other public information requests or responses to requests. We also assist in review and response to ethical issues involving public contracting.