Government Services

  • Overview
  • Attorneys
  • News
  • Publications

The Government Services Group is dedicated to helping federal, state and local governmental entities implement new initiatives and existing transactions or contracts, design programs, and advocate through legislation, administrative procedures, or litigation. We have counseled numerous federal agencies and more than 100 state and local governmental entities throughout the United States. Kutak Rock is one of the few law firms in the country that can be accessed under the GSA Schedule, allowing us to commence our representation of governmental clients quickly after a need arises.

Our team also advises private and non-profit entities on their interactions with federal governmental entities, including contracting, public-private partnerships, grant applications and implementation, and legislative advocacy.

Representing clients on all sides of the table has afforded us a unique perspective and invaluable insight into the issues concerning governmental entities, developers, contractors, lenders, investors, rating agencies, and non-profit entities. Understanding the goals and needs of all parties enables us to assist clients to efficiently and effectively accomplish their goals.

Our areas of focus, which are each described below, include:

  • Public-Private Partnerships (“P3”) and Public-Public-Private Partnerships (“P4”)
  • Acquiring, Disposing and Utilizing Federal Real Estate
  • Government Contracts
  • Regulatory/Programmatic Development
  • Legislative Guidance
  • Addressing Unique Federal Environmental Law Matters
  • Public-Private Partnerships (“P3”) and Public-Public-Private Partnerships (“P4”)

Kutak Rock has represented federal clients in approximately 40 P3 and P4 transactions resulting in a capital investment of over $15 billion. On the private side of federal government transactions —primarily for lenders, developers, bond insurers and state and local governments—we have provided legal services in more than 70 P3 transactions resulting in a capital investment of more than $15 billion. Further, we have worked on approximately 100 state and local government P3 transactions.

Our firm has significant experience analyzing the underlying legal authorities and processes of governmental entities, addressing construction, land use, local government approvals and management agreements, negotiating subcontractor agreements and other issues of the developer, and addressing financing issues, securities and tax law issues, rating agency concerns, and other issues of both the lenders and investors. Our firm has the unique experience of assisting state and local governments negotiating P4 transactions with federal agencies for utilities, fire and police services, and other municipal/state services.

We often begin working with governmental entities at the conception stage of a P3 or P4 project. At this early stage, our team can offer valuable insights to help the governmental entity understand the pros and cons, limitations, and potential rewards of engaging in a P3 or P4 project. Leveraging our past experiences, we can help clients understand how similar projects are being accomplished in other jurisdictions and ask key questions that will enable the governmental entity to structure the project and solicit a partner in a manner that will achieve the governmental entity’s goals. For clients that elect to proceed with P3 or P4 projects, the Government Services Group regularly drafts requests for proposals (RFP) and other procurement documents, assists with the evaluation of proponents, negotiates and drafts all transaction documents, and supports the governmental entity with the implementation stage of the project, which has included amending transaction documents to expand scope, addressing changed circumstances, and, where necessary, terminating the project.

Acquiring, Disposing and Utilizing Federal Real Estate

We have helped clients participate in some of the largest federal real estate transactions—acquiring and disposing of thousands of acres across the country and creating development in achievement of a range of goals (such as job generation, new facilities, or revenue generation). The Government Services Group negotiates, drafts and implements deeds, enhanced use leases, leases, licenses, sharing agreements, service agreements, contracts, tasks orders, development agreements, and a wide range of other transaction documents. Through being involved in so many transactions, we are able to offer strategic advice to our clients about best practices and difficulties encountered in other similar transactions and efficiently draft any required documents. Our team also represents federal agencies to accomplish real estate transactions such as enhanced use leases, leases, easements, deeds, sharing agreements and other instruments to enable the federal government to further its mission or raise revenues. In addition, Kutak Rock has assisted governmental entities (in some instances, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice) to defend litigation and exercise its remedies under transaction documents when the transaction documents were breached.

Government Contracts

The Government Services Group assists businesses of all sizes and from all industries realize the full opportunity of doing business with the federal government. Our attorneys serve as business partners and help clients understand how the various agencies work, where Congress and commerce intersect, and, most importantly, how awarded contracts are managed and how to deal with disputes, including contested audits and false claims. We know what it takes to successfully compete in the federal, state and local governmental arenas, and we help clients navigate the often intricate process of obtaining, maintaining and managing contracts of all types for profitability while controlling risk.

Our experience covers every aspect of contracting with all major government agencies including: Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) compliance (including Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Service Contract Act (SCA), Davis-Bacon Act, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and related laws and regulations), Federal Acquisition Regulation and Office of Management and Budget cost principles, development of acquisition processes, review and revision of federal contracts, organizational conflicts of interest identification and avoidance, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reviews, small business set-aside program compliance, Technical Data Rights protections, assistance with teaming agreements and prime contractor/grantee-subcontractor relationships, assignment and novation of government contracts, assisting clients with bid/proposal preparation, bid protests, contract dispute litigation and litigation strategies, and dealing with the federal cost principles as they apply to contracts, grants and cooperative agreements.

Regulatory/Programmatic Development

The Government Services Group is regularly retained to assist governmental entities accomplish special projects, such as to design, structure and implement programs or transactions. Such services involve drafting legislation, regulations, Notices of Fund Availability, applications, handbooks and other operational documents. Additionally, we assist federal and local governments, non-profit entities and others to structure, apply for and implement federal grants and cooperative agreements. Our team leverages its knowledge obtained in this space to assist entities to undertake innovative projects, such as “pay for success” or “social impact bond” projects. When working for governmental entities, we always recognize and appreciate the unique role of in-house governmental counsel and collaborate with in-house counsel to ensure all governmental requirements are satisfied and necessary internal approvals are obtained.

Legislative Guidance

On behalf of federal agencies, the Government Services Group has written educational reports, Congressional reports and other materials to support federal agencies to explore new ideas, advocate changes, and/or explain desired subjects. On behalf of state and local government clients, we have drafted legislation, Congressional briefing materials, staff reports and other documentation which enables clients to implement legislative changes and educate key stakeholders on issues of concern. Further, our firm represents national associations and advocates for groups of local and state governments on several initiatives.

Addressing Unique Federal Environmental Law Matters

The use of federal real estate and other assets including federal funds may, under certain circumstances, require consideration of the physical and socio-economic environmental implications of the activity contemplated. Similarly, approval of a federal permit application may trigger such consideration. The applicability of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to such undertakings, the potential liability for remediation of contaminants resulting from the use of federal real estate, and the approval of necessary environmental permits are matters and processes with which the Government Services Group has extensive experience and expertise.