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David B. Robbins

Partner

drobbins@crowell.com
Phone: +1 202.624.2627
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

David Robbins is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office. He is a member of the Government Contracts Group Steering Committee and a co-leader of the Firm’s False Claims Act Practice. David is also the primary author and editor of ABA Publication’s peer reviewed book The Procurement Fraud Guidebook: The System, Stakeholders, and Response Strategies.

David is a leading litigator and investigations lawyer practicing at the intersection of white collar defense and government contracts. His docket includes a broad range of litigation matters including civil False Claims Act, whistleblower reprisal defense, and prime/sub disputes. David also handles high stakes, complex internal investigations, strategic transactions, mandatory disclosures, claims, trade secrets litigation, ethics/compliance, conflicts of interest, fraud and public corruption defense, bid protests, GSA Schedule contracting, mandatory disclosures, Procurement Integrity Act, Anti-Kickback Act, and suspension and debarment matters.

David currently counsels clients on emerging issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • Government contracts transaction support for acquisition of emergency medical supplies.
  • Assistance with financing arrangements for healthcare supply transactions.
  • Government contracts advice and counsel in response to emerging COVID-19 issues, including customer requests for data, contract changes, and delays.

Legal500 calls David "a key name when it comes to investigations, suspension and debarment." David’s government service enables him to offer strategic advice based upon managing and coordinating thousands of past investigations, procurement fraud matters, and suspensions/debarments. David’s service included:

  • Director of Procurement Fraud Remedies for the Department of the Air Force, and the only fraud remedies coordination official in private legal practice.
  • Air Force Suspending and Debarring Official (acting).
  • Co-chair Department of Defense and NASA Procurement Fraud Working Group, which focused on inter-agency coordination with the Department of Justice, Offices of Inspector General, and other government agencies to address procurement fraud

David frequently publishes, speaks, and serves as an expert witness on government contracts topics. He also co-hosts the “Fastest 5 Minutes, the Podcast Government Contractors Can’t Do Without,” which provides a biweekly summary of significant government contracts legal and regulatory developments. The podcast can be found at crowell.com/GovConPodcast.

Recent Representative Experience

FALSE CLAIMS ACT LITIGATION AND INVESTIGATIONS

  • Successfully defended a surety company in a nationwide False Claims Act investigation.
  • Successfully defended manufacturer in False Claims Act case alleging quality failures.
  • Successfully defended manufacturer in a False Claims Act case alleging pricing issues.
  • Investigated and defended False Claims Act allegations discovered by client during pre-sale diligence; investigated, mitigated, and resolved allegations permitting sale of company.
  • Successfully defended multiple qui tam actions filed against clients in the construction industry.
  • Active False Claims Act defense efforts include clients in services contracting, insurance/reinsurance, cybersecurity/information protection, healthcare, construction, manufacturing, insurance, and small business set-aside markets and industries.

LITIGATION

  • Ficarra v. SourceAmerica (EDVA 2020), motion to dismiss with prejudice granted in whistleblower reprisal case.
  • Ficarra v. SourceAmerica (EDVA 2019), motion to dismiss granted in whistleblower reprisal case.
  • Advanced Systems Technology and Management, Inc. v. Guan (EDVA 2018), preliminary injunction granted in theft of trade secrets case.
  • JBL System Solutions LLC v. Williams et al. (EDVA 2019), precedential decision that proposed debarments are sufficiently final agency action to confer jurisdiction under Administrative Procedure Act.

WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL DEFENSE AND INVESTIGATIONS

  • Successfully defended company from allegations of criminal fraud in the disaster recovery contracting industry following issuance of target letter. No prosecution resulted. 
  • Successfully defended services contracting industry executive after receipt of target letter from U.S. Attorney’s office. Moved the executive from a target to a cooperating witness through multiple proffer sessions. 
  • Successfully defended several senior executives of services industry contractors following various allegations of criminal fraud.
  • Active white collar criminal defense matters include clients in the services contracting, manufacturing, parts supply, and foreign military sales markets and industries.
  • Routinely engaged as counsel to special committees of boards of directors to advise the board concerning risks in white collar matters.

INTERNAL INVESTIGATIONS

  • Investigated allegations of accounting, pricing, and expense related misconduct in multi-year contract. Successfully resolved matter through contract modification and ratification of prior conduct, including payment to contractor of outstanding invoices.
  • Investigated allegations of improper use of foreign nationals and non-U.S. citizens on government contracts. Successfully resolved allegations through contract administration and ratification of prior conduct. 
  • Conducted multiple investigations into allegations of bribery and Anti-Kickback Act violations, successfully preventing company liability in each instance. 
  • Investigated allegations of misconduct and human trafficking in international contracting. 
  • Investigated various matters alleging misconduct in supply chains, including suspected Anti-Kickback Act violations, sham suppliers, counterfeit parts, supplier cost and pricing misconduct, among others.  
  • Investigated allegations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and United Kingdom Bribery Act violations by foreign subsidiaries of U.S.-based companies. 
  • Investigated and successfully defended whistleblower reprisal allegations before multiple agencies including Department of Defense and NASA. 
  • Investigated and defended allegations of collusion in contract formation in construction-related contracts for civilian agencies.
  • Investigated and defended allegations of Buy America Act and Trade Agreements Act violations in military department contracts.

SUSPENSION/DEBARMENT DEFENSE

Successfully resolved dozens of suspensions and proposed debarments. Managed advance communications (including proactive disclosures as well as responding to Show Cause Letters and Requests for Information) with DoD and Civilian Debarring Officials concerning internal investigations, including allegations involving key senior executives. Successful representations include matters before: Departments of the Air Force, Navy and Army; Department of Homeland Security; Defense Logistics Agency; General Services Administration; Environmental Protection Agency; various Intelligence Community agencies; Department of Education; Department of Energy; Federal Highway Administration; Federal Transit Administration; and the World Bank, among others.

Education

  • University of Maryland School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Maryland, College Park, M.B.A., Robert H. Smith School of Business
  • Yale University, B.A.
  • Air War College, Professional Military Education

Affiliations

Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, Maryland, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Memberships

  • Co-Chair, American Bar Association Public Contract Law Section, Ethics, Compliance & Professional Responsibility Committee
  • Chair, Montgomery County Council's Procurement Task Force, 2015

View More

"The SBA Changes the PPP Eligibility Ground Rules – Providing New Calculation of Employee Count for Affiliates With Questions Remaining on Applicable Headcount for Applicants," Government Contracts Bullet Points (May 19, 2020). Contacts: Amy Laderberg O'Sullivan, Mana Elihu Lombardo, Paul J. Pollock, Olivia Lynch, David B. Robbins
Client Alert / Newsletter
"DPC Issues Section 3610 Draft Reimbursement Guidance," Government Contracts Bullet Points (May 19, 2020). Contacts: David B. Robbins, Peter Eyre, Stephen J. McBrady, Nicole Owren-Wiest, Gail D. Zirkelbach
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Fastest 5 Minutes: EEO-1, Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers, and Section 3610 News (May 15)," Podcast: Fastest 5 Minutes in Government Contracts (May 15, 2020). Contacts: David B. Robbins, Peter Eyre
Client Alert / Newsletter
"The SBA Extends the Safe Harbor Deadline for Return of PPP Loans to May 18, 2020," Government Contracts Bullet Points (May 14, 2020). Contacts: Amy Laderberg O'Sullivan, Mana Elihu Lombardo, Paul J. Pollock, Olivia Lynch, David B. Robbins
Client Alert / Newsletter
"The SBA’s PPP Safe Harbor Deadline—of Tomorrow—Remains Firm With Added Protection on Smaller Loan Amounts," Government Contracts Bullet Points (May 13, 2020). Contacts: Amy Laderberg O'Sullivan, Mana Elihu Lombardo, Paul J. Pollock, Olivia Lynch, David B. Robbins
Client Alert / Newsletter
What Contractors Need To Know About The Paycheck Protection Program Construction Dive (May 13, 2020)
Media Mentions
"COVID-19 Enforcement: Players, Risks, and Preparation Strategies," Crowell & Moring Webinar (May 8, 2020). Presenters: James G. Flood, Thomas A. Hanusik, Mana E. Lombardo, Rebecca Monck Ricigliano, and David Robbins.
Speech/Presentation
"COVID-19 Enforcement Actions Surrounding Stimulus Funds," White Collar Alert (May 7, 2020). Contacts: Amy Laderberg O'Sullivan, Daniel L. Zelenko, Mana Elihu Lombardo, Laura Schwartz, David B. Robbins, Paul M. Rosen, Rebecca Monck Ricigliano
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Preparing for COVID Investigation and Enforcement," Government Contracts Bullet Points (May 4, 2020). Contacts: David B. Robbins, Rebecca Monck Ricigliano, Byron R. Brown, Tiffany Wynn
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Updated Section 3610 Guidance," Government Contracts Bullet Points (May 1, 2020). Contacts: David B. Robbins, Stephen J. McBrady, Nicole Owren-Wiest, J. Chris Haile, Michelle D. Coleman, Skye Mathieson, Charles Baek
Client Alert / Newsletter

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with more than 500 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity. The firm has offices in Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, London, and Brussels.

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