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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 combines 20 years of experience in the government contracts and grants industry as a contractor, government official, and attorney. Clients and their Boards of Directors value David’s unique business perspective and deep knowledge of how to understand and influence the government’s perspective of critical issues, facts, and events.

David’s broad practice includes False Claims Act litigation, complex internal investigations, strategic transactions, mandatory disclosures, claims, trade secrets litigation, ethics/compliance, conflicts of interest, fraud and public corruption defense, bid protests, and suspension and debarment matters.

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

Engility Corporation General Counsel Tom Miiller calls David "an invaluable partner to in-house corporate counsel at all levels. I have always had high confidence in his counsel, in part, because of his deep expertise in the government contracts compliance space, his knowledge of the government point-of-view and his common sense. He has an innate grasp of the business perspective and, as a result, offers meaningful flexibility in addressing difficult and complex problems. His interpersonal and communication skills make him a natural in the board room, when needed. Finally, his sensitivity to the legal costs incurred by his clients makes him the ideal business partner."

David regularly speaks at government and industry conferences and events across the U.S. and internationally, including the Government Contracts Year in Review Conference sponsored by Thomson Reuters. He is the primary author and editor for the forthcoming book entitled The Procurement Fraud Guidebook: The System, Stakeholders, and Response Strategies to be published by the American Bar Association in 2019.

David 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

  • Led investigation and defense efforts following allegations of major fraud and False Claims Act violations in the services contracting industry; managed inquiries from multiple Offices of Inspector General and interactions with prosecutors and civil fraud attorneys.
  • Investigated and successfully defended False Claims Act allegations against companies in industries including healthcare, services contracting, manufacturing, and disaster recovery.
  • Defended multiple qui tam actions filed against clients in the construction industry.
  • Active False Claims Act defense efforts include clients in services contracting, healthcare, construction, manufacturing, insurance, and small business set-aside markets and industries.

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, and foreign military sales markets and industries.

SPECIAL COUNSEL, BOARD COUNSEL

  • Multiple engagements as special board counsel on procurement fraud investigations, impact on corporate strategy, and potential acquisition/diligence/sale issues.
  • Board counsel to international business facing global anticorruption investigation and enforcement actions.
  • Repeatedly engaged as special counsel to board members and senior management concerning issues identified in internal investigations of multi-million dollar contracts by professional services firms.
  • Served as special counsel to ownership group and board of directors of an Intelligence Community contractor during parallel investigations by multiple Offices of Inspector General.

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.

EXPERT WITNESS TESTIMONY

Qualified as an expert in the application for, compliance with, and sanctions for noncompliance with personnel security clearances and facility security clearances. Testimony assisted in obtaining a multi-million dollar verdict.

DISCLOSURES

Routinely leverage senior government and contractor experience to mitigate business risk in the Mandatory Disclosure process.

ETHICS AND COMPLIANCE

  • Regularly provide ongoing ethics and compliance counsel to contractors of all sizes and across industries, aligning with best practices. 
  • Provide training on ethics and compliance.
  • Develop and evaluate effectiveness of ethics and compliance policies and procedures.

TRANSACTIONS

  • Routinely advise buyers and sellers concerning government contracts aspects of corporate transactions.
  • Serve as special board counsel and/or special counsel to financiers concerning issues arising in diligence.
  • Proactively prepare contractors for sale by reviewing contract compliance and preparing for diligence.
  • Investigate allegations of impropriety that arise during diligence, advising financial institutions, buyers, and sellers through this process.

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

Crowell & Moring Partner David Robbins on Procurement Fraud Mandatory Disclosure And Suspension and Debarment Corporate Crime Reporter (November 8, 2019)
In the News
"Annual ISDC Reporting," Government Contracts Bullet Points (November 7, 2019). Contacts: David B. Robbins, Peter Eyre, Laura J. Mitchell Baker
Client Alert/Newsletter
"DOJ Announces Antitrust Strike Force Focused on Public Procurements," Government Contracts Bullet Points (November 6, 2019). Contacts: Shawn R. Johnson, Daniel L. Zelenko, Gail D. Zirkelbach, David B. Robbins, Juan A. Arteaga, Alexis Victoria DeBernardis
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Fastest 5 Minutes: DOL Enforcement, FCA, and VA Data Security News (November 1)," Podcast: Fastest 5 Minutes in Government Contracts (November 1, 2019). Contacts: David B. Robbins, Peter Eyre
Client Alert/Newsletter
An Insider's Guide To Avoiding Procurement Fraud Federal Computer Week (October 31, 2019)
In the News
"Anatomy of a Procurement Fraud Investigation," Crowell and Moring Training, Washington, D.C. (October 29, 2019). Presenters: David B. Robbins and Gail D. Zirkelbach.
Speech/Presentation
"Procurement Fraud and Enforcement," Government Contracts "101" - Back to Basics, McLean, VA (October 23, 2019). Moderator: Nkechi A. Kanu; Panelists: Trina Fairley Barlow, Brian Tully McLaughlin, David B. Robbins, and Gail D. Zirkelbach.
Speech/Presentation
Crowell & Moring’s David Robbins Launches Book on Procurement Fraud (Oct.18.2019)
Firm News/Announcement
"Federal Guidance," White Collar Alert (October 17, 2019). Contacts: Nimrod Haim Aviad, David B. Robbins, Rebecca Monck Ricigliano, Richard Stella, Gabrielle Trujillo
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Let's Talk FCA: Cybersecurity Risks (October 2019)," Podcast: Let's Talk FCA (October 15, 2019). Contacts: David B. Robbins, Kate M. Growley, CIPP/G, CIPP/US, Mana Elihu Lombardo, Jason M. Crawford
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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