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Stephen J. McBrady

Phone: +1 202.624.2547
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

"Government Contracts MVP"
by Law360 (2018)

Steve McBrady is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Crowell & Moring and a member of the Steering Committee for the firm's nationally recognized Government Contracts Group. In 2013-2016, Steve was selected as a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers "Rising Star".

Steve has extensive first-chair experience litigating cases before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA), the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and state and federal courts around the country. In the past year, he has represented clients in over $750 million in claims, successfully guiding clients in the recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars based on a wide range of contractual and statutory claims. Steve also has in-depth experience in all forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and is frequently called upon to resolve sensitive matters via confidential arbitration or mediation.


Steve leads the firm's Government-facing litigation practice and is one of the “go to” litigators nationally for disputes with the United States Government. He served as lead counsel for Maine Community Health Options at the U.S. Supreme Court. The Maine case, which held the United States responsible for $13 billion in damages as a result of its failure to pay health insurers under the Affordable Care Act, is a landmark decision in Tucker Act jurisprudence and the field of money-mandating statutes, and is among the largest civil judgments ever entered against the United States.

Steve has broad experience litigating cases before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the boards of contracts appeals (ASBCA, CBCA, PSBCA), and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, as well as state and federal courts around the country. In 2019, his litigation teams won significant victories, including a $250 million contract dispute with the U.S. Government, and precedent-setting victories against the Government in contractual and statutory disputes. Steve is frequently called upon to resolve sensitive matters via alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including confidential arbitration and mediation, and has developed a reputation for resolving matters early in the dispute stage, identifying “win-win” legal and commercial resolutions.

Naturally a good communicator, Steve is effective as a result of his strategic positioning and his appreciation for opposing viewpoints, countering them all the better based on his deep understanding of the subject matter at hand. Steve is well respected among his peers for good reason: he is superbly prepared and his arguments are rock solid.”

- Client CEO

In addition to his litigation practice, Steve serves as a strategic advisor to in-house counsel and corporate executives on high-stakes matters involving the U.S. Government, drawing on two decades of experience in Washington. To that end, clients in the defense, health care, energy, manufacturing, and technology sectors regularly seek his advice on a wide range of public sector issues, including complex litigation and internal investigations, due diligence in support of M&A transactions, ethics and compliance counseling, and government audits.

Steve regularly speaks at government and industry events around the country, and provides on-site training to legal and executive teams on a range of topics. His legal commentary on government-facing issues has been featured in the New York Times and various other print, radio, and television media.

Steve previously served as vice chair of the firm's Recruiting Committee, and is an active sponsor of young and diverse attorneys throughout the law firm. His focus on client service has earned numerous awards over the years, including the Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll.


  • Cornell University, B.A.
  • The George Washington University Law School, J.D.


Admitted to practice: U.S. Supreme Court, District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Virginia, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia

Other Affiliations 

Board of Advisors, Mayflower Foundation
Aerospace & Defense Law360 Editorial Advisory Board Member, 2014-2017

View More

"Changes, Claims, and Terminations," Government Contracts "101" - Back to Basics Webinar (September 22, 2020). Presenters: Stephen J. McBrady, Michelle D. Coleman, Alexandra Barbee-Garrett, and John Nakoneczny.
"COVID-19 Claims and Requests for Equitable Adjustment Q&A Webinar — 'Tick Tock – Submitting COVID-19 Related Claims and REAs as the Government Fiscal Year Draws to a Close'" Crowell & Moring Webinar (September 17, 2020). Presenters: Stephen J. McBrady, Nicole Owren-Wiest, Skye Mathieson, and Michelle D. Coleman.
National Law Journal Names Stephen McBrady a Winning Litigator and D.C. Trailblazer (Sep.11.2020)
Firm News / Announcement
"“Show Us the Money (Trail)”: Estimated Subcontract Costs Disallowed for Lack of Proof," Government Contracts Bullet Points (September 2, 2020). Contacts: Stephen J. McBrady, Nicole Owren-Wiest, Skye Mathieson, Sean K. Griffin
Client Alert / Newsletter
Winning Litigators National Law Journal (September 1, 2020)
Media Mentions
DC Trailblazers National Law Journal (September 1, 2020)
Media Mentions
"Minimum Offer of Guaranteed Workshare Still Not Enough to Enforce Teaming Agreement," Government Contracts Bullet Points (August 31, 2020). Contacts: Stephen J. McBrady, Anuj Vohra, Christian N. Curran, Charles Baek, Laura J. Mitchell Baker
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Stop in the Name of Fraud?: After-the-Fact Fraud Allegation Does Not Divest ASBCA of Jurisdiction," Government Contracts Bullet Points (August 21, 2020). Contacts: Stephen J. McBrady, Nicole Owren-Wiest, Michelle D. Coleman, Skye Mathieson, John Nakoneczny
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Infrastructure 2020 & Beyond: Webinar Series," (August 19, 2020). Contacts: James G. Flood, Stephen J. McBrady
Client Alert / Newsletter
Insurers Entitled To Obamacare Cost-Sharing Pay, Court Says Bloomberg Law (August 14, 2020)
Media Mentions

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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, Brussels, and Shanghai.

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