Areas of Practice
Business Law and Commercial Transactions
We provide business formation and transactional services for many mid-size commercial companies, domestic and international. These skills combine our business acumen, legal expertise, and full understanding of our clients’ objectives. We concentrate on achieving optimal objectives for our clients.
We are responsive, efficient, and creative. Our transactional focus is practical, goal-oriented, and tailored for each client. We counsel individuals and entities in wide variety of commercial arrangements, including:
- strategic alliances
- joint ventures and teaming agreements
- licensing transactions
- distribution agreements
- partnership agreements
- limited liability company operating agreements
- research and development contracts and subcontracts
- employment contracts
- infrastructure and construction projects
We advise businesses on their corporate ownership structure and control. We also consult on and implement a variety of capital formation and financing transactions including secured term loans, revolving credit facilities, and venture financing.
REA’s and Claims
Government contracts contain provisions for the equitable adjustment of the contract price due to events beyond the control of the contractor. Yet, frequently the customer balks at paying the contractor a fair price for goods and services provided.
Many claims can be resolved in a telephone call or a short meeting and, for reasons of client cost and efficiency, we prefer a non-adversarial approach with emphasis on collaborative communication with contracting officers who may not know all the relevant the facts. An early and reasonable settlement, either through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution saves both the government and the contractor time and money. We assist our clients with analyses of their performance and develop legal theories of recovery, including constructive claims for government-required services performed outside the statement of work. When the government customer proves intractable or unreasonable we do not hesitate to submit a formal claim and/or initiate litigation.
A key factor in all government contract awards is past performance. In order to be found to be a responsible contractor, a prospective contractor must have a satisfactory performance record. This record is kept by the government as part of its Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (“CPARS”). Contractors are strongly recommended to contact legal counsel to help in responding to any negative CPARS ratings.
Small Business Contracting
The United States federal government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world, now exceeding $300 billion annually. By law, at least twenty-three percent of those contract dollars are supposed to be allocated for small business prime contracts. To participate and compete for those contracts, however, small businesses face highly complex and often confusing rules and regulations.
We can advise small businesses on general SBA matters, with particular expertise in issues involving specific set-aside programs: the 8(a) Business Development, Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB), Woman-Owned, Veteran-Owned and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned program, as well as the HubZone Program. Large government contractors are also required, under most government contracts, to provide significant subcontracting opportunities to small businesses.
Bid protest litigation and the equitable adjustment and claims process (REA) are staples of the formation, performance and administration of government contracts. We have substantial experience in these areas of federal contracting and often represent companies challenging or defending procurement procedures and contract awards. We appear regularly at the contracting agency level and before the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, on behalf of disappointed bidders and successful awardees.
Our protest expertise extends to issues of unequal treatment, cost realism, sole-source contracting, conflicts of interest, and responsibility. We are agile and adaptive to the short time frames of the protest process. We strive to make every representation cost-effective and scaled to the needs of the client, while offering the insight and strategy to achieve a successful outcome.
As companies navigate the increasingly complex world of global business they require effective guidance on the many issues that arise in their international trade and investment activities. We provide that guidance in a manner designed to meet the needs of our clients and to accomplish their business goals, wherever they operate. We value our clients’ trust and confidence and, as their legal and business advisors, we are committed to their success.
Effectus' attorneys assist our international clients with complex commercial transactions, direct investment, federal government contracting, and compliance with myriad U.S. regulations of trade and investment. Our service orientation is client-centric, practical, efficient, and cost effective. We emphasize active and seamless communication. Together with our strategic partners, we offer the expertise to assist in virtually any legal matter in any jurisdiction.
white collar defense
We have extensive experience, from both the prosecution and defense perspective, in federal grand jury and criminal trial practice as well as civil regulatory enforcement. These matters extend from fraud and false statement offenses to money laundering, foreign corrupt practices and related financial crimes. We represent individuals and entities in federal courts and at the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Internal Revenue Service, and other federal enforcement agencies.
An effective defense demands familiarity with the nuances of the criminal and civil enforcement process. Whether to cooperate, the proper response to agents’ inquiries or a subpoena for documents, when and how to conduct an internal investigation of alleged wrongdoing, and engagement with investigators, federal prosecutors and agency attorneys are issues common to every criminal and civil defense. Our expertise includes substantive knowledge and practical application of these skills in myriad situations where persons and organizations face criminal and civil exposure including securities and tax law and government contracts. Every client receives our best professional judgment and the zealous deployment of our defense skill sets.
A company exposed to potential criminal liability or civil fines and penalties must protect itself. We conduct internal investigations to identify existing and potential misconduct. They include interviews of key persons, and thorough analysis of corporate records and electronically stored information (ESI). We present formal reports to the board or committee of our findings and recommendations. We also develop and implement compliance programs, especially where the company is heavily regulated. We have established such programs for government contractors facing suspension, debarment, and criminal prosecution. An active compliance program, coupled with a thorough internal investigation is essential for a favorable resolution by the government, and by the court under the Federal Organizational Sentencing Guidelines.
commercial real estate
We provide the full gamut of real estate transactional services to our clients in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Our practice focuses on assisting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) with negotiating office, retail and ground leases. The firm relies upon its deep understanding of the commercial real estate market in the DC Metro region to provide our clients reliable, astute, and efficient advice with respect to their lease transactions. Our firm possesses a breadth and depth of experience and business acumen which helps distinguish us in this field.
In addition to leasing negotiations, we advise our clients with respect to purchases and sales of real property, the development of real property, and assist our clients with loan transactions in relation to their real estate transactions.
tax controversies & litigation
We regularly counsel clients in sensitive civil tax examinations of potential fraud and substantial penalty issues, including protests to IRS Appeals, penalty abatement, and summons enforcement. Our criminal tax expertise extends to IRS administrative investigations by Special Agents and federal grand jury investigations conducted by the Department of Justice, negotiations with federal prosecutors and, if required the trial, of income tax evasion, fraud and false statements, conspiracy, and tax money laundering offenses. We are current and conversant with the 2015 IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), and Expanded Streamlined Compliance Procedures, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and the Bank Secrecy Act. We have advised and represented clients in each of these enforcement regimes.
We offer a competitive advantage against our competitors that can help you save money and make more of it in the long run. We’ve steered corporations and closely-held companies with a balance of legal, business, operational, and financial strategies that had clear execution and built-in problem-solving contingencies. Our holistic approach is essential to any company looking to grow.