Maria Panichelli focuses her practice exclusively on federal government contracts and procurement. Maria’s practice includes: asserting and defending bid protests; contract interpretation and performance counseling; the preparation and negotiation of Requests for Equitable Adjustment and Contract Disputes Act (CDA) claims, as well as related litigation before the Boards of Contract Appeals, the Court of Federal Claims and the Federal Circuit; statutory and regulatory compliance counseling; resolution of subcontractor disputes (including the negotiation of liquidating agreements, and the litigation of pass-through claims, Miller Act claims, and sub/prime disputes); contract terminations; suspension and debarment; and all aspects of small business procurement. Additionally, Maria has substantial experience with construction-related issues such as defective designs and specifications, express and constructive changes, differing site conditions, delays and disruption; suspensions; and liquidated damages.
Maria guides her clients through every stage of the federal procurement process. Her prior legal experience in corporate litigation and risk management counseling has given her a unique perspective on how to approach contracting challenges. Recognizing that a client must focus on what is best for their business, Maria works to find a solution that not only solves a client’s legal issues, but advances their business plan and is consistent with their mission. Her comprehensive legal counseling allows her clients to successfully navigate the complicated legal requirements related to the government marketplace, while still accomplishing their corporate goals.
Having acquired substantial experience with the government’s 8(a), SDVOSB, WOSB and HUBZone small business programs in particular, Maria provides effective assistance to clients applying for small business certification, or competing for small business program set-aside contracts. She routinely assists clients with eligibility analyses, has successfully challenged negative agency findings with regard to clients’ SDVOSB, HUBZone and 8(a) eligibility, and has successfully defeated size and status protests brought by clients’ competitors. Maria has considerable experience drafting teaming and joint venture agreements, as well as helping clients navigate the SBA Mentor-protégé program. Maria helps her clients safeguard their small business eligibility, and advises small business clients with regard to potential affiliation and control problems, as well as subcontracting requirements. Her small business practice also involves drafting or revising corporate governance documents to ensure compliance with small business program eligibility requirements.
Maria’s clients include both national and international companies, and both prime contractors and subcontractors, working on federal projects. These clients work a variety of federal agencies and across a wide range of industries, including information technology and information systems, telecommunications solutions, management consulting and professional services, real estate and facilities services, systems engineering and logistics management, project controls and integration, advisory and assistant services, commissary services, healthcare staffing, security, energy efficiency, construction, landscaping, dredging, and environmental remediation.
Some of Maria’s notable outcomes include:
- Forced corrective action, and was awarded attorney fees, in connection with consolidated pre-award bid protest against Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, challenging client’s exclusion from competitive range in connection with SPARC program;
- Attained multi-million dollar settlement for SDVOSB client in connection with a CDA claim based on delay, changes to contract and defective specifications, arising out of client’s construction contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs;
- Defeated incumbent team bid protest and secured client award of $26 million dollar administrative and records management support services contract;
- Obtained corrective action in connection with post-award bid protest, challenging award of $10 million+ task order issued by the Air Force under GSA OASIS;
- Resolved dispute, and forced issuance of long-delayed contract modifications allowing completion of project, in on-going disagreement relating to defective specifications on Department of Veterans Affairs construction project; and
- Secured corrective action for client in connection with two simultaneous post-award bid protests, relating to two multi-million dollar international Air Force construction projects.
Maria is active in a number of industry-related professional associations is a frequent lecturer and author on government contracting and small business procurement topics. She works closely with a number of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and other government contracting forums to provide educational content for a variety of government contractors.
In her free time, Maria is an avid world traveler. Traveling to a new destination, doing a walking tour, and then meeting locals and talking to them about their history, culture and current events is her ideal vacation. When she’s not on the move, she can be found eagerly researching her next destination, baking, reading, or learning Italian.