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Bid Protests Attorney

Defending against a bid protest or filing a protest on your behalf? We've got you covered.

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What is a Bid Protest?

A bid protest is a mechanism for an aggrieved bidder to challenge the award of a contract to another bidder. Generally, the bidder must have a financial stake in the bid process to file a bid protest. The protest can take many forms, from an oral complaint to a Contracting Officer, a more formal written letter, or a lawsuit. As many contractors do not want to be embroiled in litigation, it is often best to start with either an oral complaint or a letter.

There are three different levels of bid protests:

  • Agency-level complaints
  • Government Accountability Office (GAO) complaints
  • Lawsuits filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Each level is increasingly serious. However, all protests should begin at the agency level if they are not already required to do so by the particular federal agency. According to the GAO, which handles many bid protests, the agency handled more than 1,600 bid protests, cost claims, and requests for reconsideration in the fiscal year 2022.


What are the Requirements for Filing a Bid Protest?

Before a bid protest may be filed at any level, several requirements must be met. 

Standing: A bid protestor only has standing to file a bid protest if they were an actual or prospective bidder. Additionally, the protest bidder must have been adversely affected by the defective bidding process under complaint. The bid protest will fail if either of these standing components is not met.

Timely filing: Under GAO rules, a bid protest must be filed within ten days of knowing the basis for a bid protest, usually 10 days after the protest bidder learns of the contract award. However, it could also be within 10 days of learning about some bidding process deficiencies.

Grounds: A bid protest can only be made based on a claimed deficiency in the bidding process. The bidding process must be fair and impartial. If the bidder does not believe the process was fair, then the bidder can file a protest. In general, partiality can be proven by the agency that treated two different bids differently. However, a bidder cannot file a protest simply because the bid did not win the contract.


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How do I Defend a Bid Protest Against my Award? 

After much time and effort, you have won your bid for a government contract. However, now you find yourself in the middle of a bid protest with either an incumbent who has lost their coveted contract or a contender you outbid during the solicitation process. 

Contact the qualified attorneys at Whitcomb Selinsky, PC, if you find your business in this position. Our highly skilled government contracts attorneys will work to help you defend against the bid protest and keep your hard-fought federal contract.  In addition, we will work with you to get corrective actions in place and reverse the bid protest decision. 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) handles bid protests regarding the size of a business and whether it should be considered “small” for the purposes of bidding for government contracts. If a competitor is contesting whether your business meets the size standards for a small business concern, the attorneys at Whitcomb Selinsky, PC can help defend your small business status. We work with all government agencies. 

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How do I File a Bid Protest Against an Awardee? 

As a business owner, you may have gone to great lengths to obtain 8(a) status or endured the rigors of obtaining CVE SDVOSB status (Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) status). You may want to file a bid protest if you believe a competitor company has erroneously or unfairly won a government contract through misrepresentation. 

In that case, we stand ready to help throughout the bid protest process. We will timely file your bid protest and litigate it through the federal court system, if necessary, to reverse the award decision on your behalf. However, before we do, we will review your case to ensure your bid protest has merit. If it does, we will immediately help you to fight for the government contract you should have been rightfully awarded, as your time for filing an objection is limited.





Contract Disputes and Federal Law


The Contract Disputes Act (CDA) governs negotiations and litigation that arise from government contract disputes. Accordingly, if your business disputes a term or has an issue with a government contract, the CDA controls the process by which a dispute is heard and decided. The first step is having a Contracting Officer issue a Final Decision on the dispute. If one of the parties disagrees, then the Board of Contract Appeals or the United States Court of Federal Claims may hear the issue. If there is a need for a higher appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is the next option, followed by the United States Supreme Court.


Common Bid Protest FAQs

Meet Your Government Contracting Legal Team

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Joe Whitcomb

Founder and President

As the firm’s leader, Joe manages, directs, consults, and acts as an advisor to his practice group leaders Joe’s areas of specialty include government procurement and international business transactions.

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Tim Turner

Senior Attorney

Along with leading the Government Contracting practice area, Tim manages labor and employment cases for the firm. He centers his practice in the Health and Safety sector, defending clients against MSHA and OSHA regulatory enforcement actions.

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Dilyn Loveless

Senior Attorney

Dilyn spent 14 years as a Staff Officer with the United States Department of Defense. She has extensive experience with investigations involving the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, United States Federal Bureau of Investigations, Department of Commerce, and Department of State. Dilyn brings a wealth of experience in trade law, trade compliance, and government and defense contracting.

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Anne Lanteigne

Senior Attorney

With more than 35 years of professional legal experience, Anne brings a broad range of knowledge on intellectual property (IP), government contracts, and patent law. She knows the intricacies of federal procurement actions, from requesting proposals and evaluating offers/bids from contractors to administering contracts and negotiating dispute settlements with contractors, giving her a unique insight into the government contracts world.

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Jonathan Perrone


Jon counsels and represents government contractors in healthcare, construction, manufacturing, defense, information technology, and service industries. He specializes in representation in both pre-contract and contract-administration phases.

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Josh Sather

Associate Attorney

Josh helps clients successfully navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of government contracting. He advises clients on compliance with government regulations, helps them navigate the contracting process, and negotiates contracts. Additionally, he represents clients in disputes, such as bid protests, claims, and appeals.

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