Joseph D. West

Joseph D. West is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and former Co-Chair of the firm's Government Contracts Practice. For over 35 years, Mr. West has concentrated his practice on contracts counseling and dispute resolution. He has represented both contractors (and their subcontractors, vendors and suppliers) and government agencies, and has been involved in cases before various United States Courts of Appeals and District Courts, the United States Court of Federal Claims, numerous Federal Government Boards of Contract Appeals, and both the United States Government Accountability Office and Small Business Administration.

Industries Served

Aerospace and Defense
Construction and Engineering
Information Technology
Professional Services
Banking and Financial Institutions
Real Estate
Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices

Areas of Particular Expertise

Compliance and Enforcement

Worked on numerous internal investigations occasioned by corporate reviews, whistleblowers, and government enforcement elements
Defended Civil False Claims Act charges brought by qui tam relators and the Department of Justice

Suspension and Debarment

Successfully represented clients in various industries (e.g., telecommunications, construction, and pharmaceutical manufacturing) in formal suspension and/or debarment proceedings

National Security Issues

Advised numerous companies as to dealing with foreign investment in U.S. companies, including filings with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
Worked closely with companies in satisfying the requirements of the National Industrial Security Program (NISP) driven by foreign investments or acquisitions
Well-versed (and published) in matters involving the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)

Dispute Analysis, Avoidance and Resolution

Extensive work in claims analysis, development, negotiation and resolution
In-depth experience in all types of ADR

Contract Award Disputes

Litigated (for both plaintiffs and defendants) numerous award challenges in Federal Courts and before the Government Accountability Office
Wrote several articles and lectured extensively on the government’s use of Past Performance Information as the most significant non-price evaluation factor in the source selection process


Spent over three years working on largest default termination in Government Contracts history
Successfully negotiated and litigated numerous default and convenience termination disputes

International Projects

Provided contract expertise on project finance disputes in numerous countries
Worked with international arbitration partners on major construction disputes under ICSID and UNCITRAL rules

Prime-sub Issues

Worked with clients to negotiate all types of subcontract, vendor and supplier agreements
Litigated disputes arising out of subcontracts and teaming agreements

Representative Client/Matters

Cisco Systems, Inc.
Represented the company in connection with government enforcement actions against some of its resellers.
Fluor Corporation
Represented Fluor in connection with internal reviews of several projects
Represented the company with respect to contract disputes in Afghanistan.
Bank of New York Mellon Corporation
Represented the Bank with respect to its agreements with the Department of the Treasury to provide cash management services
Northrop Grumman
Represented the company in a dispute with major subcontractors over the design and development of the B-2 stealth bomber
Parsons Corporation
Represented Parsons Infrastructure and Technology Group with respect to contracts with the U.S. Air Force
Sprint Corporation
Represented Sprint in a significant matter before the General Services Administration relating to the FTS 2001 contract
U.S. Navy
Represented the U.S. Navy in the largest default termination in Government Contracts history; led a team that devoted 20-lawyer years annually to this effort for almost 4 years
U.S. Postal Service
Represented the USPS in defending its award of a $7 billion contract to Federal Express to carry Express and Priority mail
Wyeth (formerly American Home Products)
Provided Government Contracts expertise to a multi-disciplinary team that worked with the Secretary of Health and Human Services on anti-terrorism issues


Juris Doctor (with high honors), February 1977, George Washington University
Editor, The George Washington Law Review
Member, Order of the Coif
Bachelor of Civil Engineering (magna cum laude), May 1971, Villanova University
Member, Tau Beta Pi and Chi Epsilon (Engineering Honoraries)

Professional Affiliations

Co-Chair, Steering Committee of the Government Contracts and Litigation Section, District of Columbia Bar (2004 - 2006)
Member, Board of Governors of the Construction Law and Public Contracts Section, Virginia State Bar (1997 - 2003)
Member, American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry (Member of the Forum's Governing Committee from 2008 - 2011; Chair of the Forum's Steering Committee of Division 1 (Dispute Avoidance and Resolution) from 2002 - 2004)
Member, American Bar Association Public Contract Law and Litigation Section (Vice Chair of the Public Contract Law Section's Pro Bono Committee from 1999 - 2002, Vice Chair of that Section's Acquisition Reform and Emerging Issues Committee from 2006 2008, and Co-Chair of the Section’s Debarment and Suspension Committee from 2009 - 2012)
Fellow, American College of Construction Lawyers (1999 - present); member of the College’s Board of Governors (2014 - present)
Member, Advisory Board of Thomson/Reuters/West's The Government Contractor (formerly owned by Federal Publications, Inc.)
Member of, and Certified as a Professional Contract Manager by, the National Contract Management Association

Honors and Awards

Awarded a Peer Review Rating of “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell in 2010-2014
Named by The Legal Times as one of the D.C. Area's Top Twelve Federal Procurement Attorneys (“Leading Lawyers” series; November 1, 2004)
Recognized as one of the top government contracts lawyers nationwide in the 2005 - 2014 editions of Chambers USA – America’s Leading Business Lawyers
Chosen by The Washington Business Journal as the city's “Top Government Contracts Lawyer” in its 2006 Top Washington Lawyers edition
Ranked as one of the leading construction lawyer in both the inaugural (2003) and all subsequent (2004 - 2014) editions of Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers
Recognized in March 2007 by Washington DC Super Lawyers in the Government Contracts practice area, and as one of the “Top 100” Washington, DC lawyers across all practice areas; subsequently recognized in the Government Contracts practice area in 2008 - 2012
Named in December 2009, 2011 and 2013 as one of Washington’s “Top Lawyers” in Government Contracts law by The Washingtonian magazine

Representative Professional Writings

“National Security Implications of Foreign Investment in U.S. Government Contractors/Edition II,” Briefing Papers, Second Series (with Judith A. Lee, Jose W. Fernandez, Annie Yan, and Sarah B. Gleich), Thomson Reuters/West, 2014
“The Environmental Protection Agency's Suspension and Debarment Program,” Briefing Papers, Second Series (with Raymond B. Ludwiszewski, Robert F. Meunier, and Carey A. Fenton), Thomson/Reuters/West, 2013
“The Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System,” Briefing Papers, Second Series (with Diana G. Richard and Owen F. Whitehurst), Thomson/Reuters/West, 2011
“The Reasonableness of Liquidated Damages Provisions – Why Only the Look Back Approach Can Prevent Windfalls,” the Journal of the American College of Construction Lawyers, Volume 4, Number 1, Winter 2010 (with Michael B. Hissam)
Federal Government Construction Contracts, Second Edition, published by the American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry in 2010 (co-edited with Michael A. Branca, Aaron P. Silberman, John S. Vento, Adrian L. Bastianelli, III and Andrew D. Ness) (and co-author with Christyne K. Brennan of chapter on “Termination for Convenience”)
“Contractor Business Ethics Compliance Program and Disclosure Requirements,” Briefing Papers, Second Series (with Diana G. Richard, Karen L. Manos, Christyne K. Brennan, et al.), Thomson Reuters/West, 2009
The Construction Law Handbook Second Edition, published by Aspen Law & Business/Wiley Law Publications in 2008 (co-author with Christyne K. Brennan of chapter on “The Use of ADR in Federal Claims”)
The Virginia CLE Desk Book on Construction Law, published by Virginia Continuing Legal Education in 2008 (co-author with Christyne K. Brennan of chapter on “Federal Public Construction”)
“National Security Implications of Foreign Investment in U.S. Government Contractors,” Briefing Paper Second Series, (with Judith A. Lee, Christyne K. Brennan, Dave M. Wharwood and Patrick F. Speice, Jr.), West Group, 2007 - Thomson West
“Suspension and Debarment,” Briefing Papers Second Series, (with Timothy J. Hatch, Christyne K Brennan and Lawrence J.C. Van Dyke), West Group, 2006 - Thomson West
“U.S. Export Control Compliance Requirements for Government Contractors” Briefing Papers, Second Series (with Judith A. Lee and Jason A. Monahan), West Group, 2005 - Thomson West
Federal Government Construction Contracts, published by the American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry in 2003 (co-edited with Adrian L. Bastianelli, III and Andrew D. Ness), author of chapters on “Termination for Convenience” and “Past Performance Information”
The Construction Law Handbook, published by Aspen Law & Business/Wiley Law Publications in 1999, author of chapter on “The Use of ADR in Resolving Federal Construction Contract Disputes” - Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.
Design-Build Contracting Claims, published by Aspen Law & Business/Wiley Law Publications in 1999 (co-edited with Barry B. Bramble) (author of chapter on “Claims and Dispute Resolution in Federal Design-Build Projects”) - Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.
“Past Performance,” Briefing Papers, Second Series, (with Robert Wagman, Jr.), West Group, 1999 - Thomson West
“Contract-Related Statutes of Limitations,” Briefing Papers, Second Series (with Susan B. Cassidy), West Group, 1997 - Thomson West
“Practical Advice Concerning the Federal Government’s Termination for Convenience Clause,” The Construction Lawyer (Volume 17, Number 4; October 1997) - American Bar Association.
“The Use of Past Performance Information in the Source Selection Process: How the Skeletons in Your Closet Can Scare Away Government Business,” Contract Management (with Aseem V. Mehta), NCMA; December 1996 [This article received NCMA’s Charles J. Delaney Memorial Award for the best article published by NCMA during 1996 - National Contract Management Association.]

Other Professional Certifications

Mr. West is a registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia

Other Relevant Information

Mr. West served four years as an officer in the United States Navy Civil Engineer Corps
Mr. West has held (and is presently qualified to hold) top secret and special access security clearances

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Government Contracts, 2) Electronic Discovery and Information Law, 3) Energy and Infrastructure, 4) FDA and Health Care, 5) International Arbitration and 6) White Collar Defense and Investigations
Law School The George Washington University Law School, J.D., 1977
Education Villanova University, B.C.E., 1971
Bar Member / Association District of Columbia Bar Association, Virginia State Bar Association
Most recent firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Relevant Jobs
Senior Attorney Advisor

Senior Attorney Advisor; 02 The candidate provides advice and counsel to the Board on all substantive and operational matters relating to firm, including but not limited to the OGE ethics program; OO...

Apply now

Corporate Counsel, Government Contracts

Corporate Counsel, Government Contracts The candidate will be expected to work directly with business account team members and advise on a variety of day-to-day legal matters, with primary responsib...

Apply now

+ View more jobs
Andrew Hamilton
Andrew Hamilton

Andrew Hamilton is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Business and Finance Practice. Mr. Hamilton practices in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital, securities law, and general corporate counseling.

Anthony C. DeCusatis
Anthony C. DeCusatis

Anthony C. DeCusatis is of counsel in Morgan Lewis's Energy Practice.He also represents and counsels utilities and nonutility energy suppliers on emerging issues created by the transition from regulation to competitive markets.

Barbara A. Fitzgerald
Barbara A. Fitzgerald

Ms. Fitzgerald represents employers in a wide range of industries, including the entertainment, financial services, hospitality, manufacturing, retail, and transportation industries.