Contact Info vCARD

T: +1 202.955.8658
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Washington, D.C. Office
1050 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036-5306, USA


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 almost 40 years, Mr. West has concentrated his practice on contract counseling, compliance/enforcement, 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
  • Information Technology
  • Professional Services
  • Banking and Financial Institutions
  • Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices
  • Telecommunications
  • Construction and Engineering

Areas of Particular Expertise

Compliance and Enforcement

  • Worked on numerous internal investigations occasioned by corporate reviews, whistleblowers, and government enforcement elements
  • Handled dozens of “mandatory disclosure” matters before numerous agency Inspectors General; published the initial Briefing Paper on the subject
  • Defended Civil False Claims Act charges brought by qui tam relators and the Department of Justice
  • Developed compliance programs for corporate clients and conducted corresponding training

Suspension and Debarment

  • Successfully represented clients in various industries (e.g., defense, telecommunications, construction, and pharmaceutical manufacturing) in formal suspension and/or debarment proceedings and in their continuing relationships with agency debarment officials

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 by litigation if necessary
  • 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

  • CH2M Hill
    • Represented the company in connection with Air Force, EPA an GSA contracts
  • Cisco Systems, Inc.
    • Represented the company in connection with government enforcement actions against some of its resellers.
  • DynCorp International
    • Represented the company in an ASBA appeal rising out of an Air Force contract
  • Fluor Corporation
    • Represented the company 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
  • Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company
    • Represented the shipyard in litigation involving the Los Angeles class submarines, LNG Tankers, and Ultra-Large Crude Carriers
  • 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
  • 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

  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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, Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics
  • 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 for 26 consecutive years (1991-2017)
  • 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 twenty-five government contracts lawyers nationwide in the 2005 - 2016 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 lawyers in both the inaugural (2003) and all subsequent (2004 - 2017) editions of Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers
  • Recognized by Washington DC Super Lawyers in the Government Contracts practice area for 10 consecutive years (2007 - 2016), and as one of the “Top 100” Washington, DC lawyers across all practice areas in 2007 and 2016
  • Named in December 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017 as one of Washington’s “Top Lawyers” in Government Contracts law by The Washingtonian magazine

Representative Professional Writings

  • “Federal Government Reviews of Contractor Past Performance,” the Journal of the American College of Construction Lawyers, Volume 10, Number 1, Winter 2016 (with Erin N. Rankin)
  • “Dealmaker’s Guide To National Security Implications Of Foreign Investment In U.S. Government Contractors,” Briefing Papers, Second Series (with Judith A. Lee, Jose W. Fernandez, Andrea F. Farr, and Stephenie Gosnell Handler), Thomson Reuters, 2015
  • “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 securit


  • The George Washington University - 1977 - Juris Doctor
  • Villanova University - 1971 - Bachelor of Civil Engineering


  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Virginia Bar

Recent Publications