Claims and Disputes

With the recent federal budgetary challenges, the government has become increasingly aggressive in squeezing contractors through unreasonable demands over contract performance, price reductions, default terminations, and other unreasonable agency actions.  We regularly counsel and defend contractors seeking to file claims or facing disputes with the government as well as disputes between prime contractors and subcontractors.  We work closely with our clients to understand the underlying subject matter of the dispute in order to fashion the most comprehensive and persuasive claim for entitlement and monetary recovery, or defense government claims and withholdings.  Our attorneys also recognize that the party on the other side of the dispute is often a future customer or business partner and we help our clients maximize their rights while maintaining their business relationships.

Our attorneys work closely with our clients to develop sound recovery strategies.  To this end, we work with contractor management, program management, finance and accounting personnel and engineering staff to investigate the facts, formulate optimal legal theories and draft and present requests for equitable adjustment (REAs) or certified claims in a manner that maximizes the contractor's chances of recovery.

Dempsey Fontana’s goal in handling most claims and disputes is to obtain a swift and satisfactory settlement at an early stage of the dispute where possible in order to avoid the costs of prolonged litigation.  To this end, our attorneys work closely with clients in developing a realistic litigation strategy.  We have ample experience resolving claims and disputes through formal and informal alternative dispute resolution.

In the event that settlement is not possible, our attorneys have ample experience obtaining favorable results for our clients through litigation.  Dempsey Fontana has decades of collective experience litigating claims before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA), the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA), the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC), as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.


Our representative matters include:

  • Represented client with one of the largest dollar claims before the ASBCA based on constructive changes, leading ultimately to a large settlement.
  • Settled a large construction claim through the ASBCA's Alternative Dispute Resolution process on behalf of subcontractor.
  • Settled a breach of contract case involving termination for convenience of multi-year contract in a case before the Office of Dispute Resolution (ODRA) at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
  • Successfully litigated and settled a case before the ASBCA on a claim for damages in connection with an agency’s failure to exercise a contract option period in violation of that contract.