Abram J. Pafford
While Abe's litigation and advisory practice serves clients in a range of industries and settings, he has particularly extensive experience in representing government contractors of all sizes across the full spectrum of government contract matters. His government contracts litigation experience encompasses the prosecution of claims arising under the Contract Disputes Act, the defense of lawsuits initiated by the Department of Justice under the False Claims Act, and the successful representation of protesters as well as intervenors in pre-award and post-award bid protests before the United States Court of Federal Claims and the GAO.
Abe has also represented government contractors in a variety of administrative settings, including matters relating to the protection of proprietary contractor information under the Freedom of Information Act, the disputed status of contractors and subcontractors under the Small Business Administration’s size regulations, and the defense of contractors facing potential exclusion from federal or state contracting pursuant to agency debarment proceedings.
Abe’s government contracts practice is the cornerstone of a litigation portfolio that focuses upon representing clients in high-stakes settings adverse to the federal government. An experienced appellate advocate, Abe has argued over two dozen cases in various state and federal courts of appeal, consistently achieving successful results for clients facing difficult odds. Abe also helps corporations facing regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings in industries that include financial services, real estate, energy, and health care. In recent years he has also successfully represented witnesses, subjects, and targets in connection with federal grand jury investigations, often in cases with significant political implications that are being prosecuted by the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section.
Recent and representative government-facing matters in which Abe has played a leading role include:
- Represented leading data analytics company in connection with successful presentation to federal agency debarment officials following settlement with SEC concerning alleged FCPA violations
- Successfully represented Fortune 500 government contractor in avoiding performance disruption under intelligence agency support contracts while achieving no-cost resolution of claims by third-party creditor arising from alleged improper subcontract payments in violation of UCC assignment
- Lead counsel for GSA schedule contractor defending against False Claims Act qui tam suit alleging improper sales to federal agency customers in violation of the Trade Agreements Act
- Drafted briefs on behalf of government contract clients in connection with multiple GAO bid protests involving nine-figure procurements across various service sectors
- Lead role in representing medical device manufacturer in connection with federal agency inspector general audit following voluntary disclosure by client concerning agency overpayments under multiple award schedule contract
- Represented technology startup in successful resolution of bet-the-company SEC investigation, achieving settlement that imposed no financial penalty and no restriction on client’s access to capital markets
Immediately prior to joining Arent Fox, Abe managed his own litigation boutique based in Virginia and Washington, DC. Abe has also practiced in the litigation departments of two other large national law firms. In addition to his law firm experience, Abe served as a law clerk to Judge Eric G. Bruggink of the United States Court of Federal Claims, and Judge D. Brooks Smith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.