- Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M., 1997
- Arizona State University College of Law, J.D., 1994
- cum laude
- Arizona State Law Journal, Member
- Order of the Coif
- Northern Arizona University, B.S., 1991
- Hon. Raymond Finch, U.S. District Court, Virgin Islands
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Virgin Islands
Robert Nichols is a partner in the firm's Washington, DC office and co-chair of the firm's Government Contracts practice group.
Mr. Nichols' practice focuses on US procurement, regulatory, and litigation matters for contractors in the areas of defense and aerospace, large-scale construction, and international development. His experience includes compliance counseling; litigating and arbitrating claims and terminations; leading teams defending against investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, Inspectors General and Congress; suspension and debarment actions; procurement-related legislation; negotiating contract terms; due diligence for contractor M&A; Foreign Military Sales; security clearance issues; and risk mitigation techniques for contractors working overseas.
Mr. Nichols has been an active lecturer and author. He has taught a course on international government and commercial contracts for Federal Publications Seminars and at various top defense and aerospace companies.
- Lead counsel for an NGO in what is believed to be the largest USAID suspension and False Claims Act case ever brought.
- Representation of a top five defense & aerospace contractor on a range of bid protests, claims, and overseas contracting matters.
- Lead counsel for Fortune 50 aerospace contractor in seeking a “present responsibility” determination by its military customers following a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department, a consent agreement with the State Department, and special interest from the Senate Armed Services Committee.
- Representation of a Middle East company on contracts with the U.S. State Department valued at $2 billion for the construction of embassies in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
- Representation of a Dubai-based energy company selling fuel to the Defense Department for military bases in the Middle East.
- Representation of multiple major defense contractors in successful defense of GAO bid protests relating to armored fighter vehicle procurements valued in excess of $40 billion.
- Lead counsel for a Fortune 50 contractor in $90 million claim against the government, settling the case at full value after extensive negotiations with USAID and the National Security Council.
- Advising some of the largest overseas contractors and NGOs in developing worldwide compliance programs, acquiring US subsidiaries, and navigating the regulatory environment to build US government contracts business.
- Judge Advocate General, Honors Program of the U.S. Army Corps Engineers
Honors and Rankings
- Washington DC Super Lawyers, Government Contracts (2013)
- Mr. Nichols' pro bono work includes being outside general counsel to the Army Engineer Association.
Memberships and Affiliations
- GW Law Government Contracting Industry Advisory Board, Member
- Founder and former Advisory Board Chair of the “International Government Contractor,” a Thomson West publication.
- American Bar Association, International Procurement Committee of the Section of Public Contract Law, former Chair
- American Society of International Law, Member
Publications and Speeches
- "Contracting In A Perfect Storm Of Enforcement Risk: Part 1," Law360 (5/22/2013), Co-Author
- "The Government Contracts Update," Covington E-Alert (5/15/2013), Co-Author
- "Innovative Approaches to Legal Risk Management," Covington E-Alert (5/10/2013), Co-Author
- "The Government Contracts Update," Covington E-Alert (4/29/2013), Co-Author
- "Reflections on Legal and Policy Developments in Cybersecurity," Law360 (4/25/2013), Co-Author
- "The Government Contracts Update," Covington E-Alert (4/16/2013), Co-Author
- "The Government Contracts Update," Covington E-Alert (3/7/2013), Co-Author
- "Contractor Responsibility: Toward An Integrated Approach to Legal Risk Management," Thomson Reuters (March 2013), Co-Author
- "The Government Contracts Update," Covington E-Alert (2/21/2013), Co-Author
- "OFCCP Issues Directive Regarding Federal Contractor Use of Criminal History Information in Hiring Decisions," Covington E-Alert (2/12/2013), Co-Author
- "The Government Contracts Update," Covington E-Alert (2/11/2013), Co-Author
- "The Government Contracts Update," Covington E-Alert (1/11/2013), Co-Author
- "The Government Contracts Update," Covington E-Alert (12/20/2012), Co-Author
- "The Government Contracts Update," Covington E-Alert (12/10/2012), Co-Author
- "Retroactive Compensation Caps: How Contractors Can Recover for Breach Damages," Covington E-Alert (5/8/2012), Co-Author
- "The World Trade Organization Adopts a Revised Agreement on Government Procurement," Covington E-Alert (4/16/2012), Co-Author
- "New U.S.-Iraq SOFA Lifts Contractor Immunity," International Government Contractor (December 2008), Author
- "Iraq Reconstruction: Political Situations Creating Legal Risks for Contractors," International Government Contractor (August 2008), Author
- "Flowing Down Clauses to Non-U.S. Subcontractors: An Approach for Ensuring a Meeting of the Minds," International Government Contractor (April 2008), Author
- "Iraq Reconstruction Contracting: Widespread Difficulties in Record-Keeping and the Contractor’s Burden Of Proof," International Government Contractor (May 2005), Author
- "Public-Private Partnerships: Evolutions in the U.S. Public Procurement System and Lessons Learned From the UK and the EU," International Government Contractor (March 2005), Co-Author
- "Iraq Reconstruction: Key Procurement Issues," Briefing Papers (February 2005), Author
- "Europe’s Movement Toward a More Competitive Market For Defense Procurement," International Government Contractor (November 2004), Author
- "Iraq Reconstruction: Government Contracts Year in Review," Year In Review Conference Briefs (2004), Author
- "Iraq Reconstruction: US Government Procurement Practices in a Coalition Environment," Public Procurement Law Review (2004), Author
- "Iraq Reconstruction: Needs, Opportunities, and the Contracting Environment," BNA's Federal Contracts Report (October 2003), Author
- "Issues in Developing Breach Claims: Under the General Dynamics Compensation Cap Decision," BNA's Federal Contracts Report (April 2002), Co-Author
Presentations and Speeches
- "Bid Protests: Creative Thinking for Better Capture Efforts," Webinar (3/21/2013)