May 10, 2016
Why You Need a Great Government Contracts Attorney: A Discussion with Steven Koprince – Part II
Source: GovBizConnect, Shannon, March 31, 2016
We recently had the opportunity to connect with Steven Koprince, Managing Partner of Koprince Law, LLC, a law firm specializing in small government contractors, and publisher of the very popular government contracting blog, SmallGovCon. Steven is a major thought leader in the government contracting community. This is Part II of our discussion with him. You can read Part I here.
GovBizConnect: How should small business owners think about the relationship between non-disclosure agreements (NDA), teaming agreements, and subcontracts?
Koprince: To me, the non-disclosure agreement is the starting point. In my view, it’s wise to sign a NDA before having any substantive discussions in which either party would disclose confidential information. And if a prospective teammate insists on a unilateral NDA—one that only protects their information—I look at that as a big red flag. There is no good reason, in most cases, to only protect one side’s information.
I view a teaming agreement as a “chasing the contract” document. A good teaming agreement sets forth how the parties will jointly pursue a federal opportunity as a prospective prime contractor and subcontractor. I’ve warned contractors to be careful of some of the standard teaming agreements floating around out there, which may not be enforceable in all jurisdictions. For example, in 2013, a federal Court in Virginia found that a teaming agreement—which, from what I could tell, was fairly standard—was an unenforceable “agreement to agree.” My mindset with teaming agreements is three-fold: advance the client’s interests, demonstrate compliance with applicable law (such as the limitations on subcontracting), and ensure that the agreement is enforceable. READ MORE….
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For help with Government Contracting: contact your nearest Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Funded through Cooperative Agreements between the U.S. Department of Defense and state and local governments/institutions, PTACs provide free and low-cost assistance in virtually all areas of government contracting.