June 08, 2020

Jenner & Block is pleased to announce that David Robbins, a leading government contracts lawyer, has rejoined the firm as a partner and co-chair of the firm’s Government Contracts Practice.  Mr. Robbins is an experienced litigator and investigations lawyer with a broad skillset focused on ethics, compliance, counseling, claims, investigations and enforcement defense.  Based in the firm’s Washington, DC office, he will lead the Government Contracts Practice with Partner Marc Van Allen.  

“I’m delighted to see Jenner & Block building up its already premier Government Contracts Practice by adding top talent like David,” said Greg Gallopoulos, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of General Dynamics.

Mr. Robbins advises clients on a range of litigation matters, including civil False Claims Act defense, claims, requests for equitable adjustment, whistleblower reprisal defense and prime/sub disputes.  He also handles matters involving high-stakes, complex internal investigations, strategic transactions, mandatory disclosures, trade secrets litigation, ethics/compliance, conflicts of interest, fraud and public corruption defense, bid protests, General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule contracting, Procurement Integrity Act, Anti-Kickback Act, and suspension and debarment.

“David is an accomplished lawyer with deep government and private practice experience who augments our nationally recognized Government Contracts Practice,” said Jenner & Block Co-Managing Partner Randy Mehrberg.  “He is a highly sought-after practitioner and his knowledge will be a great benefit to clients on their most complex matters, and to the Government Contracts Practice he leads with Marc.” 

Katya Jestin, co-managing partner with Mr. Mehrberg, added: “David is an authority for clients through the ever-changing government contracts and regulatory landscape.  In addition, his deep commitment to values—such as providing excellent service, collaborating with clients and colleagues, and sharing diverse perspectives—are a great fit with our culture.  We are very pleased to welcome him back to the firm.”

Mr. Robbins is a former Air Force General Counsel’s office senior lawyer where he ran the global Air Force’s Procurement Fraud Remedies Office and served as acting Suspending and Debarring Official and Deputy General Counsel (Contractor Responsibility).  Mr. Robbins advised Air Force, Defense, and Intelligence Community senior leaders on a wide range of acquisition issues.  During his tenure, he and his teams were responsible for approximately 1,000 fraud cases and 600 suspension/debarment cases per year.  Mr. Robbins also co-ran the Department of Defense Procurement Fraud Working Group, a collection of agents, lawyers, auditors and acquisition officials who gathered monthly to discuss best practices and set standards, with an intense focus on False Claims Act matters.  He was also a member of the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee.  These two committees coordinated the operations of the government’s procurement and grant fraud organization, setting practices that remain in use today.

Mr. Robbins joins Jenner & Block’s long tradition of lawyers moving between public service and private practice.*

“David is a highly respected member of the government contracts bar,” said Mr. Van Allen.  “Through his background and experience, he is extremely well versed in government contract and grant law, as well as policy, and brings that experience to work for his clients.  I am excited to be leading the practice with him.”

“I am thrilled to be returning to Jenner & Block, where I began my legal career as an associate, and lead the Government Contracts Practice with Marc,” said Mr. Robbins.  “It’s a great opportunity to provide strategic counsel to clients on a range of their most pressing issues.”

Mr. Robbins frequently speaks and publishes on government contracts topics, including in Thomson Reuters Government Contracts Year in Review.  He is the primary author and editor of the ABA Publications peer reviewed book, The Procurement Fraud Guidebook: System, Stakeholders, and Response Strategies.

Mr. Robbins earned his BA from Yale University and received his JD and MBA from the University of Maryland.

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*Jenner & Block lawyers who have moved between public service and private practice include firm Chair Thomas P. Perrelli (former Associate Attorney General of the United States), Thomas P. Sullivan (former US Attorney), Anton R. Valukas (former US Attorney), Ian Heath Gershengorn (former Acting US Solicitor General), Neil M. Barofsky (former Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Recovery Program), David Bitkower (former Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ’s Criminal Division), Emily M. Loeb (former Associate Counsel in the Office of White House Counsel), Kali Bracey (former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Torts Branch of the DOJ’s Civil Division), Suedeen G. Kelly (former Commissioner with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) and former federal prosecutors Reid J. Schar (Northern District of Illinois), Gayle E. Littleton (Northern District of Illinois and Northern District of Florida), Anthony S. Barkow (Southern District of New York, District of Columbia and Main Justice) and many others.

In 2020, the firm hired five lateral partners in this same tradition including Jennifer S. Amerkhail (former in-house lawyer with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), David Pressman (former US Ambassador) Dawn L. Smalls (former Commissioner of the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics), Lee Wolosky (former US Ambassador) and Andrew Weissmann (former Special Counsel prosecutor, former Chief of the Fraud Section in the US Department of Justice Criminal Division, former General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, former lead prosecutor in the Special Counsel investigation, the Director of the Enron Task Force, and the Chief of the Criminal Division in the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York).