Jenner & Block

“Challenges for Contractors in the COVID-19 Era: Protecting Rights and Maximizing Recoveries,” West Law Briefing Papers Second Series

In this Briefing Paper published by West Law, Jenner & Block Partners David B. Robbins and Cynthia J. Robertson discuss contract administration challenges that contractors are facing due to the novel coronavirus. The authors address issues that are likely to be most prevalent in the coming months and provide tips on how to minimize conflict when discussing issues with customers. They also discuss relevant standard contract clauses and variables affecting contractors’ ability to obtain relief for COVID-19 impacts under these clauses; provide clues for contractors in the current environment from recent, analogous case law; discuss recently established Government assistance programs available to contractors confronting pandemic-related cost increases; and share tips for mitigating resultant audit and investigation risks.
 
“One thing is clear. Contractors must engage their COs with candid, early discussions regarding COVID-19 expected impacts,” the authors wrote. “Doing so will enable a contractor to obtain the direction and/or ratification needed to demonstrate it has not acted unilaterally.”