Jenner & Block

D. Joe Smith is co-chair of the firm’s Government Contracts Practice. He has represented large and small companies in a wide variety of government contract matters.  With more than 40 years of experience, he has been lead counsel for a wide range of defense contractors in both the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals and the Court of Federal Claims as well as in numerous federal district courts.  He has also been involved in some of the largest transactions in the defense industry.

Mr. Smith has conducted oral arguments before the Federal Circuit, the District of Columbia Circuit and the Eleventh Circuit.  The subject matter of these claims and disputes has ranged from highway construction to retirement benefits costs to radar jammer technology.  He has also conducted mini-trials, arbitrations and alternative dispute resolution proceedings, including a COFC mediation that resulted in a $50 million award for copyright infringement.

In the area of Cost Accounting Standards (CAS), Mr. Smith has defended contractors against allegations of CAS noncompliance, including the proper treatment of pension costs and performance restricted stock costs as well as continuing costs associated with divested business units.  In the area of fraud, waste and abuse, Mr. Smith has represented numerous corporate clients and, on occasion, individuals.  His work on these cases has included conducting internal investigations.  Mr. Smith has also performed due diligence and drafted contract language with respect to many mergers and acquisitions, including some of the largest transactions in the defense industry. He has represented both divesting companies and acquiring companies.

Mr. Smith was previously a Jenner & Block government contracts partner between 1990 and 1998.  He went on to serve as general counsel and CEO of two start-up biotechnology companies; in those roles, he drafted and negotiated agreements with investment banks and venture funds, prepared private placement memoranda and developed appropriate capitalization structures for start-up companies.  He brings both transactional experience and a unique understanding of the problems that companies face, a skill reflected in his advice and counsel.