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Recent Supply Chain Security Executive and Legislative Branch Actions

Speaker(s): Mike Wagner, Samantha L. Clark, Susan B. Cassidy
Recorded on: Apr. 29, 2021
PLI Program #: 324363

Mike Wagner helps government contractors navigate high-stakes enforcement matters and complex regulatory regimes.

Combining deep regulatory knowledge with extensive investigations experience, Mr. Wagner works closely with contractors across a range of industries to achieve the efficient resolution of regulatory enforcement actions and government investigations, including False Claims Act cases. He has particular expertise representing individuals and companies in suspension and debarment proceedings, and he has successfully resolved numerous such matters at both the agency and district court level. He also routinely conducts internal investigations of potential compliance issues and advises clients on voluntary and mandatory disclosures to federal agencies.

In his contract disputes and advisory work, Mr. Wagner helps government contractors resolve complex issues arising at all stages of the public procurement process. As lead counsel, he has successfully litigated disputes at the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, and he regularly assists contractors in preparing and pursuing contract claims. In his counseling practice, Mr. Wagner advises clients on best practices for managing a host of compliance obligations, including domestic sourcing requirements under the Buy American Act and Trade Agreements Act, safeguarding and reporting requirements under cybersecurity regulations, and pricing obligations under the GSA Schedules program. And he routinely assists contractors in navigating issues and disputes that arise during negotiations over teaming agreements and subcontracts.

Mr. Wagner is a Co-Chair of the ABA Suspension & Debarment Committee and principal editor of the American Bar Association’s Practitioner’s Guide to Suspension & Debarment (2018). He is a frequent writer and speaker on issues relating to procurement fraud and contractor responsibility, and he also has served as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School.

Samantha Clark practices in the firm’s Public Policy Practice Group as well as the CFIUS and Government Contracts groups. Ms. Clark provides advisory and advocacy support to clients facing policy, political, and regulatory challenges in the aerospace, defense, and national security sector.

Before joining the firm, Samantha Clark served in a number of senior staff positions on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, most recently as Deputy Staff Director and General Counsel. In this role, she managed the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual defense policy bill that authorizes the Defense Department’s budget. Ms. Clark worked on Chairman McCain's legislative priorities to modernize the military retirement system and reform the defense acquisition system and served as an investigative counsel for the committee's inquiry into cyber intrusions affecting U.S. Transportation Command contractors. During her time on the committee, she managed a multi-billion dollar policy portfolio that covered acquisition law and policy, national security law and policy, military, civilian, and acquisition workforce policy, congressional investigations, military end strength authorizations, military pay and compensation, law of war and detainee issues, and women in combat.

The Secretary of the Navy awarded Ms. Clark the Department of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award for her "exceptional service to the Department of the Navy as Deputy Staff Director of the Senate Armed Services Committee," and the Department of the Air Force awarded Ms. Clark her second Distinguished Public Service Award for her work leading specific legislative initiatives to modernize acquisition authorities and reform the military and civilian personnel systems in support of the Air Force during her tenure on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Susan B. Cassidy is a Chambers rated partner in the firm’s Government Contracts Practice Group and is co-chair of the firm’s Aerospace and Defense Industry Group. Ms. Cassidy advises clients on the complex rules and regulations imposed on government contractors at all phases of the procurement cycle. She combines a sophisticated knowledge of the FAR and DFARS with the practical insight gained from senior in-house positions at both dedicated defense and commercial item contractors.

Ms. Cassidy has particular expertise in the complex regulatory intersection of cybersecurity and government contracts and regularly advises clients on the unique risks associated with a cyber incident involving sensitive government information. Ms. Cassidy also has an active practice counseling clients on a variety of supply chain issues, including Section 889, the Supply Chain Executive Order, counterfeit parts requirements, product exclusions, and DoD’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). She is able to draw on both her knowledge and experience with the Defense Department and the Intelligence Community to help her clients navigate among the many government stakeholders whose interests may be impacted.

Ms. Cassidy has considerable litigation experience and has represented clients in bid protests, prime-subcontractor disputes, Administrative Procedure Act cases, and product liability litigation before federal courts, state courts, and administrative agencies.

Ms. Cassidy is a Public Contract Law Procurement Division Co-Chair, former Co-Chair and current Vice-Chair of the ABA PCL Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Data Protection Committee, a member of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance Legal Affairs Roundtable and of the National Defense Industrial Association’s Cybersecurity Committee. In 2018, the National Law Review selected Ms. Cassidy as a “Go-to Thought Leader” on the topic of Cybersecurity for Government Contractors and in 2020, Chambers USA noted, "Sources say: 'She truly identifies with us as a client and always approaches matters from our sometimes unique perspective,' adding: 'She provides solutions, is incredibly efficient and unbelievably responsive.'" Prior to joining Covington, Ms. Cassidy served as in-house senior counsel at Northrop Grumman Corporation and Motorola Incorporated.