Richard J. Webber

Rick entered the field of government contracts more than 30 years ago from a litigation perspective.
Rick Webber, Partner, Washington DC at Arent Fox

Rick began his career in the US Department of Justice defending the government in contracts and statute-based claims. Since joining Arent Fox, his government contracts litigation practice has been diverse, with extensive experience in claims, bid protests, construction disputes litigation, False Claims Act qui tam cases, and suits seeking injunctive relief. Rick has also litigated in other areas of the law in which he has represented clients in jury and non-jury trials and appeals. Rick's practice also includes counseling on a diverse range of subjects and the conduct of investigations related to alleged false claims, employee misconduct, and accounting irregularities.

Rick has brought claims against government agencies in court and in contract appeals boards, defending against default terminations, seeking appropriate payment for convenience terminations, and prosecuting/defending bid protests in court and the Government Accountability Office.

Rick has also brought and defended actions between private litigants in contract and other disputes, construction matters, employee non-competition agreement violations, and business torts. These matters have included a number of arbitrations. He has also participated in many mediations, sometimes involving multiple parties.

Rick advises clients on matters of contract interpretation and drafting, subcontracting, teaming agreements, non-disclosure agreements, labor laws, and small business issues. He assists companies in the handling of government investigations and mandatory disclosures. He also interacts with agency attorneys in the government to resolve issues confronting his clients.

Recent representations include the following:

Bid Protests

  • In a protest brought in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, successfully defended a major IT company's services award.
  • In a protest brought in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, obtained injunction preventing client’s disqualification from a competition. 
  • In GAO, successfully defended against a protest of a $1 billion Foreign Military Sales award. 
  • In the GAO, successfully protested a State Department award of a $500 million embassy construction contract.
  • In GAO, successfully defended protest of a Cloud computer contract award.

Claims and Terminations

  • In a contract appeals board, achieved settlement in which the State Department agreed to reimburse client for $25 million of disputed tax payments to the Afghan Government.
  • In a contract appeals board, recovered $2.3 million in settlement of a construction claim for additional costs, where the work was unauthorized by the contracting officer. 
  • In a contract appeals board, appealing from a termination for default, after presenting the client’s case in the initial week of the scheduled trial, achieved a settlement in which the government changed the termination to a termination for convenience and gave up its multi-million dollar reprocurement cost claim.
  • In a contract appeals board, recovered $5 million in claimed payroll costs based on a mutual mistake-of-fact theory.

Other Representations

  • Successfully defended two False Claims Act cases brought by qui tam relators. 
  • Has successfully managed mandatory disclosures with no further action taken by the government.
  • Various internal investigations of alleged wrongful acts, allegations of improper time charges, misrepresentations of small business status, failure to report rebates, and GSA Schedule compliance. 
  • Performed due diligence reviews incident to acquisitions.
  • Prepared applications to DHS for Safety Act Designation and Certification. 
  • Advised on labor issues incident to government contracts.
  • Advised on small business issues incident to government contracts. 


Rick's recent publications include:

Fall 2015

Richard J. Webber, Octo Consulting and the Best Value Continuum, 51 Procurement Law 1 (2015).

Fall 2013

Richard J. Webber, Litigating Claims and Protests Against the Federal Government: Strategies to Follow – and Pitfalls to Avoid – to Increase the Client’s Chances for Success, ASPATORE (2014 Ed.)

Spring 2012

Richard J. Webber and Patrick R. Quigley, Turner Construction Company, Inc. v. United States: Hard Facts & Contracting Officer Discretion, 47 Procurement Law. 3 (2012)

September 2010

September 2010, Article, Richard J. Webber, Litigating Federal Government Contract Disputes: Recent Trends and Proven Strategies, ASPATORE (September 2010), Available at 2010 WL 3628962

In October 2012, the American Lawyer and Martindale-Hubbell recognized Rick as one of 46 Arent Fox lawyers given a “Top Rated” designation.

Previous Work

After clerking for the trial and the appellate levels of the US Court of Claims (now the US Court of Federal Claims and the Federal Circuit, respectively), Rick joined the Civil Division of the US Department of Justice and spent the following five years defending the government in a variety of litigations, both in trial and on appeal.

Professional Activities

Rick was the chair of the Federal Contract Claims and Remedies Committee of the America Bar Association’s Section of Public Contract Law from 1987-91. Thereafter, he served as chair of the ADP Procurement Committee of the Federal Bar Association’s Government Contracts Section from 1992-94, then chair of the Government Contracts Section from 1994-96, and chair of the Alternative Disputes Resolution Section from 2002-03.

  • Industries
  • Bar & Court Admissions
    • District of Columbia Bar
    • Maryland Bar
    • US Court of Federal Claims
    • US Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
    • Supreme Court of the United States
    • US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
    • US Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
    • US Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
    • US District Court, District of Columbia
  • Education
    University of Michigan Law School
    Princeton University