Karen R. Harbaugh
Karen Harbaugh focuses her practice on US government contracts law. With more than 15 years of experience, Karen began her career working for a government contractor where she was responsible for drafting, negotiating and managing contracts, subcontracts, teaming agreements and consulting agreements, and otherwise administering prime contracts and subcontracts for the corporation’s hardware maintenance division.
In 1998 Karen entered private practice focusing her practice on US government contracts. Karen has substantial experience representing and counseling defense industry, government services, cybersecurity and high-tech foreign and domestic clients at the federal, state and local levels concerning compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Department of Defense FAR Supplement and other agency supplements, General Services Administration multiple-award schedule contracting matters, security clearances, teaming agreements and subcontracts, contract claims, prime contractor-subcontractor disputes, and audits and investigations.
Karen has significant experience representing companies in all aspects of the bid protest process including debriefings, and has filed or defended many cases at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and various agencies and has handled some cases at the US Court of Federal Claims (COFC), US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC). Below are representative examples of Karen’s bid protest experience:
- Successfully defended a network services company against multiple bid protests of a US$500 million information technology services contracts one of which was awarded to a client by the US Department of Defense. The protests included a “small business” size status at the Small Business Administration, a protest before GAO, as well as protests before COFC, and CAFC. In January 2013, we achieved complete victory for our client and, in the process, made new law clarifying the time requirements for filing solicitation protests.
- Successfully brought a GAO protest of the Army's US$20 billion contract award resulting in the client receiving an IDIQ award.
- Successfully brought a GAO protest of TSA’s award of a US$212 million contract, which resulted in the agency taking corrective action.
Karen has significant experience advising companies on the protection of the intellectual property rights in technical data, software and patents under government prime contracts and subcontracts.
Karen has conducted several internal investigations and responded to grand jury subpoenas for clients. She has handled several suspension and debarment cases. She also has been lead government contracts counsel on several M&A transactions. Karen has helped several companies develop and/or revise their code of business ethics, conduct and develop business ethics awareness and compliance programs, and provide in-house ethics training to comply with the requirements of the FAR.
She is a member of the Professional Services Council, the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, the Bar Association of the District of Columbia and the Virginia State Bar. She was named part of the Legal Elite for 2009 by the readership of Washington SmartCEO.
Karen serves on the board of Suited for Change.