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For a government contracts lawyer, there’s no question that military experience can be a plus. Rand Allen came by his almost by chance. The Wiley Rein & Fielding partner attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point not because he dreamed of being a soldier, but because he wanted to play basketball � on the first college team coached by Bobby Knight. (“I still get knots in my stomach when I see him on TV,” Allen, 58, confesses.) Nonetheless, Allen’s West Point engineering degree and five years as an officer in the Army’s armored cavalry have served him well during his legal career. A 1976 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, Allen says he naturally gravitated toward government contracts when he started his career at Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue (now simply Jones Day). “My military background gave me a familiarity with the institutions,” he says, while his training as an engineer meant he had a “facility with the technology � or at least wasn’t intimidated by it.” Allen joined Wiley Rein in 1986 as the firm’s first government contracts partner. There, he built the practice from scratch, assembling a 25-lawyer group now known for its depth and expertise. His clients include the Boeing Co., the Hewlett-Packard Co., the Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS), and BAE Systems. Notable colleagues include partners Matthew Simchak, Scott McCaleb, and Paul Khoury. “That’s the thing I’m proudest of, the team we built,” says Allen, who co-chairs the government contracts practice with Simchak. In one major case, Allen represented Boeing in a 1999 fight with the Lockheed Martin Corp. over a contract to build the next generation of spy satellites. Boeing won the (top secret) contract, which press reports at the time called a multibillion-dollar procurement. Lockheed, which had held the contract until then, protested. “We worked around the clock for 100 days,” Allen recalls, to help the National Reconnaissance Office (which operates spy satellites for the military and the Central Intelligence Agency) defend its decision � successfully. “There were all kinds of highly technical issues. Basically, could Boeing’s solution do what they said it could do?” Boeing continues to be a top client. Currently, Allen is the aviation giant’s lead counsel in a dispute with the Air Force, which suspended three Boeing units from government contracts after it found that Boeing possessed thousands of pages of proprietary Lockheed Martin documents at the same time the two companies were competing to build a satellite launch rocket. Negotiations to get the suspensions lifted have been ongoing for more than a year. Boeing Assistant General Counsel Steven Horton says that Allen “brings to the table a tremendous amount of experience and depth in both the substantive legal requirements and the practical considerations for a big business like us.” Allen also represents EDS, which in 2000 was awarded a $6.9 billion contract to build and operate an intranet for the Navy and Marine Corps. The deal has been plagued with delays and unexpected costs. “The issues that have come up on that contract � it’s like a Ph.D. course in government contracts,” Allen says. Perhaps his most high-profile success was Allen’s role in scuttling the Clinton administration’s “blacklisting” rule. The controversial rule would have barred companies with patterns of legal violations (including employment, environmental, and ethics violations) from receiving new government contracts. “It was dramatically overbroad and unnecessary to achieve the objective it was ostensibly trying to achieve � protecting the government’s interests,” says Allen. “There were existing mechanisms that did that.” In 2000, Allen filed suit on behalf of the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and other business groups challenging the law. He also testified before Congress and lobbied against the rule, which was revoked by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council in 2001.

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