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Thomas L. McGovern III

Senior Counsel
Washington, D.C.

Thomas L. McGovern III

Tom McGovern entered the world of government contracts as a U.S. Air Force officer in 1979. He worked part time for Stanford's contracts and grants office while in law school from 1984 to 1987, then joined the firm shortly after graduation.

For his first 20 years at the firm, Tom remained active in the Air Force Reserve, retiring as a colonel in 2007; his last assignment was in the Air Force Senate Liaison Office. Today, Tom builds off that experience as he handles high-stakes cases for major defense and aerospace contractors, information technology companies, and research institutions.

A litigator and a leader in the firm's Government Contracts practice, Tom handles all types of government contract matters, including bid protests, disputes and claims, termination settlements, misconduct investigations, and suspension and debarment cases. He is well known for his bid protest work before the Court of Federal Claims, Government Accountability Office (GAO), and FAA Office of Disputes Resolution for Acquisition. He represents clients in contract dispute cases before the Court of Federal Claims and Boards of Contract Appeals, as well as in prime and subcontractor disputes before federal district and state courts.

In addition to litigating, Tom advises clients on numerous other procurement-related matters, including subcontracts, teaming agreements, suspension and debarment matters, schedule contract compliance issues, small and minority-owned business programs, personal and facility security clearances, information assurance obligations, and defense of qui tam lawsuits. He regularly teams with partners in the firm's white-collar practice on significant procurement misconduct cases.

"He is very experienced and has good insights into how the government will react. [He is] very bright, knowledgeable, creative, candid, and he has great connections."

Chambers USA 2017

Education and admissions


  • J.D., with distinction, Stanford Law School, 1987
  • M.B.A., with distinction, Babson College, 1982
  • B.S., United States Air Force Academy, 1979


  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Member, Government Contracts and Litigation Section, Bar Association of the District of Columbia, 2008-present
  • Member, Law360's Government Contracts Editorial Advisory Board
  • Past Co-chair, Contract Claims and Disputes Committee, American Bar Association, 2003-2007
  • Past Co-chair, Homeland Security Committee, American Bar Association, 2008-2010
  • Vice-Chair, ABA CCDRC, 2008-present

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • California
  • District of Columbia

Court admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland


Acritas Star: Litigation

Acritas Stars Independently Rated Lawyers


Government Contracts

Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers


Government: Government Contracts: Bid Protests (Nationwide), Spotlight Table

Chambers USA


Government: Government Contracts (Nationwide)

Chambers USA


Top Lawyers, Government Contracts

Washingtonian Magazine


Public Procurement

Who's Who Legal


Government: Government Contracts, Leading Lawyer

Legal 500 US


Law360, MVP of the Year

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