Erin B. Sheppard is a partner in the Government Contracts practice group at Dentons. Ms. Sheppard has extensive experience helping government contractors address and solve a broad array of contracting problems including: pursuing bid protests, resolving performance disputes, and litigating contractor claims and terminations. She also helps clients navigate the constantly changing landscape of cybersecurity regulations and counsels government contractors that have been victims of cyber incidents in their breach investigation and response.
Ms. Sheppard regularly assists prime and subcontractors in resolving contractual disputes with the federal government. She also has extensive experience counseling government contractors on a broad range of regulatory compliance questions arising from performance of government contracts. She assists clients at all stages of the contracting process with a business-focused approach to dispute resolution and has litigated a broad range of contractor claims stemming from terminations, changes, delays, and other performance issues.
Ms. Sheppard represents contractors of varying sizes across a range of industry sectors in prosecuting claim appeals before both the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) and Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASCBA) and has substantial experience in Alternative Dispute Resolution before both boards. She is a well-recognized practitioner in this area and currently serves as the President of the Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association. She also maintains a robust practice prosecuting and defending bid protests before the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Court of Federal Claims, and the FAA Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition (ODRA).
As an active member of the Firm’s cross-practice cybersecurity team, Ms. Sheppard counsels clients on breach response, cybersecurity legislative and regulatory developments, and in development of cybersecurity compliance programs. She is an active commentator in this area and is a Co-Chair of the ABA Public Contract Law Section’s, Privacy Cybersecurity and Data Protection Committee.
- First chaired contractor appeal of government claim for unallowable subcontract costs stemming from Iraqi war contract and reached successful settlement using ASBCA Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures.
- Represented contractor’s appeal of multiple claims against Department of Agriculture stemming from termination of contract for convenience.
- Defended and prosecuted over two-dozen bid protests before the GAO with substantial experience challenging and defending sole source procurements.
- Drafted and filed certified claims on behalf of civilian and defense contractors.
- Litigated unpaid invoices claim on behalf of subcontractor in Fairfax Circuit Court, Virginia.
- Litigated stay override challenge before the Court of Federal Claims.
- Assists clients seeking to prevent disclosure of confidential trade secret and other protected information exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
- "The Tip of the Iceberg," Co-authored by Philip R. Seckman, Erin B. Sheppard, Michael J. McGuinn, and J. Quincy Stott, Dentons Client Alert, October 16, 2016.
- “BNA Insights: Commercial Contractors Face Consequences From Commonly Overlooked Obligations,” Bloomberg BNA Federal Contracts Report, Vol. 105, No. 22, June 7, 2016.
- "A lighter touch — Final FAR rule issued on safeguarding contractor information systems," co-authored by Phillip R. Seckman, Erin B. Sheppard and Michael J. McGuinn, Dentons US LLP, May 13, 2016.
- “Cybersecurity and your supply chain: What you don’t know may hurt you,” co-authored by Erin Sheppard, Phil Seckman, and Michael McGuinn, Contracts Management, February 2016.
- “The gift of time: A second DOD interim rule grants contractors additional time to comply with cyber security requirements,” Dentons Client Alert, December 30, 2015
- “The shifting sands of cybersecurity: DOD's interim rule further burdens contractors,” Dentons Client Alert, August 26, 2015
- “Adding a short-order cook to a crowded kitchen: OMB guidance creates a sense of urgency for cybersecurity in federal acquisitions,” Dentons Client Alert, August 13, 2015
- "Final NIST Guidance for Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information Brings With it Ever Increasing Complexity for Contractors," Dentons Client Alert, June 26, 2015.
- "ASBCA Suggests Actual Government Knowledge May Be Required to Trigger Statute of Limitations for Cost Claims," Dentons Client Alert, June 3, 2015.
- "HHS Audit Reports Reflect Growing Trend of Proactive Cybersecurity Audits of Healthcare IT Contractors," Dentons Client Alert, August 7, 2014
- "Don't Be an Example; Why Focusing Now on the Recent DFARS UCTI Rule is Essential," co-author, BNA Federal Contracts Report, May13, 2014.
- "Framework As Foundation: How Government Contractors Can Use the NIST Cybersecurity Framework," co-author, BNA Federal Contracts Report, April 15, 2014.
- "NIST Releases Its Final Cybersecurity Framework,” co-author, E-Commerce Law & Policy, April 15, 2014.
- "NIST issues its Preliminary Cybersecurity framework," co-author, E-Commerce Law & Policy, December 2013.
- "A Step Toward Securing Contractor Information Systems," co-author, Government Contracts Law 360, August 29, 2012.
- "The Latest Step In Federal Transition To The Cloud," co-author, Government Contracts Law 360, March 8, 2012.
- "Facilitating The Federal Transition To The Cloud," co-author, Government Contracts Law 360, February 16, 2012.
Activities and Affiliations
- Guest Lecturer, Fun with the FAR, Public Contracting Institute, June 2016
- Co-Presenter, Cybersecurity Compliance and Developments, Public Contracting Institute Webinar Series, Fall-Winter 2015-2016.
- Presenter, Overview of the Cybersecurity Regulatory Maze, Fairfax Bar Association, January 19, 2016
- Presenter, Government Contract Regulatory Trends, Atlanta Gov-Con Forum, November 2015
- Moderator, Marshaling the Evidence: BCA Judges Panel, Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association Annual Program, October 2015
- Panelist, Cybersecurity and Data Breach, Dentons CLE Seminar for In-House Counsel, October 2015
- Moderator, "Legal Trends Affecting DCAA Audits," Public Contracting Institute DCAA Hot Topics Executive Seminar, August 18, 2015.
- Co-presenter, "Cybersecurity: Protecting Your Campus," American Council on Education, November 18, 2013.
- Moderator, “The Private Bar’s Perspective on How the Continuing Budget Crisis Will Impact Government Contractors,” Board of Contract Appeals Judges Association Annual Seminar, April 2012.
- Member, American Bar Association
- Co-Chair (2016-present); Vice-Chair (2012-2016) ABA Public Contract Law Section, Cybersecurity, Privacy & Data Protection Committee
- President (2016), Secretary (2015), Co-Treasurer (2014), Member, Board of Governors (2011-2013), Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association, Inc.
- Member, District of Columbia Bar, Government Contracts and Litigation Section