Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP, advises clients about doing business with government agencies, particularly those based in New York City and New York State. For contractors seeking to do business with agencies, authorities, and development corporations in New York City or New York State, K&F offers a premier government contracts law practice, exceptional for its quality, experience, and focus on the government procurement laws, rules, and customs in the New York region.
While most government procurement lawyers focus on federal contracts, K&F has developed a niche in New York City and State procurement, recognizing that the annual contracting budgets of City and State are close to $20 billion and $200 billion, respectively, and that, collectively, their agencies engage in well over 200,000 contract transactions per year. To promote our clients’ success and legal strategy, K&F often refers them to lobbying firms and works closely with the lobbyists that they retain.
K&F’s government procurement and contracting practice is led by Claude M. Millman, a K&F partner who is a former Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Contracts Services (MOCS) and New York City Chief Procurement Officer (CCPO), and who has been recognized in the “Law Power 100”— a list, according to City & State, of “New York’s 100 most influential lawyers . . . based on their achievements, track record and sway in political and policy matters.” Mr. Millman has been representing New York City and State government contractors for over two decades.
K&F’s services include advice concerning:
- Vendor pre-qualification
- Responses to government solicitations (e.g., IFBs; RFPs; RFEIs; RFQs; HSS Accelerator)
- Disclosures to the government
- Responsibility (vendor integrity) inquiries and appeals
- Appeals of non-responsiveness determinations
- Disappointed bidder protests
- Contract negotiations
- Compliance with federal, state, and local government affirmative action obligations
- Prevailing and living wage obligations
- Ethics advice and enforcement defense
- Lobbying referrals and compliance
- Government investigations of contractors
- Default hearings
- Debarment proceedings
- Litigation flowing from all of the above
- Mergers and acquisition strategy, and due diligence
- Business opportunities and procurement training
K&F represents contractors in every industry, including manufacturers, distributors, construction firms, staff enhancement firms, technology companies, moving companies, janitorial service companies, investment firms, telecommunications providers, and social service providers. The firm helps contractors, subcontractors, lenders, and investors navigate the complex government contracting rules that govern procurement and contract administration.
Many of K&F’s government procurement clients are publicly traded companies, or large privately held companies. For example, K&F has represented Aetna Life Insurance Company; Atos Public Safety, LLC; ABM Industries, Inc.; Carrier Corporation; CGI Technologies & Solutions, Inc.; Conduent Business Services, LLC; Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc.; GCOM; GE Transportation; Great-West Financial; IBM; Jack Resnick & Sons, Inc.; Kidde Technologies, Inc.; MSG Varsity Network, LLC; Navigant Consulting, Inc.; NeuStar, Inc.; Otis Elevator Company; Res-Care Workforce Services; Siemens Electrical, LLC; Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.; Silverite Construction Co., Inc.; Software AG USA, Inc.; STV Group, P.C., TASER International Corporation.; TEKsystems, Inc.; Uber Technologies, Inc.; United Technologies, Inc. (UTI); Verizon; World Fuel Services Corporation; and Xerox State & Local Solutions, Inc.
K&F also has represented not-for-profit organizations, such as Bowery Residents’ Committee (BRC); Catholic Guardian Society & Home Bureau; Cayuga Centers; Institute for the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Elderly; Metropolitan Movers Association, Inc.; Montefiore/New Rochelle Hospital; New America; Public Health Solutions (PHS); SEEDCO; and Staten Island Mental Health Society, Inc.
K&F assists with every aspect of the procurement process, from contract solicitation through contract administration, including disputes. The firm has worked on purchase contracts, revenue contracts, franchises, concessions, and leases.
K&F regularly guides companies through the City and State’s disclosure systems, including PASSPort (the City of New York’s Procurement and Sourcing Solutions Portal, formerly known as VENDEX); Schedule J (the form used by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority – the MTA); the BQQ (the Background Qualification Questionnaire used by the New York and New Jersey Port Authority – the PANYNJ); and VendRep (the form used by New York State, including its Office of General Services – the OGS).
Clients also come to K&F for advice on how to interpret solicitations, structure joint ventures and other bidding arrangements, and comply with the prevailing wage laws (including Sections 220 and 230 of the New York Labor Law), the New York State Finance Law, the General Municipal Law, and the New York City Procurement Policy Board Rules (PPB Rules). K&F has extensive experience negotiating the terms and conditions of contracts, amendments, change orders, extensions, and renewals.
K&F represents government contractors (and government officials) dealing with the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB), the New York City Lobbying Bureau, and the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) on ethics and lobbying. The firm provides advice on Lobby Law registration and reporting, revolving door employment, use of confidential information, donations, gifts, and other issues under the New York Public Officers Law and Chapter 68 of the New York City Charter. K&F also defends clients (government officials, former government officials, and contractors) in investigations and enforcement proceedings.
K&F represents clients during procurement-related audits and investigations. The firm has defended clients and represented witnesses before numerous investigative offices, including the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI); the New York State Inspector General; the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Office of the Inspector General (MTA OIG); the New York City Housing Authority Inspector General (NYCHA IG); the New York City School Construction Authority Inspector General (SCA IG); and the Special Commissioner for Investigation for the New York City School District (SCI).
K&F has litigated many disputes involving government contracts, leases, concessions, and franchises. The firm has defended government contractors in federal court and secured the dismissal of claims under the federal, State, and City False Claims Acts. K&F has defended contractors against administrative claims and secured the dismissal of retaliation claims under the federal Employee Whistleblower Protection law (41 U.S.C. § 4712). The firm regularly files procurement bid protests for clients (often supported by FOIL) and has pursued such claims against numerous City and State agencies through “Article 78” proceedings. K&F has prosecuted clients’ monetary claims for breach of contract in contractual dispute resolution forums (e.g., the City’s Contract Dispute Resolution Board – the CDRB) and in court. The firm’s attorneys have appeared for government contractors in the First, Second, and Third Departments of the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division.
K&F has provided legal strategy and risk advice to companies considering mergers and acquisitions involving City and State contractors, and supported their “due diligence” in such transactions. The firm’s attorneys have also attended presentations to prosecutors by corporations’ criminal defense counsel to describe, on behalf of the defense, the procurement-related collateral consequences of corporate guilty pleas for government contractors and subcontractors.
Assisted Spiro Devices, LLC, in closing a deal, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a City of New York economic development corporation to supply the newly invented Spiro Wave – a low-cost, automatic resuscitator that helps hospitals expand their capacity to care for patients with critical ventilation, at a fraction of the cost of traditional ventilators.
Defended a not-for-profit in an investigation by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Office of the Inspector General (MTA OIG), which closed the matter through a public report that “did not find fraud” in the client’s billings or time records.
Secured an affirmance in the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, of an order dismissing a putative class action that grocery stores had filed against K&F’s clients (N.Y.S. Department of Health contractors Public Health Solutions and Montefiore/New Rochelle Hospital), which arose from the stores’ displeasure with a government policy to deter fraudulent practices by stores receiving federal WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) nutrition-supplement checks.
Represented ABM Aviation, Inc., in connection with audited airport service contracts with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ).
After winning a motion allowing Aetna Life Insurance Company to intervene in an “Article 78” proceeding brought by Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) regarding Aetna’s MTA contract, persuaded the New York State Supreme Court to deny Empire access to Aetna’s trade secrets and confidential information under New York’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).
Demonstrated the business integrity of a privately held contractor, with over a billion dollars in revenues, at a “special responsibility hearing” held by the Vendor Relations Unit (VRU) of the MTA NYC Transit’s Materiel Division, which resulted in a finding that the contractor was sufficiently “responsible” to do business with the government and a letter from the agency complimenting the quality of the presentation.
Drafted templates for a not-for-profit contractor with the N.Y.C. Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to use in subcontracting work to other not-for-profits.
Negotiated terms and conditions of a contract between the N.Y.C. Department of Education (DOE) and MSG Varsity Network LLC to film and broadcast high school sports games.
Won an “Article 78” proceeding for Harvard Maintenance, Inc., against the N.Y.S. Insurance Fund (NYSIF) and obtained a judgment from the New York State Supreme Court annulling NYSIF’s denial of Harvard’s bid protest and vacating NYSIF’s contract with Gilbert International, Inc.
Represented Verizon in connection with procurements and contracts with the N.Y.C. Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT) and the N.Y.C. Department of Education (DOE).
Sued the N.Y.C. Police Department (NYPD) in New York State Supreme Court and the City’s Contract Dispute Resolution Board (CDRB) for Software AG USA, Inc., and secured a settlement resolving all claims.
Represented Xerox Corporation in opposition to JPMorgan Chase Bank. N.A’s unsuccessful bid protest appeal to the N.Y.S. Comptroller, which resulted in the Comptroller’s public dismissal of the appeal and approval of the contract between Xerox and the N.Y.S. Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTBA) for Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Services.
Overturned the N.Y.C. Comptroller’s prevailing wage schedule for office furniture movers by securing favorable decisions in the New York State Supreme Court and its Appellate Division, First Department, for the Metropolitan Movers’ Association, Inc.
Conducted an internal investigation for a N.Y.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) contractor.
Represented ExteNet Systems, Inc., before the N.Y.C. Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT) in connection with its successful acquisition of a City franchise for the right to install cellular telecommunications equipment on City street light poles.
Filed a bid protest and then an appeal with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) on behalf of the incumbent bidder, Guardian Service Industries, Inc., which led to cancellation of the protested procurement and continuation of our client’s contract.
Negotiated the contract between the N.Y.C. Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT) and NeuStar, Inc., for the acquisition, operation, and management of the “dot NYC” Top Level Domain (TLD).
Sued the N.Y.C. Department of Corrections (DOC) in New York State Supreme Court and the City’s Contract Dispute Resolution Board (CDRB) for CGI Technologies & Solutions, Inc., and secured a settlement resolving all claims
Defended and obtained a settlement for SEEDCO in litigation arising from its Workforce1 Career Center contracts with the N.Y.C. Department of Small Business Services (SBS).
Advocated for Spherion Atlantic Enterprises, LLC, after the City “froze” Spherion’s contracts on account of its role as a City contractor on the “City Time” project. Demonstrated that no funds should be repaid by Spherion, filed Spherion’s notice of claim, and then secured the release of improperly “frozen” contract payments.