Tom Coulter

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Tom Coulter

Tom Coulter



Tom Coulter is an experienced lawyer practicing government contract law, with significant experience in government contract litigation, for more than 20 years. He has litigated with a number of government departments and agencies - both state and federal - and has significant trial experience as lead counsel in government contract matters. Additionally, Tom has provided general government contract advice to a wide variety of federal and state contractors.

Tom advises clients on various bidding issues and contract negotiations, including subcontracts and teaming agreements.  Tom also advises clients on, contract compliance issues, including Buy American and TAA certification, and the preservation of data rights, as well as False Claims Act issues and import/export issues including, Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) regulations. Tom has significant bid protest experience at both the state and federal levels and regularly represents contractors in bid protest litigation before the Government Accountability Office and the United States Court of Federal Claims.

Tom also has significant experience in contract claim litigation and False Claims Act litigation. From 2014-2016, Tom  successfully represented a company in a nationwide False Claims Act matter, with the Government asserting $2 Billion in damages. In addition, Tom has substantial experience in assisting clients with voluntary and mandatory disclosure issues, audits and investigations.

In 1997, Tom joined the Department of Justice as a trial attorney in Washington, DC. During his tenure in the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Justice Department, Tom represented the United States in a myriad of contract disputes, the majority of which involved construction contracts. He obtained experience in all phases of public contracting, from the bidding process through final completion. Tom participated in bid protest litigation, contract interpretation issues, differing site conditions, issues of changes in the scope of work, defective plans and specifications, and other typical construction contract issues. As lead trial counsel, he litigated several government contract cases through trial.

Professional experience

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JD, Wake Forest University, 1990
BA, University of Virginia, 1987

  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Texas State Bar
  • Virginia State Bar
  • Bid protest involving $40 million logistics services contract in Middle East locations
  • Bid protest for $125 million bridging supply contract
  • Bid protest for contract for services in Dakar, Senegal
  • Small business size protests (filing and defending)
  • Bid protest for office supply company
  • Bid protests for information technology company
  • Bid protest for $4 billion student loan servicing contract
  • Bid protests for medical device supplier to VA Hospitals
  • Bid protest for information technology company against Va. County
  • Bid protest for trash removal/recycling services in City of Richmond
  • Advise clients on numerous compliance issues
  • Advise client on Virginia information technology contract issues
  • Advise client on state-wide procurement for Medicaid services
  • Advise clients on complex business transactions, including novation agreements
  • Advise clients on data rights issues
  • Advise clients on security clearance issues
  • Advise clients on import/export issues implicating government contracts
  • Assist with GSA audit for office supply company and related False Claims Act issues
  • Assist with response to government investigations relating to procurement issues and OFAC issues
  • Defense of False Claims Act cases and Inspector General investigations involving freight forwarding company, document destruction services company, community health care network, construction contractor, and federal information technology company
  • Represented clients in claims against Government in Court of Federal Claims, CBCA, and ASBCA matters
  • Represented federal construction clients in Miller Act cases
  • Represented clients in a precedent-setting Federal Circuit victory, which resulted in the expansion of the jurisdiction of the United States Court of Federal Claims. Distributed Solutions, Inc. v. United States, 539 F.3d 1340 (2008). On remand, in its decision on the merits, the Court of Federal Claims issued another precedent-setting decision, finding that his clients had established the right to relief by being deprived of a direct, competitive procurement opportunity (because of the Government's use of a private contractor to conduct the procurement process) and, therefore, awarded damages to the contractors. Distributed Solutions, Inc. v. United States, 104 Fed. Cl. 368 (2012).
  • Virginia Local Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation, 2014, 2016 - 2018
  • Lawyer of the Year - Government Relations Practice (Richmond), Best Lawyers, 2022
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation and Government Relations, Best Lawyers, 2012 - 2018, 2021
  • Best Lawyers - Government Relations Practice, Best Lawyers, 2022 - 2024
  • Best Lawyers - Commercial Litigation, Best Lawyers, 2022 - 2024
  • Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation, 2023
  • Super Lawyer, Construction Law and Government Contracts, Virginia Super Lawyers, 2010 - 2021
  • Legal Elite, Construction Law, Virginia Business Magazine, 2008, 2009, 2011 - 2018
  • Member: Virginia State Bar Association
  • Member: District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Associate, Public Contract Section