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Josh Schnell is the co-leader of Ice Miller’s Government Contracts and Grants Practice, where he advises clients throughout the entire lifecycle of their contracts and grants. Josh has extensive experience litigating bid protests, contract claims, grant disputes and government audits and investigations.



Josh regularly prosecutes and defends bid protests before the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the U.S. Small Business Administration and other federal and state tribunals. These protests cover a broad scope of military and civilian procurements, including those related to the defense, aerospace, health care, IT and professional services industries. In addition, Josh has deep experience with specialized Forest Service and Department of Interior contracts, including stewardship contracts, Good Neighbor Agreements, concession contracts, timber sale contracts and special-use permits.  
 
Josh also counsels clients on compliance issues, export controls, the False Claims Act, small business contracting, mergers and acquisitions, domestic purchasing preferences, equitable adjustments and interpretation of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS). In addition, Josh represents clients in audits and investigations before numerous enforcement authorities, including suspension and debarment officials and the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA).  

Prior to joining Ice Miller, Josh was a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Commercial Litigation Branch, where he defended numerous federal agencies in complex government contracting litigation before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Josh has also worked as a government contracts attorney for the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Through his experience, Josh understands how the federal government awards, administers, regulates, and litigates government contracts and grants.
 
In addition to practicing law, Josh enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids, coaching lacrosse and hiking, canoeing and fly fishing in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
 
Selected Experience
  • Successfully protested the award of a Department of Veterans Affairs contract for services at a VA Medical Center.
  • Successfully protested the size status of a purported small business before U.S. Small Business Administration.
  • Successfully persuaded the AbilityOne Commission that a client's products were not suitable for addition to the Commission's "Procurement List."
  • Successfully petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reinstate a debarred contractor. 
  • Representing a hospital in federal court litigation related to allegations of improper use of grant funds. 
  • Representing an opioid treatment center in a state-level bid protest in Indiana.
  • Representing a Superfund contractor seeking an equitable adjustment from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 
  • Representing an IT contractor in a Defense Contract Audit Agency audit investigation. 
  • Advised private equity funds and acquisition targets about issues related to their government contracts and security clearance requirements.
  • Drafted teaming agreements, subcontracts, joint-venture agreements, and mentor-protege agreements for small businesses and small business contracts.
  • Advised clients on export compliance requirements, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations. 
  • Advised clients on domestic purchasing preferences, including the Buy-American Act, the Trade Agreements Act, and other preferences applicable to federal transportation and aviation projects.
  • Represented a corporate officer with issues related to security clearances. 
While with the government, Josh served as lead counsel on behalf of the United States in cases that include the following:  
 
  • Defended the U.S. Department of Agriculture in three class-action lawsuits alleging the government underpaid approximately 23,000 contractors.  
  • Defended the U.S. Forest Service against breach of contract claims related to the 2013 government shutdown.  
  • Defended the U.S. Navy against breach of contract claims related to a small business set-aside contract for construction services.   
  • Defended the NASA’s award of a contract for environmental and engineering services at spaceflight centers across the country.  
  • Defended the U.S. Navy’s award of a contract for services at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.  
  • Defended the Department of Labor’s award of a contract to operate a residential education and job training facility.   
  • Defended U.S. Small Business Administration decisions to terminate contractors from small business contracting programs. 
  • Defended the Forest Service's decision to debar a major forest products company. 
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