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Crowell & Moring has issued its Litigation Forecast 2018: What Corporate Counsel Need to Know for the Coming Year.”

The government contracts section of the Forecast, “Contractors: Getting Their Due,” focuses on how more companies are disputing federal payments in court as a result of the increased competition for government contracts. The article notes that corporate legal departments are viewing recovery claims as a method for recouping funds owed to them and ultimately moving from a cost-and-compliance center to potentially becoming a revenue center.

The Forecast explores the important litigation trends and challenges that businesses may face in 2018, and it features an in-depth look at how data-driven innovation is driving new opportunities and risks for clients across industries.

Be sure to follow the conversation on Twitter with #LitigationForecast.

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On December 21, 2017, the Department of Justice announced that it recovered more than $3.7 billion in settlements and judgments from civil False Claims Act (FCA) cases in Fiscal Year 2017. The FY 2017 figures reflect the government’s continued trend of annually amassing multi-billion dollar recoveries under the FCA.  This recovery is the fourth largest total in thirty years, and the eighth consecutive year that recoveries have exceeded $3 billion.

At the industry level, DOJ reported $2.47 billion in recoveries from the health care sector, and $220 million from defense companies.  The largest health care industry recoveries in FY 2017 came from the drug and medical device industry.  In the procurement fraud arena, the bulk of the recovery came from two large settlements, one involving charges to the Department of Defense and the other involving charges to the Department of Energy.  The government collected approximately $1 billion from the remaining industries, including national security, food safety and inspection, federally insured loans and mortgages, highway funds, small business contracts, agricultural subsidies, disaster assistance, and import tariffs.

The change in presidential administration appears to have had little effect on FCA activity.  DOJ continued its pursuit of individual owners and executives of private corporations under the FCA.  It entered into numerous settlements wherein individuals agreed to joint and several liability with their company.  DOJ also obtained over $60 million in FCA settlements and judgments with individuals that did not involve joint and several liability with the corporate entity.  Also, the number of new FCA actions in FY 2017 remained high with relators bringing 674 new qui tam matters and DOJ initiating 125 matters on its own.  Of the $3.7 billion recovery, $3.4 billion related to suits initiated by whistleblowers, and over $3 billion of that came from suits where the government either intervened or otherwise pursued the matter.  These numbers are consistent with the prior five years and suggest that the FCA will remain an active area for investigations and litigation in 2018.

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We’ve wrapped up our preview posts, which gave a sneak peek at just a few of tomorrow and Friday’s OOPS panels, including investigations, privacy and cybersecurity, international procurement, and cost and pricing issues.

It’s not too late to register for the event! Click here for details and directions.

We’ll see you tomorrow at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C.! The full agenda can be viewed here.

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The Government Contracts Group is counting down to Crowell & Moring’s 33rd annual Ounce of Prevention Seminar (OOPS), which will be held on May 4 and 5 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington. This year’s seminar, “Strategizing for Government Contractors’ Game Plan Under the New Administration,” will provide insider insight and practical advice across a range of issues impacting government contractors and companies.

Check back here over the coming days, as some of our panelists will preview sessions on investigations, cybersecurity, recovery, cost and pricing, and international procurement.

For more information and to register for OOPS, please click here.

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