Firm / Organisation

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC

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Managing Member: Edmund M Amorosi
Founding Member: John S Pachter
Senior Counsel: Val S McWhorter; Richard F Smith
Number of Members: 17
Number of other Attorneys: 17
Languages:English; Spanish; German; French, Portuguese

Firm Overview:
Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC practices in the area of construction, government contracts, and white collar defense. The firm uses its in-depth knowledge to respond efficiently to a broad range of counseling, compliance, investiga- tions, and litigation matters. Founded in 1986, the firm’s attorneys are pre-eminent in their fields of practice, receiving recognition from peers, legal and industry associations, and clients for their quality of work and contribution to their fields. The firm has particular expertise in large, complex industrial and infrastructure projects, the whole spectrum of government contract issues, white collar matters, and alternative dispute resolution.

Main Areas of Practice:
Construction:
The firm represents clients in all phases of the engineering and construction process, including design, contract drafting, bidding, negotiation, and risk assessment; on-site identification and analysis of geotechnical, engineering, specification, and other contract-related problems; and claims and litigation. The firm has prepared, litigated, and resolved complex engineering and construction claims and disputes including increased work requirements, delay, disrup- tion, acceleration, and inefficiency. Attorneys in the construction law practice excel before courts, arbitration panels, and in alternative dispute resolution settings. The firm is particularly well known for litigating complex, fact-intensive disputes in heavy civil, power, light-rail, transportation, industrial, and process plant projects. The engineering and construction practice is both national and international in scope, involving litigation across the United States and extending to arbitration in the Middle East and Europe. The firm’s clients are a mix of large general contractors, including many firms in the Engineering News-Record Top 500, as well as public and private owners, specialty contractors, subcontractors, and architects and engineers.

Government Contracts:
The firm assists clients in navigating the maze of statutes and regulations characteristic of United States public procurement. The firm is highly experienced in defending and challenging contract awards in bid protests; intellectual property licensing and data rights; cost accounting issues; terminations, suspension and debarment; compliance audits and procurement integrity investigations including the False Claims Act; claims and litigation; independent monitor assignments; and expert witness appearances. The firm’s attorneys represent clients before federal courts, boards of contact appeals and agencies, including the Government Accountability Office. Clients include major defense contractors and civilian agency contractors who sell goods and provide services across all industries. SPM’s government contracts clients comprise large, medium, and small companies based in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.

White Collar Practice:
The firm has grown into a “go-to” white collar practice for leading multinational and regional companies for high-stakes corporate investigations, monitorships and compliance counselling. The group represents Fortune 100 corporations as well as smaller entities and individuals in cases involving potential criminal or civil fraud liability, including the False Claims Act and other statutes and regulations application to government contractors, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and the fraud-related provisions of the Securities and Exchange Act. The partners bring significant experience working in government (including at DOJ and SEC), in-house law departments, and some of the largest law firms in the U.S. In a market dominated by large firms, SPM’s model is unique: its White Collar practice leverages its small-firm platform, with a strong bench of attorneys capable of handling the most complex and sophisticated matters effectively and efficiently. SPM has developed a team that boasts extensive language skills, including Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, German, Farsi, and French. The group’s FCPA investigation and counseling expertise has included matters involving Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt, Gabon, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kuwait, India, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, Romania, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Venezuela. Their international practice furthermore leverages a collegial and team-oriented approach to collaboration with high caliber firms in other jurisdictions around the world that have deep knowledge of local investigation necessities and stakeholder engagement. The firm’s approach has enabled the White Collar practice to handle many high-stakes and complex matters. Most recently, SPM has served as U.S. Counsel to the Independent Committee charged with investigating the catastrophic failure of Vale S.A.’s B1 dam in Brazil. Other representations include serving as Monitor of SNC-Lavalin on behalf of the World Bank, U.S. counsel to the Special Committee to investigate the Lava Jato (Petrobras) matter, and representation of a former Rio Tinto senior executive in investigations and civil enforcement actions by Australian and U.S. securities regulators.

International Disputes:
The firm has arbitrated disputes in Europe and the Middle East for clients in large-scale construction projects and other contract disputes. The firm’s experi- ence includes representing clients before the Interna- tional Chamber of Commerce’s International Court of Arbitration, the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, and the American Arbitration Association’s International Centre for Dispute Resolution. The firm also assists European and Middle Eastern companies in compliance with the myriad regulations applicable to foreign companies performing work for the U.S. Government in the United States and overseas, as well as resolution of claims and disputes arising from those contracts.

Alternative Dispute Resolution:
The firm has successfully resolved large, complex disputes through alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration. The firm’s members have assisted many clients resolve complex claims out-of- court in a favorable and economical manner. Founding members Richard F. Smith and Val S. McWhorter, both of whom are Senior Counsel to the firm, are experienced construction litigators who also serve as mediators and arbitrators in construction disputes in Virginia and across the nation.