Pablo Nichols


Pablo represents government contractors in complex, high-stakes litigation and transactional matters, and counsels on the many contractual, statutory, and regulatory obligations that arise when providing goods and services to the federal government. Pablo has over 15 years of government contracts experience practicing at AmLaw top 50 firms, as general counsel of a mid-sized government contractor, and serving as a law clerk at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Pablo’s extensive government contracts litigation experience includes successfully challenging and defending dozens of contract awards in bid protests before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). For example, Pablo successfully represented:

  • International Center for Language Studies in a challenge to the U.S. Department of State’s proposed $141 million award following the agency’s failure to assess the realism and risks associated with the awardee’s plan to cut the pay and benefits of incumbent personnel;
  • Telaforce in the defense of three U.S. Department of Labor contract awards valued at $127 million from a competitor’s bid protest at GAO;
  • SpaceX in multiple high-profile bid protests, including a successful defense of its $2.6 billion award from NASA for the development of a new launch vehicle capable of replacing the space shuttle and transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station, as well as its successful breakup of United Launch Alliance’s long-standing monopoly on military space launches;
  • DynCorp International in its bid protest at GAO challenging the Department of State’s discussions with offerors and subsequent decision to award a $131 million task order for life mission and support services in Afghanistan;
  • AllWorld Language Consultants, first in its successful competitive range protest; then, after it won a $310 million translation services contract, in its successful defense of its contract award against three post-award protestors;
  • Oshkosh Truck Corporation in its defeat of a nine-figure breach of contract claim brought by a disappointed supplier in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois;
  • the CEO of a defense contractor in obtaining a reversal of the Government’s denial of his security clearance before the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals; and
  • a defense contractor in a multimillion-dollar breach of contract claim before the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Court of Arbitration.

Pablo’s transactional experience includes advising clients in connection with hundreds of government contractor-related transactions totaling more than $50 billion in value, including buyers and sellers in the M&A context, portfolio companies and institutional investors conducting private financing, and investment banks in the initial public offering setting. For example, Pablo represented:

  • the underwriter in Cue Health’s IPO with a reported value of $200 million;
  • Luna Innovations in its divestiture and sale of the Luna Labs division to Mereo Capital Partners and Point Lookout Capital Partners for a reported value of approximately $21 million;
  • Broadcom in its acquisition of Symantec’s enterprise security business for a reported price of $10.7 billion;
  • SoftBank in its acquisition of Sprint Nextel Corporation for a reported price of $20.1 billion; and
  • IronNet in its merger with special purpose acquisition company LGL Systems Acquisition Corp. and subsequent IPO.

Pablo’s government contracts counseling covers a wide range of complex issues, including, but not limited to, protecting the value of a government contractor’s intellectual property, complying with the Buy American Act and the Trade Agreements Act, avoiding and defending against proposed suspensions and debarments, negotiating and performing subcontracts and teaming agreements, establishing and maintaining eligibility the Small Business Innovation Research program and small business contracts and grants, and developing robust ethics and compliance programs.

Areas of Specialization


George Mason University Law School, JD, 2007, cum laude.

University of California at Santa Barbara, BA, 2001, History of Public Policy.

Bar & Court AdmissionsCalifornia (2007); District of Columbia (2008). U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, and U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, Not admitted in Virginia

Leadership & Community InvolvementAmerican Bar Association – Public Contract Law Section, Federal Circuit Bar Association, Court of Federal Claims Bar Association, District of Columbia Bar Association, California Bar Association, and Santa Barbara County Bar Association.
Prior ExperiencePablo was special counsel in Cooley’s government contracts group, General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs at Telmate, of counsel in Morrison Foerster’s government contracts practice group in San Francisco, an associate in Dickstein Shapiro’s government contracts practice group in Washington, DC, and a law clerk to Judge Mary Ellen Coster Williams and Judge Thomas C. Wheeler at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.