John is ‘a tenacious advocate for his clients and very diligent in what he does—a worthy adversary.’
Chambers USA

John Jensen, Pillsbury’s Government Contracts & Disputes practice co-leader, is noted by Chambers USA and The Legal 500 U.S. as a federal government contracts authority.

John has 30 years of experience representing and counseling clients across many areas of federal government contracts law, including:

  • Bid protests before the GAO and the Court of Federal Claims
  • Mergers & acquisitions, including diligence and novations
  • Government audits and investigations
  • Claims and appeals
  • Suspension and debarment
  • Ethics and compliance
  • Bidding
  • Subcontracts and teaming arrangements
  • GSA multiple award schedules
  • Small business issues
  • Data rights
  • Cost allowability
  • National security
  • Commercial items
  • Terminations

Representative Experience

Performed government contracts and regulatory due diligence for a private equity firm leading to its successful acquisition of multiple aerospace suppliers and advised on purchase agreement terms and risk mitigation.

Represented an incumbent military acquisition support contractor in a sustained GAO bid protest of an award to a competitor, demonstrating agency failure to conduct meaningful discussions and improper evaluation of past performance.

Advised an aerospace contractor in its successful pursuit and performance of a significant defense department contract, including teaming and subcontract agreements, “Buy American” and other regulatory issues, and performance matters.

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  • Represented accounting firm in successful bid protest defense of a major defense department award protested at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, winning arguments over organizational conflict of interest and contract interpretation.
  • Represented an information technology contractor in avoiding debarment after it was suspended from government contracting by the Department of the Navy for a perceived violation of the Procurement Integrity Act.
  • Advised and represented an aerospace company throughout all stages of two multibillion dollar Department of Defense aircraft procurements.
  • Advised several private equity funds on the government contracts aspects of their acquisition of government contractors.
  • Overturned a termination for default by the State Department, and negotiated a settlement providing for reimbursement of termination for convenience damages.
  • Successfully represented protesters and awardees in numerous bid protests at the Government Accountability Office on multimillion dollar procurements.
  • Represented several contractors before the boards of contract appeals and negotiated settlements of alleged cost accounting standard violations with the DCMA and DCAA.
  • Assisted companies in forming joint ventures and securing regulatory approvals under the SBA Section 8(a) program.

Professional Highlights

Recognized by Chambers USA, Government Contracts – National (2014 – 2017) and The Legal 500 U.S., Government Contracts (2016 – 2017).

Co-authored “Awardee Protests: A New Horizon?” published by Law360 in May 2016, and “New Year’s Resolutions for Government Contractors” appearing in Bloomberg BNA’s Federal Contracts Report in February 2016.

Presented “Financial and Protest Issues” at Pillsbury’s 2015 West Coast Government Contracts Seminar.

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  • Associations
    • Worked as a government contracts lawyer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1987 – 1990.
    • American Bar Association, Section on Public Contract Law
    • District of Columbia Bar Association, Government Contracts and Litigation Section
    • Professional Services Council
  • Speaking Engagements
    • Pillsbury’s Government Contracts Fall 2017 Briefing – Panel on Protest Updates (Oct. 3, 2017 – Tysons, VA)
    • Aronson LLC’s Fall Government Contracting Conference: Teaming Agreements & Subcontracts (October 2017 – McLean, VA)
    • Presented "Best Prime/Sub Practices in Connection with Bid Protests," Public Contracting Institute Webinar, July 20, 2016
    • Moderated Panel on "Cybersecurity and Data Rights protection,” Pillsbury's 2nd Annual Government Contracts Summit, Rancho Santa Fe, CA, June 2, 2016
    • Employment Law Update–Recent Legal Changes That Affect Your Business Model,” Pillsbury’s Government Contracts Executive Roundtable, Northern Virginia, November 10, 2015.

    • “The President’s Executive Orders: What They Mean for Government Contractors,” Pillsbury CLE Marathon, Northern Virginia, September 17, 2014.
    • “Teaming & Subcontracting – Recent Decisions and Their Impact on Your Business,” Pillsbury’s government Contracts Executive Roundtable Series, Vienna, Va., May 15, 2013.
    • “Small Business Administration – New Laws and Regulations,” Pillsbury’s Government Contracts Executive Roundtable Series, Vienna, Va., February 15, 2011.
    • “Government Contract Bid Protest Highlights – 2010,” Pillsbury MCLE Marathon, Northern Virginia, September 30, 2010.
    • “2010 Opportunities in Defense: DOD Outlook,” Bisnow Federal IT Seminars, Washington, DC, January 21, 2010.
    • “Recent FAR Changes That Can Impact Your Company,” Pillsbury’s Government Contracts Executive Roundtable Series, Vienna, Va., December 10, 2009.
    • “The Recovery Act, Mandatory Disclosures, and Internal Investigations,” Pillsbury CLE Marathon, Vienna, Va., April 2009.


  • J.D., The George Washington University Law School, 1987
    with honors

    B.A., Cornell University, 1982


  • District of Columbia



  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

    U.S. Court of Federal Claims