In an article announcing Pillsbury’s Government Contracts & Disputes group as a “Practice Group of the Year” for two years running, Law360 noted that the team’s successes ranging from suspension hearings to contract wins earned the firm this coveted honor.

Law360 also notes that the recognition is “especially impressive considering how quickly Pillsbury’s contracts group has grown.” In 2015, it added seven lawyers to the group, including partner Michael Rizzo, who is now co-chair of the practice. Today, with more than 20 lawyers in Los Angeles and Washington, DC, Pillsbury has the only bicoastal practice with experience in all aspects of government contracts.

“With that growth has come a range of expertise that's reflected in Pillsbury's diverse accomplishments, including bid protests, qui tam suits, suspension hearings for individuals and companies, and mergers and acquisitions,” Law360 added.

“One of the things that we're proud of and that we try to get across is that we really do represent companies over the lifecycle of a government contract on both coasts,” Rizzo said. “If on the far left, you have issuing the solicitation, and on the far right, you've got the final audit and contract closeout, in between, you have the proposal, the contract award and disputes.”

Pillsbury's lawyers cite a range of reasons for their success, according to Law360. In the article, Pillsbury’s lawyers also cited that having operations both in DC and in Los Angeles, where many of its service provider clients are located, really helps. In addition, the lawyers point to the collegial environment at Pillsbury.

Many of the attorneys also have government backgrounds. Los Angeles partner Todd Canni worked for the U.S. Air Force for three years; Los Angeles partner Alex Tomaszczuk did a stint at the U.S. Department of State; and Washington, DC partner and practice co-chair John Jensen worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Jensen told Law360 that experience is key to understanding how the government operates and what it is looking for.

“Working side by side with contracting officers and acting professionals is invaluable to understanding the government's perspective and values, and what's important to it," he said. "I don't think it ever ceases to be helpful to understand what's happening on the other side.”