Legal Protein

Welcome to the FH+H blog, Legal Protein, lean legal news you can use! 

Partner France Hoang Discusses Being a Veteran Entrepreneur on Podcast

December 10, 2018

FH+H Partner France Hoang is the featured guest on an episode of Time4Coffee’s podcast, where he discusses his experience being a veteran entrepreneur and building companies across the industries of law, aerospace, and technology.

After returning from serving as an Army officer in Afghanistan, France was on the founding teams of FH+H and MAG Aerospace.  More recently, he helped build Chisel - Coworking for Lawyers and Boodle AI.

While he has built many successful companies in several industries, France initially turned down the chance to be an entrepreneur.

“I’ve always had a master plan [for my career],” France said. “I was invited by Joe Fluet to join the founding teams of [FH+H and MAG], and I initially told him, ‘No,’ because it didn’t fit within my plan. I said thanks for your time, this is very interesting, but I don’t know anything about business, and I’m going to be a lawyer.”

France later felt he would regret passing up the opportunity to build these businesses, so he decided to join the teams.

“It’s important to have a plan; it drives you towards something. But it’s also important to be open to deviations from that plan,” France said.

Now as a Partner with FH+H, France represents, advises, and counsels middle market companies on a wide variety of matters, including sensitive government inquiries and internal investigations, corporate compliance, corporate governance, and government contracts law. Learn more about his practice here.

Listen to the full 30-minute podcast episode with France Hoang here.

Partner Jack White Appointed Chairman of Tower Club's Board of Governors

December 10, 2018

Congratulations to Partner Jack White, who was recently appointed the Chairman of the Tysons Tower Club’s Advisory Board of Governors.

The Board advises, counsels, and makes recommendations to Club management on policies, events, and other matters relevant to members. The Club is a “diverse business and social community where local power players come to work and connect”, according to its website.

“The Tower Club provides so much for Northern Virginia’s business community. It really paves the road for business growth by creating an environment where valuable connections are forged,” Mr. White said. “I am eager to begin my work as Chairman and help make important decisions for the Club.”

Mr. White is a valued partner at FH+H, where he focuses his practice on employment matters, litigation, and counseling companies through growth.

Learn more about Mr. White here.

Investment Panel Discusses Business Opportunities in Colombia at FH+H

December 07, 2018

FH+H was proud to host the Northern Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural “Latin American International Investment Series: Business Opportunities in Colombia” in our event space on Friday, Dec. 7.

Trade and investment advisors, financial institution officials, and private investors discussed Colombia’s robust investment climate and human capital, how to build long-term relationships with U.S. and Colombian key public and private sector decision-makers, exporter and investor best practices, and more.

The panel included Susana Marino, President of the Northern Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Ryan Brennan, Vice President of the Office of Investment Policy at Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC); Ellen Meinhart, International Trade Manager at Virginia Department of Economic Development (VEDP); Michael Jackson, Lead Business Development Officer at Export-Import Bank (EXIM); and Joel Cassman, Former U.S. Foreign Service Officer at U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia.

Moderators included Dara Iserson, Business Development and Strategy at NOVAHCC, and Roger Santodomingo, Senior Fellow at CDDA and Columnist for El Pais and El Tiempo Latino.

FH+H has full-service International Trade + Transactions and Corporate + Business Transactions groups. Our team assists clients with mergers, acquisitions, investment, capital raising, due diligence, corporate formation, export and import laws (including ITAR, EAR, and CFIUS), and more.

FH+H attorneys have substantial experience in virtually every major industry and have managed transactions in numerous countries, including Colombia.

Contact one of our professionals here.

FH+H Partner Adam Munitz Discusses Dos and Don'ts for International Non-Profits at Ethics Conference

November 28, 2018

FH+H Partner Adam Munitz, alongside Vice President of Focal Point Global Hussainatu Blake, recently spoke at the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics’ 17th Annual Compliance and Ethics Institute in Las Vegas.

In his presentation, called "Dos and Don'ts for Compliance Personnel at International Non-Profits," Mr. Munitz outlined the laws and regulations of which non-profits should be aware prior to operating in non-permissive environments, the unique ethics and compliance challenges faced by non-profits working overseas, and strategies for developing an effective ethics and compliance program that is tailored to non-profits.

“I spend much of my time supporting defense contractors,” Mr. Munitz said, “but, from a compliance standpoint, defense contractors and non-profits operating overseas actually face a similar array of challenges. Furthermore, both can easily be misled by their noble objectives, and both typically hire former government and military personnel that no longer have unlimited compliance resources at their fingertips.”

To read about Mr. Munitz's practice, including his experience and capabilities, click here.

FH+H Welcomes Melissa Cross as Partner

November 21, 2018

FH+H is excited to welcome Melissa Cross as a Partner to our firm’s Trademark, Copyright, + Trade Secret practice group. Ms. Cross specializes in intellectual property and technology licensing and transactions with a focus on trademark law and branding.

Prior to joining FH+H, Ms. Cross was an attorney with Arnold & Porter’s Intellectual Property and Technology group both in New York City and Washington, D.C., where she represented many high-profile clients from a wide variety of industries. Ms. Cross then went on to form Cross Intellectual Property Law, where she offered strategic counseling in identifying and protecting intellectual property assets and maximizing their value.

“Melissa really rounds out our intellectual property practice. Our team now has the combined experience to counsel and represent clients with virtually any IP-related matter, domestically or internationally,” Managing Partner Tom Craig said. “She not only brings deep knowledge about intellectual property, and especially trademark law, to our team, but Melissa also brings broad experience from working with clients in a wide variety of industries. She has represented clients operating in anything from digital media to sports to charities to politics.”

At FH+H, Ms. Cross’s practice includes identifying valuable intellectual property; filing trademark and copyright applications both in the U.S. and abroad; maximizing the value of intellectual property through product distribution, promotional partnerships, and licensing; and counseling and enforcement related to trademark, unfair competition, false advertising, rights of publicity, copyright, and domain name disputes.

“I’m very excited to be joining FH+H and sharing in its commitment to growing small businesses and middle-market companies," Ms. Cross said. "As an entrepreneurial law firm itself, FH+H really understands the synergy required of a rapidly growing business. This dynamic team approach is most exciting in my own practice, particularly in branding. A client’s business today might not look the same a year from now, and I love helping secure valuable, long-standing intellectual property rights that endure far beyond their initial breakthrough into the market.” 

Ms. Cross received her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Maine, and she is licensed to practice law in Virginia, New York, and the District of Columbia.

Read Ms. Cross’s full bio here.

FH+H GovCon Team Successfully Challenges Source Restrictions in Agency Solicitation

November 19, 2018
The FH+H Government Contracts team, including Partner Milt Johns and Associate Emily Spence, successfully prosecuted a bid protest for a client that resulted in the agency taking voluntary corrective action.
FH+H assisted a government contracting client in protesting a procurement containing significant source limitations. These source limitations effectively transformed the agency’s “unrestricted procurement” into a sole source procurement without adequate source justification. In response to the protest, the agency agreed to voluntarily cancel the solicitation.
The protest succeeded due to persuasive argument that in preparing its solicitation, the agency failed to comply with the Competition in Contracting Act and requirements for utilization of small business concerns under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

FH+H Litigation Team Defeats Summary Judgement Motion Filed Against Client

November 16, 2018

FH+H Partner Milt Johns and the FH+H Litigation + Investigations team succeeded in defeating a summary judgment motion that was filed against a client.

In the breach of contract action, the opposing party sought to have a judgement entered against a client of the firm without the benefit of a trial. The court found that material facts were still in dispute in the case, and the motion for summary judgment was denied.



FH+H GovCon Team Successfully Challenges Client's Unacceptable CPARS Rating

November 16, 2018

Partner Milt Johns and the Government Contracts team assisted a client in challenging an unacceptable Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) rating.

A government contracting client received a CPARS rating from a customer that was unsatisfactory in several areas. FH+H assisted the client in crafting a response to the contracting officer, challenging these ratings and providing legal and factual bases to change the ratings.

As a result, the client's government customer changed the ratings in three of the four areas, and the client no longer had any unsatisfactory ratings in any category.



Considering Selling to the Federal Government? Be Sure to Register in SAM First

November 16, 2018

The federal government recently issued a rule to clarify that an offeror must register in the System for Award Management (SAM) before submitting an offer in response to a solicitation.  In the past, the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) permitted a contractor to register any time prior to award.  No more.

SAM is the government-wide acquisition and award support systems.  It is intended to eliminate the need for a contractor to enter the same data multiple times and consolidate hosting to make the process of doing business with the government more efficient.

Registration is available free of charge:

As always, contact an experienced government contracts attorney for assistance with FAR compliance, subcontract and teaming agreements, bid protests, and contract claims.

About the Authors

GOVCON University Blog authors Milt Johns, Partner, and Rachel Leahey, Associate, lead FH+H's Government Contracts Practice. Focusing on the middle market, Milt and Rachel help guide government contractors through the maze of applicable rules and regulations to enable corporate success, now and in the future.

Additional information regarding their capabilities and previous representations can be found here.

UPDATE: CFIUS Activates FIRRMA Pilot Program

November 13, 2018

On August 13, 2018 the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (“FIRRMA”) was passed when President Trump signed into law the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019.  On Saturday, as part of its efforts to implement FIRRMA, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) activated a “pilot program” that, pending the implementation of FIRRMA, expands CFIUS’ jurisdiction with respect to a specific category of transactions and imposes mandatory filing requirements on transactions that are within the scope of the program.  Prior to accepting foreign investments, U.S. businesses are advised to review the pilot program’s broad scope and mandatory declaration requirements.

The Who

The pilot program applies to two categories of U.S. businesses:

  • 1. A U.S. business that produces, designs, tests, manufactures, fabricates, or develops a “critical technology,” as such term is defined under FIRRMA, in at least one of the pilot program industries identified in Annex A to 31 CFR 801 (the “Pilot Program Industries”).1

  • 2. A U.S. business that designs, tests, manufactures, fabricates, or develops a critical technology that is designed specifically for use in at least one of the Pilot Program Industries. 

The What

Consistent with FIRRMA, and in a significant departure from the existing CFIUS regulations, the pilot program imposes mandatory notification requirements on parties to a transaction subject to the pilot program under two circumstances:

  • 1. Where, as a result of the acquisition/investment, a foreign person could gain control over the U.S. business; or
  • 2. Where a foreign person will not gain control over the U.S. business but will have any of the following rights or authorities:

          a. Access to any material nonpublic technical information in the possession of the target U.S. business;

          b. Membership or observer rights on the board of directors or equivalent governing body of the U.S. business, or the right to nominate an individual to a position on the board of directors or equivalent governing body of the U.S. business; or

          c. Any involvement other than through voting of shares, in substantive decision making of the U.S. businesses regarding the use, development, acquisition, or release of critical technology.

Under either circumstance, the parties must, within 45 days of the transaction’s closing date, file with CFIUS either the standard notice or the abbreviated “declaration” described in FIRRMA.  CFIUS guidance indicates that abbreviated declarations must not exceed 5 pages.

The When

The pilot program goes into effect on NOVEMBER 10, 2018 and, as such, applies to pilot program transactions that will close on or before DECEMBER 25, 2018.  The pilot program is temporary and must end no later than March 5, 2020.

The Why

It will take some time before FIRRMA has been fully implemented.  In the interim, the pilot program endeavors to address pressing national security vulnerabilities and keep pace with the fast-paced evolution of critical U.S. technology and the growth of foreign investment in the Pilot Program Industries.  


1. Pilot Program Industries: Aircraft Engine and Engine Parts Manufacturing; Alumina Refining and Primary Aluminum Production; Ball and Roller Bearing Manufacturing; Computer Storage Device Manufacturing; Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Manufacturing; Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Propulsion Unit and Propulsion Unit Part Manufacturing; Military Armored Vehicle, Tank, and Tank Component Manufacturing; Nuclear Electric Power Generation; Optical Instrument and Lens Manufacturing; Other Basic Inorganic Chemical Manufacturing; Other Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Parts and Auxiliary Equipment Manufacturing; Petrochemical Manufacturing; Powder Metallurgy Part Manufacturing; Power, Distribution, and Specialty Transformer Manufacturing; Primary Battery Manufacturing; Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing; Research and Development in Nanotechnology; Research and Development in Biotechnology (except Nanobiotechnology); Secondary Smelting and Alloying of Aluminum; Search, Detection, Navigation, Guidance, Aeronautical, and Nautical System and Instrument Manufacturing; Semiconductor Machinery Manufacturing; Storage Battery Manufacturing; Telephone Apparatus Manufacturing; and Turbine and Turbine Generator Set Units Manufacturing.

About the Authors

Jennifer S. Huber and Adam Munitz are Partners in FH+H's International Trade & Transactions Practice.  Focusing primarily on the defense, security, and intelligence sectors, Jennifer and Adam position U.S. businesses for overseas growth and help foreign investors/acquirers and U.S. sellers navigate the CFIUS review process.

FH+H Of Counsel Mary Beth Long is the first-ever Senate confirmed female Assistant Secretary of Defense and worked directly with Secretaries of Defense Rumsfeld and Gates on the Department’s highest priority issues. As the Defense Secretary’s principle advisor on the Middle East, Europe and Africa, including Iraq and Afghanistan, Ms. Long represented the Department of Defense at the National Security Council and the White House, and with foreign Ministers of Defense. She has expertise in export compliance, securities regulations, and other regulatory regimes.

Additional information regarding the FH+H International Trade & Transactions Practice and previous representations can be found here.