John S. Pachter

Portrait of John S. Pachter

John S. Pachter

Professorial Lecturer in Law


2000 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20052

A practitioner of government contract law for more than 50 years and a Founder of Smith Pachter McWhorter, Mr. Pachter has engaged in substantial litigation before the Boards of Contract Appeals, the United States Court of Federal Claims, Federal District Courts, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He has prosecuted bid protests before the Government Accountability Office, the General Services Board of Contract Appeals, the United States Court of Federal Claims and Federal District Courts.

His practice has involved dispute resolution in all areas of government contract law, including prime-subcontractor disputes, both in litigation and under alternative dispute resolution procedures.

In the bid protest area, Mr. Pachter's practice has involved agency best value determinations, past performance, meaningful discussions, task order contracts, sample task issues, organizational and personal conflicts of interest, cost realism analyses, competitive range controversies, technical evaluations, bid mistakes, and other issues.

He has represented a number of clients in the debarment area and obtained the first reversal in federal court of a Service Contract Act debarment. Federal Food Service, Inc. v. Donovan, 658 F.2d 830 (D.C. Cir. 1981).

Mr. Pachter has also represented and counseled clients on fraud and compliance investigations, audits, corporate governance and ethics, and defense of qui tam actions. Other work has included defective pricing, cost determination, requests for equitable adjustment, licensing of intellectual property, subcontractor performance issues, small and small disadvantaged business matters, terminations for default and convenience, GSA schedule contracts, task order contracting, multiple awards, commercial products and requests for government information.

In 2012 he was the first recipient of the Allan J. Joseph Excellence in Leadership Award, conferred by the ABA's Section of Public Contract Law. The award recognizes "exceptional effort and accomplishments" as well as "extraordinary contributions" to the Section.

In October 2007, the Department of the Army appointed Mr. Pachter to serve as Independent Monitor to supervise ITT Corporation's performance under an Administrative Compliance Agreement. ITT entered into that Agreement in connection with a Guilty Plea and Deferred Prosecution Agreement regarding violations of the Arms Export Control Act at the Night Vision component of ITT Defense Electronics & Services. Since then he has served as monitor in four additional matters. Mr. Pachter has also served as an expert witness in several cases.

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business ranks him among Senior Statespeople in Government Contracts-USA Nationwide in 2021. Chambers USA 2021 comments: John Pachter has over five decades' experience in the field and is regarded as "one of the key players in the government contracts practice"by interviewees. He is also recognized by his peers in Virginia and Washington, DC Super Lawyers, and by Who's Who Legal for his experience in the area of government contracts. Who's Who Legal describes him as "a pillar of the US government contracts market with over 50 years of experience in litigation proceedings involving bid protests and all other government contract disputes."

BA, Tulane University; JD, LLM, George Washington University