Francis E. "Chip" Purcell, Jr. is a partner in the Government Contracts practice group. He focuses his practice on all aspects of government contracts law and litigation.

Chip counsels clients on issues involving the formation and performance of government contracts, and represents clients in pre­- and post-award disputes involving the government as well as prime contractors and subcontractors. He assists clients in conducting due diligence relative to mergers and acquisitions of government contractors, drafting teaming agreements and subcontracts, addressing organizational conflicts of interest, protecting intellectual property in government contract transactions, addressing small business and other socioeconomic issues and conducting contractor compliance training and internal investigations.

Chip represents clients in disputes before federal courts and administrative bodies, including the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals and the Government Accountability Office. He also advises clients on issues involving commercial contracting under government agency programs, including the General Services Administration's Federal Supply Schedule program.

Prior to joining Thompson Hine, Chip was special counsel for nearly six years at a Washington-based firm and, before that, a partner for more than five years at a firm based in McLean, Virginia. In those roles, he provided government contract formation, transactional, performance and litigation counseling and support to defense, information technology, cybersecurity, telecommunications, manufacturing and life science clients.

After law school, Chip served as a law clerk to the Honorable Henry Coke Morgan, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.


Representative matters include:

  • Participated in due diligence activities related to purchase and sale of government contractors, including the evaluation of contract portfolios, negotiation of agreement terms and conditions and analysis of regulatory compliance issues.
  • Successfully represented large defense contractor in appeal before Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals of certified claim for labor costs incurred during aircraft maintenance contract.
  • Represented pharmaceutical company in size determination proceedings before the Small Business Administration arising from request for small business waiver of prescription drug fee for review of human drug application.
  • Represented information technology provider in multiple claims arising from Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) software-as-a-service contracts, including successful settlement of multimillion-dollar claim.
  • Counseled contractors with respect to performance of federal agency contracts and grant agreements for biomedical and pharmaceutical research and development activities, including those awarded by the National Institutes of Health and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
  • Assisted defense contractor in lifting of agency suspension of contracting activities, including negotiation of administrative agreement, resolution of civil and criminal proceedings and implementation of corporate compliance program.
  • Negotiated computer software license agreements with federal agency customers on behalf of multiple clients, including patient care system provider, satellite telemetry services provider and information technology service provider.
  • Advised federally funded research and development centers with contract administration and fiscal law requirements.
  • Counseled clients on matters relating to foreign ownership, control or influence (FOCI), including preparation of FOCI action plans arising from investment in contractors and negotiation of approval of action plans by the Defense Security Service.
  • Assisted geospatial information provider with receipt of venture capital funding and stock issuance, including due diligence involving intellectual property rights contained in government contracts.
  • Successfully represented major defense contractor in appeal of claim involving German social taxes before Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals.
  • Developed organizational conflict of interest avoidance and mitigation plan for major defense contractor for $500 million spectrum monitoring contract.
  • Assisted in creation of federal government subsidiary for large software provider supporting sale of software and services to government agencies.
  • Successfully defended major defense contractor in arbitration involving claims for commission payments for sale of radar equipment under Foreign Military Sales program.
  • Represented utility company in spent nuclear fuel litigation before U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
  • Represented large defense contractor in acquisition of professional services company, including novation of existing government contracts to the acquiring company.
  • Assisted large telecommunications provider in negotiating General Services Administration Federal Supply Services contract.
  • Negotiated contract for generation and supply of renewable energy with Department of Defense agency on behalf of energy company.
  • Successfully defended large ship repair company in protest of award of multimillion-dollar ship repair contract before Government Accountability Office.
  • Recognized as a Legal Elite by Virginia Business
  • Named a permanent member of the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • Past President, Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Public Contract Law Section
  • Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • Virginia Bar Association

Community Activities

  • Member, Finance Committee, Church of the Annunciation, Washington, D.C.

Professional Activities

  • Associate Editor, Public Contract Law Journal