Donald G.Featherstun


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Don helps clients with virtually all matters related to public procurement at the federal, state, and local levels.

More About Don

Government contract clients comply with a myriad of complex statutory and regulatory requirements at the federal, state, and local levels of public procurement. Many also have to comply with complex cost requirements unique to government contracts. They also need training in a myriad of contractual programs required by both federal and state agencies.

Don helps clients at every step of the procurement process. He prepares proposals, negotiates contracts, files or defends protests, and advises and trains clients. Don also supports claim preparation, negotiation, and litigation at both the prime contract and subcontract level. He helps with terminations for convenience or default, and eventually contract close-out. Additionally, he assists on the numerous audits that the government conducts.

For more than 40 years, Don has practiced government contract law. He started at the Office of General Counsel, Department of the Navy where he handled litigation for the Navy at the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals in 1979. Don then went into private practice at a well-recognized government contract firm, where he worked on major claims for the top government contract companies for 13 years. He joined Seyfarth in San Francisco in 1995, and has been with the firm since that time. Throughout his career, Don has represented aerospace, construction, service, and information technology companies in major claims and litigation with either the government or other contractors. He has also helped prepare proposals on major procurements, negotiate the contract, and handle the audits and close-out procedures. Furthermore, he has advised government contractors on virtually all areas of government contract law, such as intellectual property, export control, mandatory disclosure requirements, cost-accounting matters, audits, bid protests, and training programs.

Throughout his practice, Don has committed himself to a wide range of matters, and reached successful outcomes. He supported a client for 13 years in dispute with the DCMA over the proper charging of IR+D and capital costs on the development of a new radar system for the F/A-18 aircraft. The amounts in dispute cover more than a decade of indirect costs, the total of which was in excess of $700 million. Eventually, based on arguments he helped to develop, the government dropped the case with zero recovery. Besides litigation, he has counseled small, medium, and large contractors in multiple industries. For example, he helped a small, $20 million-a-year training contractor prepare its proposal on a six-month $100 million training contract for baggage handlers on bomb detection equipment. He also helped to negotiate the contract, helped to ensure proper performance, and supported audits and close-out efforts.

Don relies on Seyfarth's team of attorneys and professionals, as well as the firm's technology, to enhance his service and cut costs. He sold one of the first SeyfarthLean representations to a large client, an arrangement that has continued for more than 12 years. Don has used SeyfarthLean concepts to evaluate a contractor's export control processes between its headquarters in the US and subsidiaries in Canada. He has also used SeyfarthLean to evaluate a food manufacturer's government contract risks and helped to develop a training program for them, based on the risks identified. In addition, Don once teamed with the in-house counsel of a missile to try a case at the ASBCA. The in-house counsel served as associates to minimize costs, and worked well with outside counsel throughout the trial.

Don enjoys having a fast-paced practice at Seyfarth with clients in different parts of the country, because he never knows what's coming in the door each day. He has always enjoyed the practice of government contract law, because it frequently involves complex technology, large procurements, and large-dollar disputes.

  • JD, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

    International Moot Court team
    Moot Court board

  • BA, Columbia College
  • California
  • District of Columbia