Maria L. Panichelli

Located in

Philadelphia, PA

“I work with my clients, counseling them on the law while being counseled by them about their particular business needs. That allows us to work together, and find a solution that resolves legal problems while remaining faithful to the client’s mission and business plan.”

- Maria L. Panichelli

“I work with my clients, counseling them on the law while being counseled by them about their particular business needs. That allows us to work together, and find a solution that resolves legal problems while remaining faithful to the client’s mission and business plan.”

- Maria L. Panichelli

Maria is a partner and the Chair of the Government Contracting department.   She focuses her practice exclusively on federal government contracting and procurement, guiding her clients throughout the entire lifecycle of their federal contracts.  She provides comprehensive legal counseling that allows her clients to successfully navigate the complicated legal requirements related to federal contracting while fulfilling their own business goals.

Maria’s prior legal experience in corporate litigation and risk management counseling has given Maria a unique perspective.  Recognizing that a client must focus on what is best for business, her goal is to never unilaterally dictate strategy.  She seeks to provide clients with the legal advice they need to make the right business decision.  To that end, she works with her clients, providing counseling on the law while simultaneously being counseled by the client about their particular business needs.  Maria works to find a solution that not only solves a client’s legal issues, but advances that client’s business plan and is consistent with that client’s mission.

In her free time, Maria is an avid world traveler. Traveling to a new destination, doing a history tour, and then meeting locals and talking to them about their history, culture and current events is her ideal vacation.  When she’s not on the move, she can still be found eagerly researching her next destination and its culture, religion, customs, and history.

Maria’s practice includes pre- and post-award bid protests, contract interpretation and performance counseling, the preparation of Requests for Equitable Adjustment and Contract Disputes Act (CDA) claim litigation, statutory and regulatory compliance counseling, resolution of subcontractor disputes (including the negotiation of liquidating agreements, and the use of pass-through claims and Miller Act bond claims), contract terminations, and all aspects of small business procurement.  She has represented a wide variety of government prime and subcontractors including construction contractors, information technology and information system contractors, medical staffing contractors, advisory and assistant services contractors, security contractors, dredging contractors, environmental remediation contractors, and suppliers.  Her clients are located, and work, both across the United States and abroad.

Having acquired substantial experience with the government’s 8(a), SDVOSB, WOSB and HUBZone small business programs in particular, Maria provides effective assistance to clients applying for small business certification, or competing for small business program set-aside contracts.  She routinely assists clients with eligibility analyses and certifications, has successfully challenged negative agency findings with regard to clients’ SDVOSB, HUBZone and 8(a) eligibility, and has successfully defeated size and status protests brought by clients’ competitors.  Maria has considerable experience drafting teaming and joint venture agreements, as well as helping clients navigate the SBA Mentor-protégé programs. Maria advises small business clients with regard to potential affiliation and control problems, as well as subcontracting requirements.  Her small business practice also involves drafting corporate governance documents that will comply with small business program eligibility requirements.

Maria has represented her clients before numerous federal agencies, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Contract Boards of Appeals as well as the Court of Federal Claims and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and other state and federal courts.  Though her practice is not limited to construction alone, Maria has substantial experience with a wide range of construction related issues such as: defective designs; defective specifications; differing site conditions; express, implied and constructive changes; suspensions; delays; and liquidated damages.

Some of Maria’s notable outcomes include:

  • Forced corrective action, and was awarded attorney fees, in connection with consolidated pre-award bid protest against Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, challenging client’s exclusion from competitive range in connection with SPARC program;
  • Attained multi-million dollar settlement for SDVOSB client in connection with a CDA claim based on delay, changes to contract and defective specifications, arising out of client’s construction contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs;
  • Obtained corrective action in connection with post-award bid protest, challenging award of $10 million+ task order issued by the Air Force under GSA OASIS;
  • Resolved dispute, and forced issuance of long-delayed contract modifications allowing completion of project, in on-going disagreement relating to defective specifications on Department of Veterans Affairs construction project; and
  • Secured corrective action for client in connection with two simultaneous post-award bid protests, relating to two multi-million dollar international Air Force construction projects.

Maria is active in a number of federal contracting- and/or construction-related professional associations is a frequent lecturer at agency, government contracting, and small business conferences. She works closely with several Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and other government contracting forums to provide educational content for a variety of government contractors.

Maria has been named to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Stars list in the field of Government Contracts from 2015-2021 and to the District of Columbia Super Lawyer’s Rising Stars list in the field of Government Contracts in 2018 and 2019. In 2014, Maria was honored with the Women Impacting Public Policy’s Give Me 5% Award. She is also a recipient of JD Supra’s Government Contracting 2019 and 2021 Readers Choice Award and was listed in the Legal Intelligencer’s 2019 Pennsylvania Trailblazers.

Maria is involved in the following organizations:

  • Women Impacting Public Policy, Leadership Advisory Committee;
  • Women Construction Owners and Executives, Regional Director for Northeast Region;
  • American Bar Association – Bid Protest Committee;
  • American Bar Association – Small Business Committee;
  • National Veterans’ Small Business Coalition; and the
  • Society of Military Engineers.

Awards Won*

*Click here for a description of the standard or methodology on which the awards and honors are based. No aspect of this advertisement is approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.