Antonio R. Franco, Senior Partner
afranco@pilieromazza.com
202.857.1000
"Large and small businesses with corporate, government contracts or labor and employment issues can expect to receive responsive and quality services from lawyers who are well-versed in overlapping practice areas."
Education

Georgetown University Law School, J.D., 1986

Tulane University, B.A., cum laude, 1983

University of Madrid, Junior Year Abroad Honors Program, 1982

Admissions

District of Columbia Bar

Maryland Bar

Florida Bar

U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

U.S. Court of Federal Claims

U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

 

Tony Franco is a senior partner with over 30 years of legal experience representing clients on business, corporate and government contracting matters. He oversees the Government Contracts Group, covering all aspects of federal government contracting, while working with the Business and Corporate Law Group on transactions in the highly regulated government contracting market.

Mr. Franco represents clients on a wide range of legal and complex regulatory matters, including (i) protests and claims against the federal government; (ii) commercial and contractual disputes; (iii) investigations and compliance audits; (iv) suspension and debarment proceedings; and (v) entity formation, including joint ventures, operating agreements and shareholder agreements.

Mr. Franco primarily focuses on representing clients interested in pursuing set aside opportunities under the small business, 8(a), HUBZone, SDV and WOSB programs. In representing these firms or their teaming partners, Mr. Franco provides guidance on forming mentor-protégé agreements, teaming agreements, joint ventures, and how to position a company to successfully defend awards from size and bid protests. His practice extends to assisting firms with compliance with the FAR and rules applicable to all small business contracting programs. Mr. Franco’s practice also encompasses the representation of Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations, including their government contracting subsidiaries

Mr. Franco represents entrepreneurs in negotiations with potential equity partners seeking to structure transactions in a highly regulated market.  Working closely with a client’s management team, or their in-house or outside counsel, Mr. Franco offers a unique and nuanced perspective based upon his many years of experience. 

Representative Experience

  • Represents firms of all sizes looking to structure business and teaming arrangements, joint ventures, mentor protégé agreements and other contractual relations to compete on small business and related set-asides
  • Represents contractors in bid protests before the Court of Federal Claims, GAO and procuring agencies and size protests before the SBA
  • Represents clients in suspension and debarment proceedings and the development of compliance programs
  • Handles internal investigations and voluntary and mandatory disclosures
  • Assists in-house and outside counsel who need help representing their clients in navigating the complex, highly regulated government contracting market
  • Assists in the negotiation and preparation of shareholders agreements, operating agreements and partnership arrangements to qualify under different set-aside programs
  • Assists contractors with equitable adjustment claims, disputes, and appeals
  • Works closely with the firm’s Corporate Practice Group to structure transactions to facilitate the acquisition of government contractors from the due diligence stage through the contract novation process

 
Mr. Franco has earned Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating, AV Preeminent®, for legal ethics and ability.

 


Languages

Fluent in Spanish

Speaking Engagements

Mr. Franco is a frequent speaker on various aspects of federal contracting issues:

  • Presenter, "Developments Impacting Small Businesses in 2017." Centre Law Annual Review, Mar. 2, 2017 and Mar. 23, 2017 (with John Shoraka)
  • Panelist, "8(a) Program: How to Maximize Success (Before, During and After)" National RES Conference, Mar. 14, 2017
  • Webinar presenter, "Five Things All Veteran Owned Businesses Need to Know for 2017," Veteran Institute for Procurement, Jan. 26, 2017 (with Michelle Litteken)
  • Presenter, "Shape Your Bidding Strategy: Five Things Every Contractor Should Know for FY 2017," Society of Military Engineers, Small Business Conference, Nov. 17, 2016 (with Michelle Litteken)
  • Presenter, "SBA’s New Mentor-Protégé Program for All Small Businesses, Including SDVOSBs," National Veterans Small Business Engagement, Nov. 3, 2016 (with Peter Ford)
  • Presenter, "Shape Your Bidding Strategy: Five Things Every Contractor Should Know for FY 2017," National Veterans Small Business Engagement, Nov. 2, 2016 (with Peter Ford)
  • Presenter, "SBA’s New Subcontracting Limitations Rules," National Veterans Small Business Engagement, Nov. 2, 2016 (with Peter Ford)
  • Webinar presenter, "SBA's 8(a) Annual Reporting Requirements," Oct. 5, 2015 (with Michelle Litteken)
  • Webinar presenter, "Understanding SBA's New Government-Wide Small Business Mentor-Protege Program," Aug. 23, 2016 (with Katie Flood)
  • Presenter, "The Most Important Legal and Accounting Issues Joint Venturers Need to Consider," National 8(a) Association 2016 Summer Conference, Jun. 15, 2016 (with Bill Walter, Dixon Hughes Goodman)
  • Presenter, "ChallengeHER, The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program," for Women Impacting Public Policy at the National 8(a) Association 2016 Summer Conference, Jun. 14, 2016
  • Webinar presenter, "Do's and Don'ts for Teaming Agreements & Subcontracts for 8(a) Contracts," Mar. 16 2016 (with Michelle Litteken)
  • Panelist, "Good Things Sometimes Do Come in Small Packages: Small Business Considerations for Corporate Counsel - Representing Government Contractors," American Bar Association Fall Meeting, Nov. 20, 2015
  • Presenter, "To Protest or Not to Protest – That is the Question," National Veterans Small Business Engagement, Nov. 19, 2015 (with Peter Ford)
  • Presenter, "The New SBA Mentor-Protégé Program and Joint Venture Rules," National Veterans Small Business Engagement, Nov. 18, 2015 (with Peter Ford)
  • Presenter, "SBA Regulatory Update," 20th Annual Government Contracting Update, May 21, 2015 (with Gregg Funkhouser, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP)
  • Panel Moderator, "Executive Compensation and Financing for Your Small Business," with Sirena Johnson & Tim Miller, Thompson Greenspon and Roderick Johnson, Industrial Bank, Apr. 29, 2015
  • Presenter, "SBA's Proposed Rules for the Mentor-Protege Program," SAME Savannah Post, Mar. 23, 2015
  • Webinar presenter, "SBA Issues Proposed Rules for the Small Business Mentor-Protege Program," Feb. 25, 2015 (with Gregg Funkhouser, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP)
  • Presenter, "Analysis of SBA's Proposed New Regulations", Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce GovConNet Institute, Feb. 13, 2015 (with Stephen Ramaley, Miles & Stockbridge)
  • Presenter, "Exiting the 8(a) Program: an Overview of Terminations, Suspensions, and Early Graduations in the Current Environment," National 8(a) Conference, Feb. 3, 2015 (with Peter Ford)
  • Presenter, "Comprehensive Joint Venture Agreements," National Veterans Small Business Engagement, Dec. 9, 2014 (with Peter Ford)
  • Presenter, "U.S. Small Business Administration's Regulatory Update," Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants, Oct. 23, 2014
  • Panelist, "Federal, State and County Procurement," Maryland Hispanic Business Conference, Sep. 2, 2014
  • Panelist, "MACs: Adjusting to New Set-Aside Authorities," Professional Services Council Market Insights, Feb. 7, 2014

Publications