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Partner Jeff Bialos Provides Commentary on GAO/Boeing Ruling

June 18, 2008

WASHINGTON (June 18, 2008) – Sutherland Partner Jeffrey P. Bialos has provided media commentary regarding the ruling by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that granted Boeing’s protest of a $35 billion Air Force tanker contract awarded to Northrop Grumman Corporation.  Mr. Bialos has discussed the GAO's decision, which requires the Air Force to re-examine the contract, with the Wall Street Journal  and The Seattle Times.

The GAO makes technical rulings under government contract rules, and  “is not a forum that will send any cosmic message about the openness of U.S. defense markets or the implications for the U.S. industrial base," he told The Seattle Times.  “Going forward it's different," he noted.  As he said in the Wall Street Journal, “[t]he key issue is not the GAO decision but the Defense Department’s response, which will really tell you about our continued openness to foreign competition."

“There are times when you win the protest and nevertheless lose the award," Mr. Bialos said in The Seattle Times. “This decision doesn't necessarily mean Boeing wins."  The Air Force must formally respond to the GAO recommendations within 60 days.

Mr. Bialos has broad-ranging legal and governmental experience on aerospace, defense and homeland security matters, including mergers, acquisitions, procurement, export controls and international business practices.  He served as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Industrial Affairs under President Clinton and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the Secretary of Defense.

Sutherland is a law firm with global reach known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the world’s largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to approximately 500 lawyers handling matters in every part of the world. Seven major practice areas — corporate, financial services, energy, intellectual property, litigation, real estate and tax — provide the framework that contains an extensive range of specialty areas, allowing its lawyers to serve a diverse client base that includes a number of Fortune 500 companies.

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