Hilary Cairnie

Partner at
Pepper Hamilton LLP

Contact Me
  • Pepper Hamilton LLP

Admitted Jurisdictions



Hilary S. Cairnie is a partner in the Government Contracts Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Washington office. Mr. Cairnie's practice is diverse and encompasses virtually all manner of government contracting matters, including contract formation, performance, administration; enforcement controversies, investigations and legal proceedings, protests, REAs, claims and claim appeals; prime/sub disputes in federal and state court; APA cases, TROs and injunctions; security clearance controversies and appeals; small business protests and appeals; corporate due diligence in support of mergers, acquisitions and asset purchases; domestic preferences; Bayh-Dole, subject inventions and IP matters; Dodd-Frank conflict minerals and supply chain matters; small business set-aside programs; cost audits and disallowances and incurred cost submissions.

Mr. Cairnie represents clients involved in aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding, transportation, construction, software, medical and healthcare, engineering, life sciences, and research and development endeavors, among others. He negotiates and prepares technology licensing agreements involving patents and trade secrets, copyrights and trademarks. Mr. Cairnie counsels clients on the unique issues associated with inventions developed under publicly funded procurement contracts and other agreements. He also advises clients on the pros and cons of using proprietary technology in connection with performance of government contracts, grants and cooperative agreements.

Mr. Cairnie is a frequent public speaker on topics and new developments of interest to the government contracting community. He has regularly appeared before various local, regional and national chapters of the trade associations and bar associations.

Prior to joining Pepper, Mr. Cairnie led the Government Contracts Group at BakerHostetler in Washington.


Relevant Experience

  • Advise and represent clients in subcontract negotiations and dispute resolution.
  • Litigate contract claim appeals and other controversies before the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Federal and Fourth Circuits.
  • Obtained favorable rulings in connection with pre-award and post-award protests filed before the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC) on behalf of large and small businesses.
  • Representing clients working for the Army Corps of Engineers on post- Katrina reconstruction projects throughout the Gulf-region.
  • Advise clients that are working in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan, Israel, and other Middle Eastern countries on projects with DOD, USAID, State Department, and other agencies.
  • Conduct internal corporate investigations and represent clients in connection with “hotline” reports, as well as criminal, civil, and administrative investigations initiated by federal and state authorities, and the concomitant legal proceedings.
  • Represent nonprofit clients in connection with non-procurement programs and agreements.



  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent



  • Virginia Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Federal Circuit Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • National Contract Management Association


Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

  • Virginia

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