Fowler Co-Authors War-Zone Contractor Article

SHB Partner Greg Fowler  partnered with C. Douglas Goins (Lockheed Martin Corp.) and Taavi Annus (J.D. Candidate, University of Missouri--Columbia School of Law) to publish an article in the Thomson West Briefing Paper Series about "Regulating Contractors in War Zones: A Preemptive Strike on Problems in Government Contracts." This timely and comprehensive piece considers, among other matters, the layers of regulation affecting contractors who provide services to the U.S. government in war zones, the scope of contractor activities, standards for contractors and their personnel, liability issues, and contract oversight and accountability. The article also provides succinct guidelines to assist those negotiating and performing contracts for duties to be performed in war zones. According to the article, "a contractor's operation in war zones may carry with it various risks for its employees, including their losing prisoner-of-war status and their being prosecuted for war crimes when engaged in fighting or even facing prosecution under the laws of the country in which the contractor is operating." Some government contractors are occasionally called on to "perform functions that could be characterized as direct participation in hostilities . . . there is no clear demarcation between direct and indirect participation." Further risks exist if a contractor withdraws from performance or is ordered to evacuate, suspend or cancel the performance of contractual duties. The article faces these issues squarely and suggests how flexible government regulations, careful contract selection and drafting and consolidated oversight could go a long way toward addressing problems that have arisen for firms operating in Iraq and Afghanistan. To read the article, please click here.