Size Standard At Protest Filing Governs Attorneys’ Fees Cap

In a recent notable decision, GAO held that it is the size standard at the time of filing the protest that determines the cap on calculating attorneys’ fees. When an agency and a protestor cannot agree on the reimbursement amount for attorneys’ fees, the protestor may request a recommendation from GAO. The governing statute caps the hourly rate for attorneys for large businesses at $150 an hour. Small businesses are exempt from the cap.

Protestor was a small business at the time the solicitation was issued, but later certified that it was no longer small under the applicable NAICS code. GAO applied the cap to the protestor’s request, reasoning that the language of the statute specifically refers to payment to a “party” and at the time protestor filed its protest, it was a large business. Harmonia Holdings Group, LLC-Costs; B-417475.7.


size standardOur government contracts posts are published by Attorney Kristi Morgan Aronica. She serves as counsel to prime contractors and subcontractors in the government contracts market throughout Texas and nationally.