Senior Of Counsel
Karla J. “Tip” Letsche has over 40 years of experience in civil and administrative litigation, federal procurement law, regulatory compliance, and corporate counseling, plus substantial experience in mediation and alternative dispute resolution. After practicing for almost 20 years as a member of a large Washington DC law firm, she founded and practiced in small women-owned law firms, most recently with Wittie, Letsche & Waldo, a government contracts boutique. She joined Frankel PLLC as Senior of Counsel in April 2015.
Ms. Letsche’s practice has focused on federal procurement as well as general civil and administrative litigation. She has represented large and small federal contractors, from multiple industry sectors, in dozens of bid protest proceedings before the Government Accountability Office, the Federal Aviation Administration Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition, and the Court of Federal Claims. She counsels clients on issues relating to government contracts, including compliance and performance; contract formation, termination, and dispute avoidance; corporate compliance programs; and small business issues. She represents clients in proposed suspension and debarment proceedings, civil fraud and inspector general investigations, and mandatory disclosure matters.
Ms. Letsche’s substantial litigation experience has also included trial and appellate work in federal and state courts, involving a wide range of commercial, contractual, and regulatory claims and disputes, as well as complex technical issues. She has represented corporate and individual clients in administrative, investigative, licensing, and formal and informal enforcement proceedings before numerous federal agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Small Business Administration, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
In a GAO protest proceeding including a hearing, Ms. Letsche overturned a task order award by DOD’s Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) under the ENCORE II IDIQ, for development and sustainment of the Defense Industrial Base Network — and obtained attorneys’ fees for her client — by establishing that the agency’s price realism evaluation and technical evaluation of the awardee’s proposal were improper and unreasonable. (Solers, Inc., GAO B-409079)
Ms. Letsche successfully protested NASA’s failure to award an IDIQ contract to a large contractor, and obtained an award of attorneys’ fees, when the agency improperly faulted the protester for failing to include information that was, in different form, actually provided in its proposal, and also unequally evaluated offerors’ technical proposals. (SRA International, Inc., B-408624)
Under an 8A-set aside procurement, Ms. Letsche successfully defended an IDIQ award by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) for enterprise architecture support services. (Digital Spec, LLC, GAO B-405899)
Ms. Letsche overturned a GSA FSS task order awarded by DISA for cross domain solutions, planning and program management, and development and integration support, when GAO found that the awardee had improperly taken exception to the solicitation’s fixed price requirement by proposing conditional lower rates. GAO also awarded attorneys’ fees for the protest. (Solers, Inc., GAO B-404032.3)
Ms. Letsche overturned the Coast Guard’s award of a $60 million IT services contract on behalf of the small-business incumbent provider. When the Coast Guard changed the evaluation criteria but refused to let offerors revise their proposals, Ms. Letsche successfully protested the corrective action. GAO awarded attorneys’ fees for both protests. (Computer World Services Corp., GAO B-418287)
Ms. Letsche overturned HUD’s repeated attempts to take a mortgage servicing contract away from a small business and give it to a large bank in two GAO protests and one COFC protest. The small business was awarded attorneys’ fees in both GAO protests. (Dynaxys LLC, GAO B-414459; Dynaxys LLC v. United States)
Ms. Letsche defended the Army’s award of a large airborne radar development contract to Northrop Grumman against a protest by the dominant provider of those systems. The case was highly technical and involved expert testimony on RF engineering and advanced radar design. (Raytheon Space & Airborne Systems, GAO B-411631)
Ms. Letsche successfully defended the Air Force’s award of a $113 million acquisition support services contract to a small business against a protest brought by the incumbent contract holder. (Odyssey Systems Consulting Group, Ltd. GAO B-412519).
Ms. Letsche has successfully represented individuals and companies in matters relating to post-government employment restrictions, potential Procurement Integrity Act violations, and debarment investigations and proceedings.
For several years Ms. Letsche has served as a FINRA Dispute Resolution Arbitrator, and as a volunteer arbitrator and Board Member for the D.C. Bar’s Attorney/Client Arbitration Board, which provides a forum for DC Bar members and their clients to resolve disputes about legal fees. She has also served as a certified Mediator in the Virginia General District Courts, taught legal research and writing to law students, and for more than 25 years served as Chair, or on the Policy or Advisory Board of the Legal Counsel for the Elderly. Ms. Letsche is active in the American Bar Association’s Public Contract Law Section and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.