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Mike Gardner focuses his work on companies that provide national security and infrastructure services to federal and foreign customers. He has experience working with contract negotiations, bid protests, claims and dispute resolution at GAO, the Court of Federal Claims and the Boards of Contract, and has provided compliance support related to the Federal Acquisition Regulations, ITAR, the Defense Security Service, and the Defense Contract Audit Agency.  

Mike also has wide-ranging experience working on international programs managed by the Defense Logistics Agency; global security and nation building programs managed by the Department of State and the Department of Defense; broad spectrum IT solutions including secured cloud data and software as a service programs sponsored by the Department of Defense, the intelligence community and regulated industries like health care, insurance, and financial services; marine industrial work including ship building and repair; and renewable energy project work supporting both major federal facilities and remote, resilient operations.  

Mike works with a large array of clients including assisting large and small businesses on capitalizing on Small Business Administration initiatives. He has also worked with Fortune 50 and privately held companies to develop and implement plans to increase revenue and profitability through organic growth and acquisitions and to plan and execute liquidity events like ESOPs, private equity investment, and M&A events.

Prior to his private law practice, Mike served as a Coast Guard line officer supporting Coast Guard operations in Europe, Africa, and South America.


  • Prime and subcontract negotiations for logistics, IT, security and marine industrial work
  • Bid Protests at GAO and Court of Federal Claims
  • Contract dispute resolution at ASBCA, Court of Federal Claims and ADR
  • OCONUS operations counseling
  • SBA Mentor Protege and Small Business Subcontracting
  • Compliance counseling and training under FAR, ITAR, DSS and DCAA programs
  • Business life-cycle planning including growth and liquidity events
  • Admiralty and Maritime compliance, transactions and casualty
  • Ethics and Standards of Conduct counseling and training



  • Prevailed in October of 2018 on a GAO protest related to a Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) Systems Engineering, Technology and Innovation (SETI) solicitation.
  • Prepared Request for Equitable Adjustment seeking $3.2 million for impact related to hazardous material encountered during ship repair contract work.  Escalated to Claim and appealed to ASBCA. Negotiated successful recovery for contractor including legal fees.
  • Prepared Request for Equitable Adjustment seeking remission of liquidated damages and revision of CPARS evaluation. Escalated to Claim and appealed to ASBCA. Negotiated remission of liquidated damages and revision to Satisfactory CPARS.
  • Negotiated transition from hardware sales/software licensing model to Software as a Service structure resulting in long term contract for contractor.
  • Negotiated over $30 million in software licenses and support agreements
  • Formed company and advised owners on strategy to use 8(a) and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business programs resulting in 7 year performance of zero revenue to $50 million revenue °
  • Protested agency’s award decision based on unstated evaluation factors. Agency took corrective action awarding contractor $485 million contract
  • Represented awardee of $55 million engineering services contract in GAO protest resulting in denial of protest and retention of contract by awardee.
  • Contract negotiations, counseling and compliance advice for contracts in Japan, Philippines and Guam.
  • Negotiated warehousing agreement in Italy to support DoD forward deployed supply
  • Contract negotiation, counseling and compliance advice for multi-year training contract in Nigeria.
  • Contract negotiation, contract administration advice and compliance counseling for aviation support work in Saudi Arabia
  • Set up outside board of director for foreign owned company and facilitated acquisition of facility security clearance from Defense Security Service.°

°The above representations were handled by Mr. Gardner prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

  • Lieutenant Commander, United States Coast Guard, 1978-1991

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Admiralty & Maritime Law, 2001-2024
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, "Washington, D.C., Super Lawyer," 2006-2020
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, "Virginia Super Lawyer," Transportation/Maritime Law, 2006-2020
  • Listed, Virginia Business magazine, “The Legal Elite,”
    • Admiralty and Environmental Law, 2001-2007
    • Transportation/Admiralty/Intermodal, 2006
    • Construction Law, 2007, 2011, 2013-2016
  • Selected, American Bar Association, "Outstanding Young Lawyer for the Coast Guard,” 1989
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5 out of 5

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Member, Virginia Ship Repair Association
    • Chair, Contracts Committee, 1998-2014
  • Member, Virginia Maritime Association
    • Chair, Shipbuilding and Ship Repair, 2000-2012
  • Proctor, Maritime Law Association of the United States, 1994-present


  • J.D., The College of William & Mary, 1986
    • Member, William and Mary Law Review
  • B.S., with honors, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 1978
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina