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Hilary S. Cairnie

Hilary S. Cairnie


Washington, DC
Phone: 202.220.1207    Fax: 202.220.1465

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, 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 advises and represents clients in all manner of enforcement controversies including corporate inquiries and investigations, as well as criminal, civil and administrative investigations and associated legal proceedings. Mr. Cairnie has represented many companies and individuals in connection with federal and state suspension and debarment proceedings having advocated before many suspension and debarment officials during his career.

Mr. Cairnie represents clients involved in aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding, transportation, construction, software, medical and health care, 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.


  • J.D., The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, 1989
  • S.M., Material Science Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1981, Sigma Xi
  • B.S., Purdue University, 1978

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia

Practice Areas

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