James J. Gallagher

James J. Gallagher

Partner - Los Angeles
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300 South Grand Avenue
14th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071
TEL: 213.243.6165
FAX: 213.243.6330
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As the immediate past Co-Chair of McKenna Long & Aldridge, James J. Gallagher is one of the chief architects in the firm's long term strategic and policy direction. Prior to the merger, Mr. Gallagher was Managing Partner at McKenna & Cuneo, a predecessor firm to MLA and a member of the firm's Executive Committee.

As a nationally renowned litigator, Mr. Gallagher has been representing government contractors, including the largest aerospace companies, for more than three decades. His experience includes the full range of government contract financial issues, including civil and criminal fraud investigations and litigation, defective pricing, terminations, claims, breach of contract and cost allowability. Mr. Gallagher has served as lead counsel in more than three dozen False Claims Act cases, most of which were qui tam matters. Five of those cases have been heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, including the highly publicized Schumer V. Hughes case. He has also argued more than a dozen cases at the federal appeals courts. Most recently, Mr. Gallagher, together with Susan Mitchell and Mike Kavanaugh, defended General Motors in a unanimous victory at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008 in Allison Engine Company, et al. v. United States ex rel. Sanders, et al.

A member of the firm's Terminations and Contract Restructures team, Mr. Gallagher has been lead counsel for contractors regarding claims against the federal government that totaled over $5 billion in the past 20 years.

Before joining the firm in 1970, Mr. Gallagher was a trial attorney for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service's National Office.  He also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at both Georgetown University Law Center (1973-1977) and the Columbus School of Law (1975-1977), teaching Government Contracts. 

Chambers USA 2014 has recognized Mr. Gallagher as a leading government contracts lawyer in the nation.

Notable Engagements

General Dynamics:  Counsel for General Dynamics in the DIVADS criminal case in Los Angeles in which the Department of Justice ultimately withdrew its indictment.

United Defense:  Counsel for United Defense (predecessor company was FMC) in breach of contract suit in Northern District of Alabama.  Recovery of $40 million.  Affirmed in Eleventh Circuit.

Boeing:  Represented company in contract claims on multiple programs that involved over $3 billion.

Representative Clients

Mr. Gallagher has represented some of the world’s largest aerospace and defense companies including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Hughes, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop-Grumman, Rockwell Collins and General Motors.


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Seminars and Presentations:

  • Program Chairman of Western Briefing Conference for 13 years
  • Program Chairman on five occasions of National Education Conference of NCMA, held annually in Los Angeles