Tysons Corner, VA, May 27, 2020:–Two former Microsoft attorneys announced today the official launch of Tong Tejani law firm (www.tongtejani.com), bringing a combined 40 years of government contracting and compliance experience to small and large companies doing business with government customers.
“What sets us apart and in many ways makes us unique,” said co-founder Zohra Tejani, “is that we’re leveraging our experience as in-house counsel at Microsoft, VMware and Facebook to do things differently. We’re experimenting with business and client service models.”
“It is that in-house corporate experience that allows us to give practical, actionable advice to clients,” said co-founder Joyce Tong Oelrich. ”We have helped clients operationalize regulatory compliance and provided strategic counsel.”
“Our in-house backgrounds along with our previous law firm experience allow us to help companies with the full spectrum of issues in government contracting and compliance. We can handle a bid protest, counsel an engineering team on cybersecurity requirements, and negotiate government contracts for cloud services and other technology products and services.”
Government contracting issues that the founding partners of Tong Tejani have dealt with include:
The founders’ client experience has ranged from handling bid protests for a small, minority-owned joint venture to representing a $10 billion a year tech giant negotiating with an equally formidable government agency responsible for a $1 billion-plus annual spend.
“The opposing counsel representing the government was impressed enough with my work,” said Tejani, “that when he left government for the private sector, he contacted us about working for him.”
Zohra Tejani has extensive senior-level experience drafting, negotiating, and counseling on government procurement of commercial technology products and services. “A good shorthand for my legal practice is ‘govtech,’” says Tejani. In fact, using “govtech” as a search term on LinkedIn, the first person identified is “Zohra Tejani.”
“We offer a modern, innovative approach inspired by our time in Big Tech,” says Tejani. “Instead of billing by the hour, we offer a subscription service, volume discounts, and fixed fees, and, instead of hiring staff and attorneys, we remain agile and scalable by bringing on contract staff and counsel, partnering with alternative legal service providers and solos as needed.”
Joyce Tong Oelrich is an accomplished global public sector procurement counsel whose career spans nearly two decades advising large and small commercial clients in Big Law and then Big Tech while in-house. A key area of focus for Tong Oelrich has been global government contract compliance.
Perhaps as noteworthy as their experience is the rarity of who and what they are: women of color who own their own law firm, rare enough that national statistics measuring the extent of such firms do not appear to exist.
“I don’t think there are any good data sources on this question,” says Robert L. Nelson, director emeritus of the American Bar Foundation, the research arm of the American Bar Association. “In terms of women of color who are founders of law firms, I cannot think of any source on that.”
Tong and Tejani are unfazed by the rarity of law firms owned by women of color.
“During the initial “beta” phase of our firm before our official launch on May 27,” said Tong Oelrich, “we confirmed that our diversity of experience, both professionally and personally, makes us a good choice for the wide range of companies wanting to do business with government customers.”
Tong Tejani helps companies in all public sector areas, including:
Tong Tejani is certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
“The timing of the launch of Tong Tejani at the height of Covid-19 is also, we think, interesting,” says Tong Oelrich. “The beta phase for our firm began in our home offices in October 2019. We began working then…as everyone else is now…remotely and generally from home.
“Dealing with these new realities, we had a head start.”