How We Are Different

At A Glance


Having spent decades at leading firms and agencies, we know the policies, processes, and decision makers to get results.

Individual Solutions

We build our approach around our client’s definition of success, internal stakeholders, and business objectives.

Project Management

We use interactive legal project management tools collaboratively with our clients to scope matters, budget reliably, and monitor progress.

Cost Efficient

We care about cost efficiency and make smart choices for our clients.

Alternative Fee Arrangements

We offer proven alternative fee structures to increase predictability and share risks and rewards with our clients.


We strive to make working with us easy by avoiding common areas of friction when accessing legal services.

“We engineered Nichols Liu from the ground up – by combining our experience at leading firms, agencies, and contractors with feedback and recommendations from our clients.

Robert Nichols and Andy Liu
with advice from Gail Steinel, Executive-in-Residence,Yale School of Management

Our Approach

We began as friends who share a passion for government service and the government contracting industry. Daring greatly, we set out to start something innovative, meaningful, and a bit audacious.

We asked our clients what they need most from their law firms, and a common theme emerged: maintain the same high quality while increasing efficiency and reducing overhead costs. We are working with Gail Steinel, Executive-in-Residence at the Yale School of Management, to build and continuously improve our business processes to achieve these objectives.

The result is our combination of three foundational principles: premium expertise, modern approaches, and value-driven.

Premium Expertise

Nichols Liu is dedicated to the exceptional capabilities that we have applied in representing top 100 government contractors and Fortune 100 companies:

Winning cases

Excellence in service

Quality work product


Deep knowledge of policy and policymakers

Trusted advice

Modern Approaches

Nichols Liu has adopted modern business approaches that distinguish us from others. We apply proven project management tools throughout the life-cycle of a matter. We embrace close collaboration with our clients. And while we are a “brick and mortar” firm, we employ the same technologies as leading virtual law firms to provide greater accessibility and transparency to our clients.

We apply proven project management tools throughout the lifecycle of a matter:

ensuring an understanding of objectives and constraints

building a task plan, schedule and budget

coordinating management of the plan

updating the plan, schedule and budget, as necessary

We embrace close collaboration. We are happy to work on-site when helpful. We also use:

mind-mapping to capture and organize facts and relationship, generate creative ideas in less time, and visualize the entirety of a topic at a single glance

video conferences to achieve face-to-face benefits without unnecessary travel

real-time, joint document drafting for getting the job done efficiently

We employ technology to leverage our practice and create efficiencies. This includes:

mobile apps

regular use of video conferences

secure cloud-based information sharing

predictive coding to streamline ediscovery costs


We are dedicated to keeping our overhead costs lower than our competitors. Before spending a penny on any new hire area, we ask “How will this add value to our clients?” If it doesn’t, we eliminated it. We also put our money where our mouths are by structuring fee arrangements to reward efficiencies and results. We do not have:

first and second year associates that provide less value than their salaries

flashy on-campus recruiting efforts or luxurious summer programs

on-site HR, marketing, and IT functions – we outsource them to web-based vendors to streamline our head count and real estate needs

We have also embraced value-based billing through alternative fee structures. We use internal metrics to offer well-informed fixed fees for projects and stages. Our success directly relates to finding solutions that work for both us and our clients.

Our Guiding Principles

1 Client satisfaction is our number one priority.

2 We provide a broad range of legal, investigative, and government relations services to be a one-stop shop for government contractors.

3 We learn our client’s business and strategic objectives, and relentlessly pursue success as defined by our clients.

4 We don’t just serve as legal technicians, but as trusted advisors who deliver helpful advice and concise recommendations that are actionable in the context of our client’s business.

5 We budget realistically for what is likely to occur and for worst case scenarios, and provide transparency as we incur costs, to avoid surprises.

6 We constantly seek cost efficiencies and share those savings with our clients.

7 We train our lawyers on legal project management, creative problem solving, and managing matters for efficiency.

8 We proactively offer alternative fee structures that give clients options and predictability while rewarding successful outcomes.

9 We leverage technology for our mutual benefit in terms of collaboration, transparency, and efficiency.

10 We consider our client’s issues as our own, and we partner with them to achieve shared objectives.