Serving as Managing Partner of the firm since 2003, and a member of the Health Care and Federal Grants practices since 1992, Edward (Ted) T. Waters focuses his practice on helping organizations to solve problems, often in crisis situations. A national authority in the area of federal grants, particularly in the health and community service spheres, he advises clients on all aspects of program requirements, including issues such as cost-based reimbursement, governance and the never-ending list of grant administration matters. Mr. Waters’ expertise in financial, cost reporting, reimbursement, and administrative issues is widely recognized, and illustrated by his selection as a 2014-2021 Washington, DC Super Lawyer in health care. Mr. Waters routinely handles challenging issues for clients such as government audits, internal investigations, and litigation, deftly guiding them to a resolution. His priority is to help each organization carry out its mission and ensure that legal challenges do not distract from that focus. From his more than a decade of experience running the firm, Mr. Waters understands acutely the challenges of keeping an organization running, and offers practical, down-to-earth counsel to support organizational leaders in doing just that.

Throughout his career, Mr. Waters has counseled numerous health and community service organizations, negotiated with federal and state officials, and represented clients in front of state and federal courts, administrative tribunals, Offices of Inspector General, and federal agencies. Mr. Waters also has extensive experience advising Boards and senior leadership in organizations undergoing major management changes, often in high-profile situations.

Mr. Waters frequently conducts trainings for countless groups across the country such as state and national organizations, local, state, and federal agencies, and private non-profit organizations, including the American Bar Association, National Association of Community Health Centers, and National Head Start Association. Mr. Waters is a Professional Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University Law School, where in 2014, he began teaching the first law school class in the nation on federal grant programs.

Mr. Waters is focused on both the big picture and minutia of the legal challenges facing his clients so that they can focus on their mission. He strives to develop creative solutions to the crises facing his clients so that they are able to continue doing the work they were meant to do.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully represented a group of eight health centers in litigation with the State of Washington obtaining close to $15 million.
  • Successfully represented a Head Start program before the Departmental Appeals Board to reverse termination of a Head Start grant, including various cost disallowances.
  • Successfully represented a Medicaid managed care plan in a bid protest over the competitive award of Medicaid managed care contracts.
  • Served as general counsel for one of the country’s largest health centers for 17 years.


  • Selected to the Washington, DC, Super Lawyers list – Health Care (2014-2016, 2018-2022)

Published Works

  • Edward T. Waters, Grant Money Doesn’t Come Free, The Corporate Counsel (August 2009)
  • Edward T. Waters, Co-Author, This Free Money Comes with Strings, LegalTimes (April 2009)
  • Edward T. Waters, Co-Author, GovPro: A Head Start Governance Manual, Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP and Wipfli (2008)
  • Edward T. Waters, Co-Author, Clinical Research Compliance Manual, Chapters 5-7, Aspen Publishers (2006)

Classes/Seminars Taught

  • Professional Lecturer in Law, The George Washington University Law School (January 2014 to present)

Previous Experience

  • Howrey & Simon, Associate (1989-1992)
  • Department of Energy Board of Contract Appeals, Legal Clerk (1988-1989)
Edward "Ted" Waters


  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law (1988)
  • B.A., Washington University (1983)

Bar/Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

Professional Memberships / Affiliations

  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow (2008 to present)
  • National Grants Management Association, Board of Directors (2001-2009), Board President (2003-2007), Immediate Past President (2007-2009)

Press Mentions

The Trump administration quietly spent billions in hospital funds on Operation Warp Speed, March 2, 2021, STAT, by Rachel Cohrs

Ted Waters, a managing partner at Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell, said courts generally defer to expert federal agency interpretation on use of funds unless there’s a clear conflict.

VERIFY: What experts say on Trump’s ability to halt funds for ‘anarchist jurisdictions’, September 4, 2020, WUSA9, by David Tregde & Linda S. Johnson

“It is unlikely that President Trump can claw back the funding from the jurisdictions because it is outside of the President’s constitutional powers. ‘Under the Constitution, the branch of government that is responsible for taxing and spending — including grants, of course — is the U.S Congress, not the executive branch.’”

Choose Outside Counsel Carefully; Avoid Common Mistakes, March 1, 2020, Relias Media

When choosing outside counsel, there is a myth that bigger is better, says Edward T. Waters, JD, managing partner with Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell in Washington, DC.

“That is just not true. There are many boutique firms like ours with many experts on the arcana of Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal healthcare programs such as federally qualified health centers, Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, and the recent array of opioid funding,” he says. “What you get with a boutique is an expert who will pay attention to your problem, and not heavily staff the matter with the attendant high cost.”

Finding an expert in your subject matter also can be problematic, Waters says. The American healthcare system is extraordinarily complex, and lawyers, like physicians, specialize. That means risk managers must take the time to understand the firm’s depth of knowledge on particular issues, he says.