Portrait of

Government Experience

  • U.S. Department of Defense—U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps

Education

  • Gustavus Adolphus College, B.A. (1995)
  • College of William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law, J.D. (2002) summa cum laude
  • The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, LL.M. (2006) Commandant's List

Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
Mark Ries, Senior Counsel Washington, D.C.
mries@crowell.com
Phone: +1 202.624.2794
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

Mark Ries is a senior counsel in the Government Contracts Group in Crowell & Moring's Washington, D.C. office. Mark's practice includes a wide variety of government procurement law, including bid protests, internal investigations, ethics and compliance, interpretation of FAR and agency supplement contract clauses and solicitation provisions, contract claims and disputes, and small business contracting.

During his 20 years of service in the U.S. Army, Mark garnered experience across the full spectrum of government contract and fiscal law matters as an acquisition law specialist within the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. Mark's final Army assignment was with the Acquisition Law Practice Group in the Office of the Army General Counsel (OGC), where he advised the assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)), the director of Army Small Business Programs, Program Executive Officers (PEO), and program managers in support of major defense acquisition programs and other procurements with congressional and public interest, encompassing all aspects of procurement law and related policy matters. He also served as the Army's legal representative on the Defense Acquisition Regulation Council, incorporating procurement statutes and Department of Defense policy into the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement.

Before his OGC position, Mark litigated in defense of the Army and Department of Defense agencies against bid protests before the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Court of Federal Claims (COFC), and contract appeals before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA). Mark also served as the deputy chief counsel for the Army's contracting command in Europe, advising the principal assistant responsible for contracting and contracting officers on the planning, award, administration, and dispute resolution of construction, service, and supply contracts to support the Army's European and African commands.

Mark was an associate professor at the Army's Judge Advocate General's School, the premier federal government provider of contract and fiscal law education. He taught all aspects of government contract and fiscal law and was the recognized subject matter expert in bid protests, construction contracting, contingency contracting, and contractors on the battlefield. Prior to focusing on government contract law, Mark prosecuted felonies and misdemeanors and served as the sole legal advisor for a 4,500-person organization. While deployed to Iraq, he advised military commanders on international law compliance and advised senior officers investigating alleged war crimes. During his military career, Mark was also a platoon leader, an operations officer, and a branch chief in charge of congressional inquiries and line of duty investigations.

Some of Mark's recent representations on behalf of the government defending against bid protests include:

  • Successfully defended two discrete bid protests at the GAO that challenged the award of an Asymmetric Warfare Group specialized services support contract, defeating numerous technical evaluation challenges from an offeror that withdrew its protest after filing of the Agency Report, and later defeating challenges from a higher-priced offeror involving price realism, technical evaluations, meaningful discussions, and the best value tradeoff decision. CACI-WGI, Inc., B-408520.2, Dec. 16, 2013, 2013 CPD ¶ 293.
  • Successfully defended a bid protest first at the GAO and later at the Court of Federal Claims (as Agency counsel) that challenged the Army's award of a $9.6 million task order, defeating allegations that the awarded value of the task order should not control jurisdiction if the protester challenges the awardee's price. Unpublished dismissals.
  • Successfully defended a bid protest at the GAO involving classified filings when the protester withdrew its protest following a classified GAO outcome prediction ADR session. Unpublished.
  • Successfully defended a bid protest at the GAO that challenged the CENTCOM Joint Theater Support Contracting Command's (CJTSCC) decision to authorize the awardee to begin performance of security services in Afghanistan during the pendency of corrective action to reconsider protester's nonresponsibility determination following GAO's dismissal of an earlier protest, which had triggered the CICA stay. EOD Technology, Inc., B-406978.2, B-406978.3, Aug. 20, 2012, 2012 CPD ¶ 239.
  • Successfully defended a bid protest at the GAO that challenged the Army's proposed corrective action to cancel a reverse auction solicitation issued through FedBid® after bids closed. Kingdomware Technologies, B-406966.3, Nov. 27, 2012.
  • Successfully defended a bid protest at the Court of Federal Claims (as Agency counsel) that challenged the Army's determination that the protester was not responsible based on classified information obtained through the U.S. military's vendor vetting program. Ettefaq-Meliat-Hai-Afghan Consulting, Inc. v. U.S., 106 Fed. Cl. 429 (Aug. 21, 2012).
  • Successfully defended four separate bid protests at the GAO where an incumbent security services contractor alleged de facto debarment related to the U.S. military's then little known vendor vetting program in Afghanistan, obtaining two dismissals and crafting successful corrective action plans in the other two protests. Unpublished dismissals.

Some of Mark's recent representations on behalf of the government defending against contract appeals include:

  • Successfully defended an appeal at the ASBCA where the contractor sought payment for construction work completed, obtaining dismissal for lack of jurisdiction because the Iraqi Commander's Emergency Response Program (I-CERP) contract was not subject to the Contract Disputes Act (CDA). White Hand Company, LLC, ASBCA No. 59184, 15-1 BCA ¶ 36,003.
  • Successfully defended an appeal at the ASBCA following a hearing where the contractor challenged the Army's termination for default and asserted a damages claim under a contract to procure wing section spares, defeating allegations of government delay on which the contractor had prevailed in a similar appeal. DODS, Inc., ASBCA Nos. 57746, 58252, 14-1 BCA ¶ 35,677.
  • Successfully defended an appeal at the ASBCA obtaining summary judgment where the contractor sought costs incurred to prepare to perform its obligations under an IDIQ contract for concrete protective barriers in Iraq.  Thefaf Al Rafidain Contracting Co., ASBCA No. 59014, 14-1 BCA ¶ 35,573.
  • Successfully negotiated settlement of an ASBCA appeal on behalf of an Army nonappropriated fund instrumentality (NAFI), obtaining a liquidated damages payment from the contractor where the propriety of the contract termination was disputed. 
  • Successfully negotiated settlement of an ASBCA appeal on behalf of the CENTCOM Joint Theater Support Contracting Command, where the dispute concerned whether the contractor was obligated to complete the entire project at a fixed price or to provide its best efforts at a monthly fixed price.
  • Successfully negotiated several settlements on behalf of various Army offices regarding amounts due under contracts for office copy machine leases and associated services.  


Affiliations

Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, Virginia, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Professional Memberships

  • American Bar Association (ABA): Public Contract Law Section, Administrative Law Section
  • Federal Bar Association (FBA)
  • Court of Federal Claims Bar Association (CFCBA)
  • Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association (BCABA)
  • National Contract Management Association (NCMA)
  • Judge Advocates Association (JAA)
  • Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)


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