Photograph of Cherie J. Owen

Cherie J. Owen

Partner


Government contractors of all sizes — from Fortune 10 companies to small businesses — trust Cherie Owen to represent and advise them on a wide range of government contract matters, including bid protests at the Government Accountability Office, the Court of Federal Claims, federal procuring agencies, and state courts. Cherie draws on the unique insights she gained as a senior bid protest hearing officer during her 12-year tenure at the GAO to identify the legal arguments and practical strategies most likely to result in strategic wins for her clients.

Clients rely on Cherie to provide counseling regarding contract formation and negotiation with respect to procurement contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and Other Transaction Agreements. She also advises government contractors on business and compliance matters, including subcontractor agreements, suspension and debarment, and ethics and conflicts rules and mitigation strategies. In doing so, Cherie takes a pragmatic approach to addressing her clients’ legal and business concerns, leveraging her experience as both a GAO bid protest hearing officer and a judge on the GAO Contract Appeals Board. During her time at the GAO, she resolved over 600 protests, issued over 500 bid protest decisions, and conducted approximately 20 bid protest hearings. As one of only a few former GAO bid protest hearing officials in private practice, Cherie’s extensive familiarity with the inner workings of the GAO protest process distinguishes her from most other bid protest practitioners.

Cherie is a thought leader on topics relating to bid protests and agencies’ use of their Other Transaction Authority, holds several leadership roles in the ABA Public Contract Law Section, and maintains an active pro bono practice.

Education

  • Edinboro University, B.A. (2001) summa cum laude
  • Pennsylvania State University, J.D. (2004) summa cum laude, Woolsack Honor Society, Editor-in-Chief of the Penn State International Law Review

Affiliations

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • Law360 Government Contracts Editorial Advisory Board (2017, 2019)
  • Co-Chair, ABA PCLS Bid Protest Committee (2016-2019) & Diversity Committee (2015-2018)
  • Board of Governors, Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association (2015-2018)

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Practices

Government Contracts

Bid Protests

Claims and Disputes Litigation

Cooperative Agreements, OTAs, Grants

Show more practices…

Court of Federal Claims Bid Protests

  • LightBox Parent, L.P. v. United States, No. 22-429 (Aug. 26, 2022) – Successful defense of protest challenging award to a client of a $45 million Federal Communications Commission contract for broadband mapping services.
  • ARxIUM, Inc. v. United States, No. 17-1407C (Feb. 16, 2018) – Successful protest of the Defense Logistics Agency’s corrective action following a GAO decision sustaining a challenge to ARxIUM’s award of a contract to provide robotic pharmaceutical automation systems at four large-volume Air Force prescription refill centers.
  • Spectrum Healthcare Resources, Inc., No. 22-CV-01368 (Sept. 28, 2022) – Successful protest of DHS’s competitive range decision in $2.62 billion procurement for on-site medical staffing services for detainees at ICE Health Service Corps clinic sites, which resulted in Agency corrective action.
  • NXP USA, Inc. v. United States, No. 19-CV-00781 – Successful protest of GPO’s actions in connection with a procurement of next generation Passport eCovers, which resulted in Agency corrective action.

GAO Bid Protests

  • AT&T Mobility LLC, B-420494 (May 10, 2022) – Successful protest of Department of Homeland Security, United States Secret Service award of $18 million contract for cellular communications services and equipment.
  • NOVA Dine, LLC, B-420454; B-420454.2 (Apr. 15, 2022) – Successful defense of protest challenging DISA’s award of $240 million contract for the Technologies Refreshment and Implementation-Global Solution Management (TRI-GSM) program.
  • Fisher Sand & Gravel Co., B-419238 (Jan. 7, 2021) – Successful defense of protest challenging the Army Corps of Engineers’ award of a task order for construction.
  • Knowlogy Corp., B-416208.3 (Dec. 20, 2018) – Successful defense of protest challenging GSA’s award of a $45 million contract for information technology training and certification services.
  • Successfully protested GSA’s award of a $678 million contract for systems engineering and integration services based on organizational conflicts of interest; obtained agency corrective action, including acceptance of revised proposals and issuance of a new award decision.
  • Successfully defended a multimillion-dollar award by the Air Force for aircraft and equipment resulting in dismissal of most protest grounds and withdrawal of the remainder.
  • Successfully protested the terms of a solicitation issued by the Navy for base operations support services on the grounds that the solicitation did not contain sufficient information for offerors to compete intelligently and on an equal basis; obtained agency corrective action in the form of solicitation amendments.
  • Successfully protested the Army’s award of a $27 million contract for facilities investment services based on arguments regarding lack of meaningful discussions and unreasonable evaluation; obtained agency corrective action.
  • Successfully protested NASA’s award of a $275 million contract for software engineering services and obtained agency corrective action.
  • Successfully protested the Army’s award of $41 million services contract to support management of a portfolio of warfighting capabilities and obtained corrective action that ultimately resulted in award to the client.
  • Successfully protested the Federal Highway Administration’s elimination of an offeror from the competition for data set and data sharing support on the basis of lack of meaningful discussion and an unreasonable evaluation; obtained agency corrective action that allowed the client to reenter the competition.
  • Successfully protested the Army’s award of a $49 million small business set aside contract for test technology support services on the basis of a flawed evaluation of professional employee compensation under FAR 52.222-46 and other evaluation errors; obtained agency corrective action that included amending the solicitation, soliciting revised proposals, and making a new award decision.
  • Successfully protested the VA’s award of a contract for prescription eyeglasses and associated optical services on the basis of unbalanced pricing, failure to solicit in accordance with the agency’s actual needs, and failure to evaluate proposals on a common baseline; obtained agency corrective action to include revising the solicitation, accepting revised proposals, and making a new award decision.
  • Successfully protested the TSA’s award of a $340 million contract for human resources support services on the basis of organizational conflicts of interest and evaluation flaws; obtained agency corrective action.

Other Representative Matters

  • Advised multinational energy company regarding its receipt and negotiation of a DOE $16 million cooperative agreement to develop a first in kind engineering-scale demonstration of carbon capture technology for natural gas and other hydrocarbons.
  • Advised non-profit recipient of multimillion-dollar CDC grants related to the COVID-19 pandemic regarding negotiations and obligations regarding subrecipients and subcontractors.
  • Advised aircraft engineering company regarding contract negotiations and disputes with the U.S. Air Force.
"What Will the New Year Bring for Government Contractors?" Crowell & Moring Webinar, 2023. (January 12, 2023). Presenters: Crowell & Moring Government Contracts Group.
Speech/Presentation
Crowell & Moring Promotes Largest Partner Class In Its History Law360 (January 11, 2023)
Press Coverage
Crowell & Moring Elects 16 New Partners, Promotes Five to Senior Counsel, and 25 to Counsel (January 9, 2023)
Firm News / Announcement
"President Biden Signs New Legislation to Identify and Mitigate Organizational Conflicts of Interest in Federal Acquisition," Government Contracts Bullet Points (January 3, 2023). Contacts: Brittany Kouroupas, Peter Eyre, Anuj Vohra, M. Yuan Zhou, Cherie J. Owen
Client Alert / Newsletter
"GAO Breathes New Life Into The Commonly Denied 'Failure To Award A Strength' Protest Ground," Westlaw Today (November 9, 2022). Authors: Amy Laderberg O'Sullivan, John E. McCarthy, Jr., Cherie J. Owen, and Zachary Schroeder.
Publication
"GAO’s 2022 Bid Protest Report to Congress for FY 2021 Shows Better than 50% Chance of Obtaining Relief," Government Contracts Bullet Points (November 8, 2022). Contacts: Amy Laderberg O'Sullivan, John E. McCarthy Jr., Anuj Vohra, Robert J. Sneckenberg, Cherie J. Owen
Client Alert / Newsletter
"GAO Breathes New Life into the Commonly Denied “Failure to Award a Strength” Protest Ground," Government Contracts Bullet Points (October 24, 2022). Contacts: Amy Laderberg O'Sullivan, John E. McCarthy Jr., Cherie J. Owen, Zachary Schroeder
Client Alert / Newsletter
“Source Selection and Bid Protests: Pre- and Post-Award Considerations,” GC 101: Back to Basics, Washington, D.C. (September 21, 2022). Presenters: Rob Sneckenberg, Anuj Vohra, and Cherie Owen.
Speech/Presentation
"Sometimes, the Court of Federal Claims Does Consider OTA Protests," Government Contracts Bullet Points (August 18, 2022). Contacts: John E. McCarthy Jr., Cherie J. Owen, Anuj Vohra
Client Alert / Newsletter
"COFC: Strictly Scrutinizing the Completeness of the Government’s Administrative Record," Government Contracts Bullet Points (July 20, 2022). Contacts: Anuj Vohra, Cherie J. Owen, Issac D. Schabes
Client Alert / Newsletter

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