Ellie Perka is a partner at Ahlers Cressman & Sleight where she helps the firm’s clients solve complex, high-stakes construction claims and disputes.
Ms. Perka has handled multimillion-dollar disputes on many of the Pacific Northwest’s most prominent projects—the Seattle Seawall, the SR99 Tunnel, and the Washington State Convention Center expansion project. She has also been involved with construction disputes throughout the United States. She recently represented a heavy civil contractor in three bid protest actions against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for more than $6 billion in United States / Mexico border wall construction. Her work attracted national media attention including coverage in the Washington Post, CNN, Bloomberg, and Reuters.
In addition to her litigation practice, Ms. Perka also consults on employment-related matters and represents federal small, minority, and women-owned firms in issues related to the WBE/MBE/DBE program.
Ms. Perka is a frequent lecturer on construction law topics. She co-authored the Washington Lawyers Practice Manual and multiple chapters of the WSBA Construction Law Deskbook. She is on the Board of Directors for Construction for Change and, in addition to her litigation practice, is deeply committed to advocating for the rights of women and children worldwide.
Ellie’s recent clients and cases have included representation of:
Represented contractor in successful bid protest action with the Government Accountability Office challenging selection for a $5 billion fixed-price multiple award task order contract (MATOC) for United States / Mexico border wall work; in response, Government admitted “flaws” in its evaluation, engaged in corrective action, and reinstated client into the $5 billion MATOC.
Represented contractor in $800 million bid protest action for United States / Mexico border wall work in El Paso, Texas region; case included parallel challenge and oral argument in the United States Court of Federal Claims implicating the national emergency declaration on the Southern Border (Proclamation 9844) and the Competition in Contracting Act’s (“CICA”) automatic 100-day stay of contract performance.
Represented contractor in successful $200 million bid protest action for United States / Mexico border wall work in Yuma, Arizona; in response, Government agreed to take corrective action to remedy an admitted “flaw in the acquisition process.”
Represented a HUBZone small business entity in bid protest appeal, including oral argument on cross motions for judgment on the administrative record, to the Court of Federal Claims for a $40 million project to replace an irrigation diversion weir and build a fish bypass channel in Montana’s Lower Yellowstone River.
Represented joint venture of multinational construction firms terminated for convenience on preconstruction phase of $1.4 billion GC/CM alternative publics work project in downtown Seattle; drafted winning motion for expedited discovery and injunctive relief barring public owner’s re-procurement of GC/CM selection.
Represented national geotechnical contractor in lawsuit over the Seattle Seawall’s $300- million GC/CM alternative public works project; case resolved with a multimillion-dollar settlement in favor of contractor client, after winning motion to dismiss in court.
Represented international construction company in high-profile anti-harassment lawsuits in Washington and Oregon; negotiated Consent Decree after extensive motions practice and five-day Preliminary Injunction hearing.
Represented design-build contractor at the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals for $2 million delay claim; favorably settled case after two-day ADR proceeding.
Co-Author of the Washington Lawyers Practice Manual, Construction Law Chapter, 2014
Author, “Alternative Delivery Systems,” Construction Law Deskbook, WSBA Construction Section, 2017
Author, “Damages”, Construction Law Deskbook, WSBA Construction Section, 2017
“Employment Law Basics,” National Electrical Contractors Association, Superintendents Course at the University of Washington, November 2015, 2016, 2017
“Employment Updates in the Construction Setting: Hot Topics and Emerging Issues,” The Seminar Group’s 24th Annual Washington Construction Law Seminar, Seattle, Washington, September 2017
“M/W/DBE Certification Overview and Updates,” Construction Law Section Annual Seminar, Seattle, Washington, May 2015
“Proposed Changes to the Disadvantaged Enterprise (“DBE”) Program in Washington State,” National Association of Women in Construction, Seattle, WA, December 2014
“The Pros and Cons of SDI Policies,” The Seminar Group, Seattle, Washington, September 2014
“The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (“DBE”) Program in Washington State,” National Association of Women in Construction, Seattle, Washington, September 2014
“WSDOT’s Drastic Move to Exclude Women-Owned Businesses from DBE Program” NAWIC Puget Sound Chapter #60 Membership Meeting and South Sound Chapter #187 Membership Meeting, Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, February 2014
“Contracts for General Contractors,” Department of Labor & Industries, Spokane, Washington, October 2013
“Contracting on Public Projects,” Department of Labor & Industries, Spokane, Washington, October 2013
“Expert Witness Skills Workshop,” American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, September 2013