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Labor and employment Star

Practice area:

Labor and employment

Vincent “Vince” McKnight, Jr., is the Managing Partner of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Washington, D.C., office and Co-Chair of the firm’s Whistleblower Practice. He represents clients in employment discrimination and wrongful discharge cases and whistleblowers in sealed and unsealed False Claims Act/qui tam suits under investigation by the United States and other governmental stakeholders. 

Vince led a team of lawyers representing a whistleblower who recovered the maximum award from the Department of Justice under the Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 for providing information to expose the massive fake account scandal at Wells Fargo. Vince was lead counsel in U.S. ex. Rel. Burgess v. Navistar, that recently settled for $50 million, alleging that Navistar overcharged the Government by millions of dollars in contracts for vehicles used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Vince also represented a whistleblower in U.S. ex. rel. Bevilaqua v. CDM Smith, that settled for $10 million, alleging that a government contractor submitted inflated bills for payment to the Government. 

Vince represented a whistleblower against Network Appliance (NetApp) for overcharging the Government in violation of the Best Price Clause that resulted in a $128M settlement, the largest GSA procurement fraud settlement in history at the time. 

He successfully prosecuted a series of actions alleging that office products companies (Staples, Office Depot) were illegally selling products from non-compliant countries such as China to the U.S. government in violation of the Trade Agreements Act and General Services Administration (GSA) policies. Vince served as co-counsel in United States ex rel Cox v. Smith & Nephew, alleging that Smith & Nephew violated the Trade Agreements Act when it illegally sold medical devices from Malaysia and China to the U.S. Government. 

In the summer of 2018, Vince was on the Sanford Heisler Sharp trial team that obtained a $1.25M retaliation verdict against Professor Geert Bekaert and Columbia University on behalf of Professor Enrichetta Ravina. 

Vince litigated the case in which the DC Court of Appeals first departed from the employment-at-will doctrine—the assumption that employment is for an indefinite amount of time and may be terminated at any time—in the District of Columbia, Adams v. Cohchran. 

Vince has participated as a panelist at conferences hosted by Taxpayers Against Fraud and the Practicing Lawyers Institute focusing on issues under the False Claims Act. Vince has consistently received a rating of “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell and was selected as one of the organization’s “Best Lawyers in America.” He has also been honored as a “Top Lawyer in Maryland” by the Legal Network and as “Top DC Lawyer” in Super Lawyers. In 2020, Vince was appointed to the Board of Directors of Taxpayers Against Fraud and recognized as an “MVP” in the Government Contracting by Law360. 

Updated Sep 2021