As Co-Chair of the Firm’s whistleblower practice, Mr. McKnight represents whistleblowers in sealed and unsealed False Claims Act/Qui Tam suits under investigation by the government.
We retained Mr. McKnight to represent us in a qui tam matter against one of our competitors that we suspected was violating the federal government contracting guidelines and certifications. The efficiency with which our claim was filed, heard and settled exceeded our expectations and we wouldn’t hesitate to utilize his expertise if the need ever arose again. Malcolm Wilson, Perry & Wilson, Inc.
I can attest to Vince McKnight’s skills as a lawyer after a particularly difficult situation in my workplace arose. Who am I going to call when facing trouble? I’m calling Vince and his firm. Period. Denise Slaughter, Washington, DC
We retained Vince McKnight several years ago in a Qui Tam matter against a company that was illegally selling lamps and furniture from China to the United States Government. He explained the process and was personally available and attentive throughout the course of the action. We had a successful outcome which was important to our company, and to other companies, like mine, that followed the government contract guidelines. Louis M Scutellaro, President, Mario Industries
When I suffered a grievous injury, I turned to Vincent McKnight who represented me in this complex malpractice matter which was resolved during the early phases of discovery. Mr. McKnight’s compassionate understanding of my injuries and their psychological impact, combined with his brilliantly strategic and skillful litigation expertise, resulted in a great outcome. Patricia Cornwell Johnson, Esquire
Unwavering and dedicated to achieving the best results for his clients, Vince McKnight has broad experience in representing companies and individuals. He skillfully moved the parties to resolution in a highly sensitive matter to my satisfaction. As a practicing attorney, I appreciated his counsel, quick action and thoroughness. Angela Ciccolo, Esquire
Vincent “Vince” McKnight, Jr., is the Managing Partner of Sanford Heisler, LLP’s Washington, DC office, a national law firm with offices in Washington DC, New York and California. He received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1978.
Mr. McKnight is Co-Chair with Ross Brooks of Sanford Heisler’s whistleblower practice. In that capacity, he represents whistleblowers in numerous sealed and unsealed False Claims Act/qui tam suits under investigation by the United States and other governmental stakeholders. Mr. McKnight has achieved significant success in cases brought under the federal False Claims Act, including the representation of whistleblowers in a series of actions alleging that office products companies 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. In 2009, Vince was co-lead counsel for a whistleblower who was the Government Contracting Director for Network Appliance (NetApp) in a matter which resulted in the then-largest GSA procurement fraud settlement in history. Vince also served as co-counsel in United States ex rel Cox v. Smith & Nephew, alleging unlawful sales of medical devices under government contracts arising from the manufacturer’s violations of the Trade Agreements Act.
Mr. McKnight’s experience extends to professional panel presentations on the False Claims Act at Taxpayers Against Fraud Conferences and American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA) conventions. He also served as faculty at the ABA’s 6th Annual National Institute on the False Claims Act and Qui Tam Enforcement in 2006. He is the co-founder of the Qui Tam Litigation sub-group for ATLA. Mr. McKnight co-authored “Causes of Action by Employee for Retaliation and Reprisal Pursuant to the False Claims Act, 31 USC Section 3730 (h)” in Causes of Action 2d 217, Section 2 (West 2003). He also authored “Biomechanics of VDT Carpal Tunnel Cases,” Trial (June 1991).
Mr. McKnight is renowned for arguing and winning a 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.
Mr. McKnight was twice honored by Law Dragon as one of “500 Rising Stars” and as one of the “Leading Plaintiff’s Lawyers in America.” He has consistently received a rating of “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell and was selected as one of the organization’s “Best Lawyers in America.” In 2014, Vince was selected by the Legal Network as a “Top Lawyer in Maryland.” He has previously been named among the Best Lawyers in America and recognized as a “top DC attorney” in Super Lawyers.
Before joining Sanford Heisler, Mr. McKnight co-founded in 2009 and was a principal at McKnight & Kennedy, LLC, one of the premier plaintiff’s litigation firms in the Washington, DC area. Prior to founding McKnight & Kennedy, Vince was a Senior Partner at Ashcraft & Gerel LLP. From 1980 through 1982, Mr. McKnight was an associate in the Labor Practice Group of Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay.
Before joining Reed Smith, Mr. McKnight clerked for the Honorable William C. Pryor in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. During his clerkship, Judge Pryor was elevated to the DC Court of Appeals and Mr. McKnight served as Judge Pryor’s law clerk in the appellate court.
- J.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Law 1978
- B.A., Brown University 1975
- Honorable William C. Pryor in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
- Causes of Action by Employee Retaliation and Reprisal Pursuant to the False Claims Act, 31 USC Section 3730 (j). Causes of Action 2d 217, Section 2, West 2003. Co-author.
- Biomechanics of VDT Carpal Tunnel Cases. Trial. June 1991.
- District of Columbia, 1980
- Maryland, 2009
Sanford Heisler, LLP won a $11.3 million qui tam settlement against Smith & Nephew one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers. The whistleblower, represented by the firm and the U.S. Department of Justice, alleged that Smith & Nephew violated the Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”) and the False Claims Act by selling products to the Government that were manufactured in countries with which the United States is not a trading partner, under contracts governed by the TAA.
United States ex rel. Sherwin v. Office Depot (Los Angeles County Superior Court) – $68 Million Settlement
The whistleblower, represented by Altomease Kennedy and California co-counsels, alleged that Office Depot violated the California False Claims Act by overcharging numerous governmental entities, including the city and county of Los Angeles, for office and classroom supplies, and failing to offer them the company’s “best price.” The city of Los Angeles received the largest settlement allocation of more than $11 million.
Sanford Heisler, LLP won a more than $4.4 million qui tam settlement against Medtronic, Inc., one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers. The whistleblower, represented by the firm and the U.S. Department of Justice, alleged that Medtronic violated the Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”) and the False Claims Act by selling products to the Government that were manufactured in countries with which the United States is not a trading partner, under contracts governed by the TAA.
- June 6, 2016 – Sanford Heisler on the Move: Firm Elevates Charles Field to Partner, Adds Cleveland Lawrence III to Qui Tam Practice
- Law360, March 16, 2016 – Judge Garland Could Bring New Consensus To High Court
- August 17, 2015 – Three Sanford Heisler Kimpel LLP Attorneys Named to 2016 Best Lawyers® in America List
- Reuters, September 4, 2014 – Smith & Nephew to pay $11 mln in whistleblower suit
- March 13, 2014 – Sanford Heisler Adds Top Qui Tam Partners In Washington, DC And New York
- Named a "Best Lawyer in America" for Commercial Litigation in 2008-2016 by Best Lawyers in America
- Rising Star by Law Dragon
- 2011-2012 DC Super Lawyer
- Top Rated Lawyer in Maryland by the Legal Network