As Co-Chair of the Firm’s Whistleblower & Qui Tam Practice Group, Mr. McKnight represents whistleblowers in sealed and unsealed False Claims Act/Qui Tam suits under investigation by the government.
I could not be happier with my Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP experience. Confronting racial discrimination in the workplace was the hardest decision I've made in my 20+ year career. Vincent McKnight understood my situation immediately and helped me to clearly understand the pros and cons of my options. David Sanford got my former employer's full attention and confidentially resolved my employment matter in a very thorough, professional and efficient manner. He was steady throughout the entire process and it was extremely reassuring to see him fight for me. Great attorneys who are also excellent at listening to the client. M.B., Former Client
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 Washington, DC Managing Partner of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national law firm with offices in the District of Columbia, New York, California, Tennessee, and Maryland, and a Co-Chair of the Firm’s Whistleblower & Qui Tam Practice Group. He also represents clients in employment discrimination and wrongful discharge cases. Vince received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and his B.A. from Brown University.
Vince represents whistleblowers in sealed and unsealed False Claims Act/qui tam suits under investigation by the United States and other governmental stakeholders. He has achieved significant success in such cases, including the representation of whistleblowers in 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. He 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.
Vince was co-lead counsel for a whistleblower who was the Government Contracting Director for Network Appliance (NetApp) in a matter that resulted in the then-largest GSA procurement fraud settlement in history. NetApp overcharged the government in violation of the GSA “Best Price” Clause, and ultimately settled for approximately $128M.Vince has served as faculty at the ABA’s Annual National Institute on the False Claims Act and Qui Tam Enforcement and he 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. In addition, he 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). Vince 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. In the Summer of 2018, Vince was on the SHS trial team that obtained a $1.25M verdict against Columbia University on behalf of Professor Enrichetta Ravina.
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.
Vince is on the Board of Directors and the President’s Council for Taxpayers Against Fraud, a nonprofit, public interest organization that supports and advocates on behalf of whistleblowers.
- 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.
- District of Columbia, 1980
- Maryland, 2009
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund Conference Committee (2017, 2018)
According to settlement documents in a qui tam case against California-based network security company Fortinet, Inc., the relator represented by Sanford Heisler Sharp was awarded 19% of the $545,000 the company was fined for selling equipment made in China to the U.S. Government.
CDM Smith, Inc./CDM Federal Programs Corporation False Claims Act Lawsuit – $5.65 Million Settlement
Relator Vincent Bevilacqua, a former employee of CDM Smith, alleged that CDM Smith and CDM Federal Programs Corporation engaged in a scheme to submit inaccurate cost and labor hour estimates and related certifications in a contract with the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic.
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.
- MVP: Sanford Heisler’s Vincent McKnight
- Corporate boards, consulting, speaking fees: How U.S. generals thrived after Afghanistan
- Law360 MVP Awards Go To 182 Attys From 77 Firms
- Eight Sanford Heisler Sharp Attorneys Listed In 2022 Best Lawyers
- Grassley Bill Aims to Slow DOJ’s Pushback on Whistleblower Suits
- Grassley Moves to Stop Contractors From Holding U.S. ‘Hostage’
- Armored vehicle maker must pay $50 million to settle claim it defrauded Marine Corps
- Navistar Settles Marine Corps Fraud Case For $50M
- Navistar to pay $50 million to settle complaint accusing it of fraudulent pricing
- Sanford Heisler Sharp Announces $50 Million Settlement In False Claims Act Case Against Navistar Defense and Navistar International
- Biden’s Biggest Stick in Buy American Push Is Anti-Fraud Law
- In BigLaw Gender Bias Suits, Anonymity Is Fleeting
- Federal lawsuit shows SEC investigating FirstEnergy Corp.
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission launches investigation into FirstEnergy Corp.
- More firms may be exposed to D&O suits over diversity
- DOJ Targets Funders as Eleventh Cir. Upholds Whistleblower Win
- CDM Smith, Inc. and CDM Federal Programs Corporation Settle False Claims Act Suit with Federal Government (Globe Newswire)
- DOJ Pursues Drug Suit That Got Away to Shore Up Dismissal Power
- Whistleblower Accuses MRAP Maker of Overcharging US Marine Corps by $1.3 Billion
- Daily Dicta: Sanford Heisler Sitting Pretty in $1.28B Whistleblower Suit
- Navistar Accused Of Overcharging Marine Corps By $1.28B
- Company Settles Whistleblower Case That Led to Former DOJ Lawyer’s Jailing
- Companies Get New Tools to Fight Whistleblower Claims
- Whistleblower Says Ch. 11 Filing Can’t Delay Suit
- 2021 Law360 MVP - Government Contracts
- 2020 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star - Northeast in the practice area of Labor & Employment
- 2019-21 Lawdragon 500 Plaintiff Employment Lawyer
- 2019 Lawyers of Distinction
- 2019 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star - Northeast in the practice area of Labor & Employment
- 2018 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star - Northeast in the practice area of Labor & Employment
- Named 2018 Martindale-Hubbell Top Rated Lawyer
- 2008–2022 Best Lawyers in America
- Rising Star by Lawdragon
- 2011-2012, 2017-2020 DC Super Lawyer
- Top Rated Lawyer in Maryland by the Legal Network
- February 9, 2021, Panelist
Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (TAFEF), COVID-19 Financial Relief Fraud- Addressing Fraud, Waste and Abuse
- December 18, 2020, Panelist
ABA,Civil False Claims and Qui Tam Enforcement/Procurement Fraud
- October 29, 2020, Panelist
Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (TAFEF), COVID-19 Fraud
- October 2, 2019, Moderator
Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (TAFEF), Best Practices for Investigations Involving Multiple Agencies
- October 3 – 5, 2018, Moderator
Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (TAFEF) 2018 Conference and Awards
- June 14, 2018, Panelist
American Bar Association 2018 National Institute on the Civil False Claims Act and Qui Tam Enforcement, Procurement Fraud
- February 28, 2018, Panelist
Federal Bar Association Qui Tam Conference, Strategic Use of Pre-Trial Motions
- 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.