H. Vincent McKnight Jr., Co-Managing Partner of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Washington office, has been recognized by 2023’s Best Lawyers in America in two categories—Commercial Litigation and Qui Tam Law.
Since 2008, McKnight, who co-chairs Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Whistleblower and Qui Tam practice, has received “Recognition,” Best Lawyers’ highest status, in the category of Commercial Litigation. Now he adds Qui Tam Law to that distinguished record.
“I’m honored to be recognized by my peers for the decades of work I have put in representing whistleblowers,” McKnight said. “It is humbling and a true honor to represent these Americans who come forward, taking a lot of risk, putting a lot on the line, to help keep contractors and businesses in line and to protect the interests of the government and its people.”
At Sanford Heisler Sharp, McKnight represents corporate whistleblowers who have exposed government contract procurement fraud, banking misconduct, securities fraud, and other corporate malfeasance. He has also represented executives in sensitive wrongful discharge and discrimination cases. His commentary on the subjects of bank security fraud, digital fraud, and cybersecurity have made him a leading voice in Qui Tam Law.
Vince has a history of representing whistleblowers with claims of fraudulent misdeeds against their employers. His recent clients include: 1) former Executive VP and Chief Security Officer of Wells Fargo who received the maximum FIRREA whistleblower award for bringing evidence of the “fake account” scheme to the DOJ that ultimately resulted in a $3.5 billion recovery; 2) former Director of Contracts at Navistar who provided evidence that the government had been overcharged in the DOD’s purchase of the company’s MRAP vehicles, culminating in a $50 million settlement with the government and the whistleblower; and, 3) former Director of Contracts at CDM who exposed the company’s fraudulent contract with the DOD in which costs and labor hours were falsified, prompting a settlement of $10 million with the U.S. agency and the whistleblower.
Vince also has successfully prosecuted non-traditional procurement fraud claims. Most notably, he won a GSA procurement fraud case in 2009 against NetApp after the company had overcharged the government in violation of the “Best Price Clause,” resulting in a $128 million settlement, the then-largest settlement of its kind.
A member of the District of Columbia and Maryland bars, McKnight leads and participates in panels on whistleblower laws at the ABA, the Federal Bar Association, and Taxpayers Against Fraud. He was part of a team of lawyers that consulted with then-Maryland State Senator (now U.S. Congressman) Jamie Raskin to draft the Maryland False Claims Act. Formerly, he served on the Board of Governors for the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan DC. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Taxpayers Against Fraud.
Recognition by Best Lawyers is based solely on peer review. For four decades, its methodology has been designed to capture the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues, using a sophisticated, rational, and transparent survey process.