H. Vincent McKnight Jr.
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Vincent (Vince) McKnight is Co-Managing Partner of the Washington, DC Office of Sanford Heisler Sharp, Co-Ombudsperson, and Co-Chair of the firm’s Whistleblower & Qui Tam Practice Group.

Since joining the firm, Vince has received several awards and recognitions. Most recently, he was one of a few plaintiff’s lawyers recognized as an MVP by Law360 in Government Contracts. Martindale-Hubble gave him the Judicial AV Preeminent Rating in 2021, and prior to that, he regularly received the AV Preeminent Rating. He has also been recognized as a Best Lawyer in America and a Super Lawyer. In addition, he was named as a Lawyer of Distinction and listed on the National Black Lawyer Top 100 list.

At Sanford Heisler Sharp, Vince’s practice has focused on representing 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. Vince’s representations have included:

  • Representing the former Executive Vice President and Chief Security Officer of Wells Fargo who assisted the OCC, SEC, and DOJ to recover $3.5 Billion in fines and penalties arising out of the “fake account” scandal
  • Representing the former Director of Contracts at Navistar who alleged that Navistar misrepresented its pricing structure to the DOD and overcharged the Government in the MRAP vehicle purchase resulting in Navistar agreeing to pay $50 million to settle this case in 2020
  • Representing the former Director of Contracts from CDM Smith who alleged that CDM Smith developed an automated process to conduct an audit that dramatically cut the man-hours necessary to complete the job but continued to charge the Government as if the work was still being performed manually, resulting in CDM Smith paying $10 million to resolve these allegations
  • Representing the former Director of Contracts at NetApp who alleged that NetApp violated the GSA “Best Price Clause” and overcharged the Government by millions, resulting in NetApp paying $128 million to resolve these allegations
  • Representing a former executive at Tenet who alleged that Tenet overcharged the Government by ordering and billing for unnecessary medical tests for patients, leading Tenet to settle these claims for $1.4 million

Vince received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his undergraduate degree from Brown University. While at the University of Pennsylvania, Vince learned trial advocacy in the school’s pioneering clinical program that allowed him to try a case in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania as a student. He was also on a team of student lawyers that convinced a federal judge that confining a prisoner indefinitely to solitary confinement without meaningful review violated his civil rights.

A member of the District of Columbia and Maryland bars, Vince regularly leads and participates on panels on whistleblower laws at the ABA, the Federal Bar Association, and Taxpayers Against Fraud. He has been quoted in numerous newspapers and press outlets on important whistleblowers matters. 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.

Before joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, Vince completed a clerkship for the Honorable William C. Pryor on the District of Columbia Superior Court and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Over his 40-plus-year career, Vince has tried over 50 cases to verdict and appeared in courts across the U.S. Vince also litigated Adams v.Cohchran, 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.

When Vince is not lawyering, he enjoys spending time with his family and listening to jazz. As a native Washingtonian, he is an avid fan of all Washington sports teams and regularly attends Wizards games.

      Education

      • J.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Law
      • B.A., Brown University

      Clerkship

      • Honorable William C. Pryor in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

      Bar Admissions

      • District of Columbia, 1980
      • Maryland, 2009

      Court Admissions

      • 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

      Memberships

      • Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund Conference Committee (2017, 2018)

      Experienced, professional, and candid

      I engaged Sanford Heisler Sharp back with a very complex claim that defied the typical profile and circumstances for a plaintiff in a Qui Tam matter. Sanford Heisler Sharp ensured I fully understood their belief in me and my case and made it clear that I had the full weight of the firm behind me in the matter. Vincent Mcknight and his very capable team of lawyers deployed his long tenure and unparalleled respect in the field of Whistleblower claims to pace the investigation, solicit and support meetings, discussions, interrogatories and detailed responses to the DOJ and level set expectations for all parties involved. They were the ultimate legal team and I appreciated the expertise, honesty, candor and partnership in resolving this most complex matter.
      – Duquoin K. Burgess, former Director of Contracts, Navistar Defense

      Exceeded our expectations.

      "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.

      Successful outcome.

      "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

      United States ex rel. Yuxin “Jay” Fang v. Fortinet, Inc., et al.

      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.

      Publications

      Presentations

      • 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

      Blog

      H. Vincent McKnight Jr. Photo

      H. Vincent McKnight Jr.

      Co-Managing Partner of the DC Office and Co-Ombudsperson

      Client Testimonials

      • “Wouldn’t hesitate to utilize his expertise if the need ever arose again.”

        - Malcolm Wilson, President at Perry & Wilson, Inc.
      • “They were the ultimate legal team and I appreciated the expertise, honesty, candor and partnership in resolving this most complex matter.”

        - Duquoin K. Burgess, former Director of Contracts, Navistar Defense
      • “We had a successful outcome, which was important to our company.”

        - Louis M Scutellaro, President at Mario Industries
      • “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 m”

        - M.B., Former Client
      • “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 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”

        - Malcolm Wilson, Perry & Wilson, Inc.
      • “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 psychol”

        - Patricia Cornwell Johnson, Esquire
      • “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 throu”

        - Louis M Scutellaro, President, Mario Industries
      • “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 pract”

        - Angela Ciccolo, Esquire