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Labor and employment Star

Practice area:

Labor and employment

Vincent “Vince” McKnight, Jr., is the Co-Managing Partner of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Washington, D.C., office and Co-Chair of the firm’s Whistleblower Practice. For over 25 years he has represented whistleblowers in False Claims Act (Qui Tam) suits under investigation by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and in Dodd-Frank claims (TCR’s) at the United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). These cases have recovered billions of dollars for the United States Government.

In 2020 the DOJ, SEC, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency fined Wells Fargo over $3.5 billion for opening millions of fake customer accounts. Vince led a team of lawyers representing a whistleblower who recovered the maximum whistleblower award from the DOJ under the Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 for providing critical information and support to the government to expose this massive fraudulent scheme at Wells Fargo.

Vince was lead counsel in U.S. ex. Rel. Burgess v. Navistar, that settled for $50 million in 2021 to resolve allegations that Navistar overcharged the Government in defense procurement contracts. Vince also represented a whistleblower in U.S. ex. rel. Bevilaqua v. CDM Smith, that settled for $10 million in 2020, alleging that CDM Smith presented inflated bills to the Government.

Vince represented a whistleblower against Network Appliance (NetApp) arising out of allegations that it overcharged Government in violation of the General Services Administration’s Best Price Clause that resulted in a $128 million settlement in 2009. This was largest GSA procurement fraud settlement in history at the time.

From 2005 through 2009, Vince successfully prosecuted a series of actions alleging that office products companies (Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, Corporate Express, Cado Design) violated 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 for selling medical devices from Malaysia and China to the U.S. Government. DOJ settled the Smith & Nephew case for $11 million.

Vince has received a host of awards and professional accolades over his career. In 2022, the National Law Journal recognized Vince as a Plaintiff’s Lawyer Trailblazer. From 2008 to the present, Vince has consistently received the “AV” Rating by Martindale-Hubbell. In 2021, Vince received the highly selective “AV Preeminent” rating from his colleagues and the judiciary. Vince will be recognized in the 29th edition of “The Best Lawyers in America” for his excellence in two areas: Commercial Litigation and Qui Tam Law.

Throughout his career, Vince has been a leader. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for Taxpayers Against Fraud. Vince has frequently moderated and participated on panels discussing hot topics in whistleblower fraud at Taxpayers Against Fraud, the American Bar Association, and the Federal Bar Association.


Updated Sep 2022