Labor and employment
Vincent “Vince” McKnight, Jr., is the Managing Partner of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Washington, D.C., office and Co-Chair of the firm’s Whistleblower Practice. He also represents clients in employment discrimination and wrongful discharge cases.
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 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 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 Sanford Heisler Sharp trial team that obtained a $1.25M verdict against Professor Geert Bekaert and 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.
Last updated Sep 2019