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Chambers USA 2018: 8 Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC lawyers ranked as leaders in their practice areas


Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business recognizes 8 Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC lawyers and lists practice area groups as leaders in their field in its 2018 edition.


Iris Bennett
(USA-Nationwide: Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Recognized Practitioner)

Joe Covington
(USA-Nationwide: Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Recognized Practitioner)

Stephen Knight
(USA-Nationwide: Government Contracts: Band 4)
(USA-Nationwide: Spotlight Table: Government Contracts Costs Disputes)

Stephen Knight is well regarded for his cost accounting experience, in which he is widely regarded as an expert. One source enthused: "He is very knowledgeable and experienced with construction and defense industries matters. He provides great input into negotiation positions and strategies, listens well, and is responsive and timely."

Val McWhorter
(Virginia: Construction, Senior Statesmen)

Val McWhorter has a wealth of experience handling high-value disputes stemming from public and private construction contracts. He offers expertise in mediation as well as litigation. 

John Pachter
(USA-Nationwide: Government Contracts, Senior Statesmen)

John Pachter is highly regarded by his market peers as "one of the deans of the government contracts Bar." Clients say: "He is extremely knowledgeable about government contracts and has a good instinct for what the end result of a case will be," adding: "He brings a common-sense, low-stress approach to the case." His established practice includes claims, bid protests and debarment matters, among others. 

Jonathan Shaffer
(USA-Nationwide: Government Contracts: Band 4)

Clients say Jonathan Shaffer "is an excellent government contracts litigator. He is smart and always available when we need him." He advises clients on a host of procurement matters and is particularly well regarded for his bid protest expertise.

Richard Smith
(Virginia: Construction, Senior Statesmen)

Richard Smith is well regarded for his work as a mediator and as a project neutral in complex construction disputes. He is knowledgeable about a wide range of issues pertaining to public and private contracts, including delay, inefficiency and extra work claims.

Brian Vella
(Virginia: Construction, Band 1) 

Clients regard Brian Vella as a “go-to person” for construction claims, and praise his "very even hand." He advises contractors, engineers, designers and owners on a wide array of construction-related disputes.

Practice Groups

Construction (Virginia: Band 2)

What the team is known for:  Specialist construction firm that regularly works with clients on dispute resolution and mandates relating to government contracts. Possesses deep expertise and experience in the mediation and arbitration of major international disputes, including claims for increased costs. Also represents clients in connection with contract drafting, bidding and negotiation.

Strengths:  One client describes the team as "excellent" and adds: "We trust the team and its advice implicitly."

Government Contracts (Nationwide: Band 3)

What the team is known for:  Well-respected boutique practice with a solid range of government contracts expertise including counseling, litigation, alternative dispute resolution and investigations, with additional expertise in bid protests. Significant capabilities in costs disputes and a notable emphasis on construction and infrastructure projects. Also represents clients in the aerospace and defense, electronics, IT and engineering sectors.

Strengths:  Clients value the team for providing "big-firm expertise in a small-firm setting."

Sources comment: "They are responsive and always available for us when we need them."

Chambers and Partners identifies and ranks the most outstanding law firms and lawyers in more than 180 jurisdictions throughout the world. Leading lawyers are assessed based on legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other qualities most valued by clients. Chambers USA's 2018 rankings are based on thousands of interviews conducted by a team of more than 100 researchers. Details on the survey's methodology and Smith Pachter McWhorter’s rankings are available on the Chambers web site.