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Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business recognizes 7 Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC lawyers and lists practice area groups as leaders in their field in its 2019 edition.

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business recognizes 7 Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC lawyers and lists practice area groups as leaders in their field in its 2019 edition.


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.


Clients say: "They have outstanding knowledge and experience, and are really good at answering complex contract questions."

Sources say: "They are very responsive, provide practical advice and have broad industry experience."


John Pachter

(USA-Nationwide:  Government Contracts, Senior Statespeople)

The "terrific" John Pachter continues to lead the firm's government contracts practice advising on a range of disputes from bid protests to prime-subcontractor issues.  He also offers strong experience in alternative dispute resolution.

Stephen Knight

(USA-Nationwide: Spotlight Table: Government Contracts Costs Disputes)

Stephen Knight is an experienced government contracts attorney with a strong track record in costs disputes, including issues relating to cost allocability, allowability and defective pricing.  Sources comment: "He brings an extensive amount of litigation experience and provides expert guidance on a broad array of technical and government contracting matters."

Jonathan Shaffer

(USA-Nationwide: Spotlight Table: Government Contracts Bid Protests)

Jonathan Shaffer acts for government contractors involved in federal, state and local litigation, including contract disputes, costs issues and investigations.  Peers praise his "prolific bid protest practice" and "knowledge of government contracts."


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. Especially strong on projects in both Europe and the Middle East.


Val McWhorter

(Virginia:  Construction, Senior Statespeople)

Val McWhorter has extensive experience handling construction disputes arising from both public and private construction contracts.  He is highly regarded for his track record in mediation.

Richard Smith

(Virginia:  Construction, Senior Statespeople)

Richard Smith possesses more than four decades of experience in construction and contract disputes.  He offers expertise in public and private contracts, notably in delay, inefficiency and extra work claims.  He frequently acts as a mediator in construction disputes.

Brian Vella

(Virginia:  Construction)

Brian Vella enjoys an excellent reputation for his longstanding expertise in the construction arena.  He expertly represents contractors, engineers, designers and owners in the full spectrum of construction-related disputes.



Joe Covington

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

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 2019 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.