Mark H. Churchill
Mark H. Churchill is a civil litigation attorney in Holland & Knight's Tysons and Washington, D.C., offices and a co-leader of the firm's Class Action Litigation and Arbitration Team. Mr. Churchill represents clients in complex commercial litigation and disputes and has served as lead counsel in federal, state, administrative and arbitration proceedings. He handles a wide array of complex civil litigation matters on a nationwide basis, including trials and appeals involving business torts, civil fraud, class action defense, contract, earn-out disputes, employee non-solicitation and non-competition covenants, energy, government contracts, healthcare fraud (including False Claims Act litigation), intellectual property (including patent infringement, trademark and copyright), internal investigations, product liability, securities, tax and trade secret disputes.
Mr. Churchill has served as lead or co-lead counsel for several firm clients in defense of class action lawsuits, ranging from claims brought under state consumer protection statutes to the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. Most recently, he has led the defense for a private equity firm against WARN Act claims brought in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, which included significant summary judgment victories on various liability and damages issues. Mr. Churchill also recently served as part of the defense team for client Swisher International, helping negotiate and oversee the settlement and administration of a nationwide class of claimants.
Also prominent among Mr. Churchill's prior litigation matters have been a number of landmark tax cases against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) concerning the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax exemption for "students," including the successful defense of a class action lawsuit brought against a teaching hospital by former medical residents in training.
Mr. Churchill's extensive experience in alternate dispute resolution (ADR) includes successful client representations in mediation and through arbitration merits hearings. Recently, Mr. Churchill was co-lead counsel for the prevailing party in a hotly contested land valuation and contract dispute arbitrated in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
In addition, Mr. Churchill places an emphasis on pro bono service. Among his successful engagements has been a judgment awarded to a group of former employees for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Prior pro bono representations have included victories in child custody, support and abuse and neglect merits hearings before the Domestic Relations Branch of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and in state courts in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Churchill served for five years as the practice group leader of a large international law firm's Washington, D.C., civil litigation group.
After law school, Mr. Churchill clerked for the Honorable James P. Jones of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.
- Lead counsel and first chair at hearing for multiple firm clients in successful private arbitration engagements
- Served as lead defense counsel to client Bagira Systems Ltd. (Israel) in a case successfully dismissed on forum non conveniens grounds (reported at Conflict Kinetics, Inc. v. Goldfus, et al., 577 F. Supp. 3d 459 (E.D. Va. 2021)
- Served as lead defense counsel in WARN Act class action brought in Messer, et al. v. Bristol Compressors LLC, et al. (W.D. Va.)
- Served as co-lead counsel for Tyson Foods Inc. in successful defense of false advertising and trademark infringement claims brought by plaintiff concerning Ball Park "Park's Finest" brand hotdogs (reported at Parks, LLC v. Tyson Foods, Inc., et al., 186 F. Supp. 3d 405 (E.D. Pa. 2016))
- Represented as lead counsel Boston Children's Hospital in earning the dismissal with prejudice of a class action suit before the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts; damages under the complaint, which involved the alleged failure to refund FICA taxes withheld from former medical residents in training, exceeded $100 million
- Represented Mount Sinai Medical Center of Florida in the defense of an erroneous FICA tax refund suit brought by the federal government and earned a bench trial victory in only the second trial held on the merits of the FICA student exemption as it pertains to medical residency training programs; based in part on the victory, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it was conceding the applicability of the student exception for timely filed administrative refund claims covering tax quarters prior to the implementation of amended U.S. Department of the Treasury regulations
- Conducted the internal investigation of a multibillion-dollar global engineering and manufacturing company following whistleblower allegations of export compliance and control violations
- Assisted in representing clients involved in contract disputes, including substantial litigation in federal district court, before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and in private arbitration
- University of Virginia School of Law, J.D.
- Duke University, A.B.
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
- Federal Bar Association, Northern Virginia Chapter
- American Bar Association
- District of Columbia Bar Association
- Outstanding Achievement Award (Fair Housing), Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, 2014
- Appellate Hot List, The National Law Journal, 2010