Claire A. DeLelle

Partner, Washington, DC



Claire DeLelle advises clients on a wide range of US litigation risks and litigates international disputes in US federal and state courts at the appellate and trial court levels. She specializes in representing foreign and foreign-sovereign clients, particularly clients based in the Middle East and Africa, as well as international financial institutions in complex commercial litigations brought under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Claire has a breadth of trial experience, including defending a former CEO, extradited from the United Kingdom, in a US criminal jury trial and securing a multi-million dollar trial verdict on behalf of an internet start-up client whose trade secrets were misappropriated.

Claire also represents domestic and foreign companies and individuals in civil and criminal investigations under the US antitrust laws and the US economic sanctions laws and regulations, with a particular focus on the Iran sanctions program, administered and enforced by Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Claire is the hiring partner for the Washington, DC office.

Bars and Courts
District of Columbia Bar
Maryland Bar
New York State Bar
US District Court for the District of Columbia
US District Court for the District of Maryland
US District Court for the Eastern District of New York
US District Court for the Southern District of New York
US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US Supreme Court
Washington College of Law, American University
LLB (Hons)
University of Aberdeen




Foreign Sovereigns and International Institutions:

Defending foreign sovereign in moving to vacate multi-billion-dollar default judgments obtained against sovereign in numerous US courts where sovereign did not appear to defend numerous actions alleging the provision of material support or resources to terrorist organizations.

Successful defense of foreign sovereign in multi-billion-dollar US litigation involving claims that foreign sovereign materially sponsored terrorist attacks. Negotiated historic bilateral agreement with the United States resolving such litigation.

Obtained order on behalf of Indonesian state-owned bank vacating multi-million dollar writs of attachment against several US correspondent banks within weeks of being retained by the bank.

Obtained the dismissal of contract and tort claims against foreign sovereign in Anglo-Iberia Underwriting Insurance Company v. PT Jamsostek in the Southern District of New York; affirmed by the Second Circuit.

Obtained the dismissal of multi-million-dollar counterclaims against client in International Finance Corporation v. Carrera Holdings, Inc. in the New York Supreme Court, Commercial Division; affirmed by the First Department, Appellate Division.

Obtained summary judgment in favor of foreign sovereign in 4 Third Avenue Leasehold, LLC v. Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates in the Southern District of New York; affirmed in part by the Second Circuit (argued).

Obtained dismissal of complaint in Carrasco v. United Arab Emirates in the District of Arizona (argued); affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.

Represented foreign banking authority in moving to vacate New York restraining notice concerning multi-million in frozen wire transfer transactions.

Advising a number of foreign sovereign governments and their agencies, instrumentalities and officials on issues arising under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, act of state doctrine, and Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

US Civil and Criminal Antitrust Matters:

Represented individual subjects of criminal investigation by the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, for alleged price-fixing.

Represented Ian Norris, former CEO of UK-headquartered company Morgan Crucible, extradited to the United States, in criminal jury trial in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Represented pharmaceutical companies in alleged violations of Section 2 (monopoly claims under so-called "product-hopping" theories) and Section 1 of the Sherman Act (alleged restraint-of-trade claims).

Cross – Border Insolvency and Restructuring Matters:

Provided US litigation risk advice in connection with the restructuring of Wind Hellas, one of Greece's largest mobile phone operators, in the UK's largest ever pre-pack administration.

Represented liquidators of hedge fund in various US actions, including securities fraud actions, in context of cross-border litigation centered in the Channel Islands.

Represented a Saudi partnership in the Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Bros. Co. v. Stewart civil litigation in the Central District of California seeking to recover the proceeds of a $10 billion fraud; successfully argued motion to dismiss counterclaim alleged under Bahrain law.

US Economic Sanctions Advice:

Advising clients in numerous industry sectors on US sanctions issues including under the Russia, Iran, Cuba and Myanmar sanctions programs.

Obtained unblocking decision from OFAC for funds frozen under US sanctions program.

Conducted investigation of alleged violations of the Iran sanctions laws and regulations for Middle-East based client.

Speaking Engagements

"Ancillary U.S. Proceedings: Chapter 15 and 28 U.S.C. § 1782": hosted by Kleyr Grasso Associes, Luxembourg, (Presenter)

"How to Avoid an All-Expenses-Paid Holiday to the Western District of Texas": sponsored by the Jersey Law Institute, St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands, (Presenter)


Expert Analysis: Election Interference Sanctions Expand Compliance Risks, Law360, September 24, 2018

US Appeals Court Upholds Bondholder's Discovery of Argentina's Foreign Assets, Client Alert, (author)

The long arm of US import-export laws, Insurance Day, (author)

Awards and Recognition

"Under 40 Hot List", Benchmark Litigation, 2016