Claire A. DeLelle

Partner, Washington, DC

Biography

Overview

Claire is a commercial litigator who focuses on litigations involving complex international issues. She represents foreign sovereigns and their agencies and instrumentalities, including central banking authorities, and multinational companies and financial institutions in complex litigations arising under a variety of laws, including the US antitrust laws, the US anti-terrorism laws, and the US economic sanctions laws. She has extensive U.S. litigation experience representing clients under the so-called "terrorism exception" to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. She has litigated these issues before US federal courts at all levels, including a recent win before the US Supreme Court on behalf of the Republic of the Sudan. She also leads global investigations in connection with voluntary self-disclosures to Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), subpoenas, and requests for information. She has in-depth experience conducting investigations and litigating matters for clients based in the Middle East and Africa, including in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, Sudan, and Libya.

Claire is the Hiring Partner for the Firm's 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
Education
LLM
Washington College of Law, American University
LLB (Hons)
University of Aberdeen

Scotland

Languages
English

Experience

US Litigation on behalf of Foreign Sovereigns and State-Owned Entities, International Institutions, and Multinationals:

Successfully obtained vacatur of multi-million dollar default judgments in Republic of Sudan v. Harrison, 139 S. Ct. 1048 (2019).

Successfully obtained vacatur of multi-billion dollars in damages awarded against a foreign sovereign where sovereign did not appear to defend numerous actions alleging the provision of material support or resources to terrorist organizations.

Obtained dismissal of the Kingdom of Sweden and the National Museums of World Culture in alleged expropriation case brought in US federal court.

Defending central banking authority in US federal litigation brought under the so-called "commercial activity" exception to foreign sovereign immunity.

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:

Representing start-up technology company in antitrust claims against an alleged unlawful monopolist that engaged in exclusionary conduct, predatory pricing, and other anticompetitive conduct.

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).

 

US Economic Sanctions Investigations and Advice:

Conducted global investigation for multinational ecommerce company under numerous US sanctions programs and the export controls laws. Routinely engaged with OFAC officials.

Conducted investigations of alleged violations of the Iran and Syria sanctions laws and regulations for clients based in the Middle East.

Routinely advising clients in numerous industry sectors on US sanctions compliance issues including under the Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, Counter Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Transnational Criminal Organizations programs.

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

 

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 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.

Speaking Engagements

Presenter, "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

Publications

Author, "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

Awards and Recognition

"Under 40 Hot List", Benchmark Litigation, 2016