Nicole Erb | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
Nicole Erb
Nicole Erb

Nicole Erb

Partner, Washington, DC

T +1 202 626 3694



Nicole Erb co-leads the international sanctions practice at White & Case LLP. She represents clients in complex transnational litigation matters, civil and criminal government investigations, voluntary self-disclosures (VSDs), compliance audits and internal investigations, as well as compliance, licensing and other regulatory matters. Her clients comprise foreign states and their state-owned entities, international financial institutions and multinational corporations in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, Africa and Asia.

Nicole routinely represents clients before the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the Department of Justice, and the Department of State. She advises clients on US primary and secondary sanctions relating to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Sudan, and the Crimea region of Ukraine. She also advises on US sectoral sanctions against Russia and on matters involving OFAC's Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), including applications to unblock assets.

Clients benefit from Nicole's skill and experience in navigating complex, multijurisdictional disputes in federal and state courts at all levels. Her litigation matters typically involve questions under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), the Trading With the Enemy Act (TWEA), the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA), and the act of state and political question doctrines, as well as garnishee and interpleader actions involving OFAC sanctions and blocked assets.

Nicole is one of eight partners on the Firm's global Partnership Committee, a partner-elected governance body. She previously served as Chair of the Firm's Global Women's Initiative Committee.

Bars and Courts

  • New York State Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • US Supreme Court
  • US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • US District Court for the District of Columbia
  • US District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of New York


  • JD, Columbia Law School
  • BA, Reed College


  • English
  • French
  • Spanish


Representative international sanctions matters include:

Ongoing representation of a European corporation's non-EU subsidiary in an OFAC investigation and enforcement matter under Iran secondary sanctions.

Successful representation of a European private equity fund in  an OFAC licensing matter under Ukraine-/Russia-related sanctions in connection with a proposed acquisition.

Successful unblocking of foreign sovereign assets blocked pursuant to OFAC sanctions regulations when funds transited the US financial system.

Successful defense of companies in the technology and Internet-based services sector in connection with internal investigations in support of voluntary self-disclosures to OFAC and BIS.

Successful defense of a major shipping company in the civil and criminal investigation of OFAC sanctions violations.

Providing ongoing US economic sanctions compliance and licensing advice to European, Russian, Middle Eastern and Asian financial institutions and corporations.

Representative litigation matters include:

Ongoing defense of foreign sovereign in multiple federal district courts and courts of appeals in US terrorism-related litigation under the FSIA.

Successful defense of foreign sovereign in multibillion-dollar US litigation. Negotiated a historic bilateral agreement with the United States resolving such litigation.

Successful defense of prominent Saudi bank alleged to have financially supported terrorism. Won pre-trial dismissal of a US$1 billion claim in the Southern District of New York. Won appeal in the Second Circuit and successfully opposed US Supreme Court review.

Successful representation of a large Saudi travel agency on appeal and on remand in district court.  The Fourth Circuit vacated the US$10 million judgment.

Speaking Engagements

"Inside the ZTE Settlement", April 19, 2017: 10th Annual ACES Compliance Summit (Washington, DC)

"Global Considerations: Resolving Differences Between US, EU and Canadian Sanctions", December 1-2, 2015: ACI Economic Sanctions Bootcamp (New York)

"International Sanctions At A Glance", December 10, 2014: ICC-Russia (Moscow)

"Corporate Responsibility and the Alien Tort Statute: Perspectives and Alternatives", March 27, 2012: Symposium presented by the Georgetown Journal of International Law, the Center on Transnational Business and the Law, and the American Society of International Law (Washington, DC)


  • A Win for Sovereign Immunity, Law360, May 2017
  • Reconciling US and EU Sanctions: Iran and Cuba, The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation, May 2016
  • Kiobel's New Focus on Extraterritoriality Under the Alien Tort Statute, Georgetown Journal of International Law, 2012

Awards & Recognition

Benchmark 2008, Commercial Litigation