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

E [email protected]


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 Crimea. She also advises on US sectoral sanctions against Russia and Venezuela, 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.

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:


Representation of sanctions target in connection with sanctions risks and litigation options.

Representation of Chinese company in internal sanctions audit and develop sanctions compliance policies and procedures.

Representation of Middle Eastern bank in internal sanctions and international money laundering audit, and implementation of enhanced sanctions and AML compliance policies and procedures.

Representation of US affiliate of Asian company in internal sanctions investigation.

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

Succesful representation of shipping company in voluntary-self disclosure to OFAC.

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.

Successful defense of companies in 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, oil & gas companies, and multinational corporations.

Representative litigation matters include:


Ongoing defense of foreign sovereign in the US Supreme Court and multiple federal district courts and courts of appeals in multibillion-dollar 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 over 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 defense of foreign financial institution in terrorism litigation. Won pre-trial dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction.

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.

Successful defense of the Central Bank of Jordan in a federal action brought by a foreign banker. Prevailed on a pre-discovery motion to dismiss. Won appeal in the DC Circuit.

Successful defense of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in a federal action brought by an Iraqi national alleging wrongful seizure of a bank. Prevailed in district court and in DC Circuit.

Successful defense of the Republic of Indonesia and its state-owned agencies and instrumentalities in federal district court and on appeal in actions involving fraudulent banking and securities transactions.

Successful defense of a Russian state-owned entity in US litigation seeking preliminary injunction and specific performance while the dispute was being arbitrated in Sweden. Won dismissal of the lawsuit.

Speaking Engagements

"Regulatory and Enforcement Priorities: US and UK Sanctions Enforcement Landscape for the Coming Year," December 7, 2018, ACI 9th Annual New York Forum on Economic Sanctions (with Michael Dondarski, Assistant Director for Enforcement, Office of Foreign Assets Control, US Department of the Treasury and David McLean, Joint Deputy Head and Head of Enforcement and Engagement, Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation, HM Treasury) (New York)

"Workshop: US and EU Sectoral and Secondary Russia Sanctions", November 16, 2018: C5 7th Annual Conference on Economic Sanctions and Financial Crime (London)

"Focus on New Iran Secondary Sanctions and Enforcement," November 14, 2018: C5 7th Annual Conference on Economic Sanctions and Financial Crime, Discussion Leader (London)

"Venezuela: What Comes after Default?", October 25, 2018: Americas Society/Council of the Americas (New York)

"Sanctions and Export Control Considerations for Your Investment Strategy – A closer look at ZTE, Iran, Russia and North Korea", July 19, 2018: White & Case Taiwan Seminar: Cross-border Trends Relevant to Taiwanese Investors and Companies (Taipei)

"Interactive Licensing Scenarios Under US Sanctions", December 5, 2017: 8th Annual ACI Forum on Economic Sanctions (New York)

"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)


  • "Expert Analysis: Election Interference Sanctions Expand Compliance Risks," Law360 (September 2018)

  • 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