Lanier Saperstein

Lanier Saperstein




Among other successes, Lanier was the first lawyer in the United States to require a litigant to use the Hague Evidence Convention when seeking confidential bank records from China.

Representing financial institutions in both litigation and regulatory matters, Lanier has managed a broad range of issues relating to the Bank Secrecy Act, anti-money laundering, Office of Foreign Assets Control's sanction programs, the Anti-Terrorism Act, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, the bank examination privilege, suspicious activity reports, Article 4A of the Uniform Commercial Code and international wire transfers, and alleged fraud claims under federal and New York law.

Lanier routinely handles subpoenas, asset restraints, as well as judgment and arbitral award enforcement actions that involve cross-border issues. He has litigated key subjects relating to personal and subject matter jurisdiction, international comity, and the separate entity rule. He also advises banks on litigation and regulatory issues relating to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters and is a leading member of the firm’s ESG working group.

In addition to his banking experience, Lanier litigates commercial matters for foreign companies and individuals, including contract disputes, prosecuting and defending against claims of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, post-closing adjustment disputes, and post-judgment and arbitral award enforcement actions.

Lanier co-chairs the firm’s award winning U.S.-China Practice Group, known for its "wealth of practical experience" in "complex China-related … cross-border litigation matters" (Legal 500 Asia Pacific-2022), where "a strong degree of collaboration" across the firm’s US and China offices "allows it to handle a spectrum of China-related US litigation" (Legal 500 Asia Pacific-2023). Lanier is a member of the NYCBA’s Compliance Committee, Co-Chair of its Banking Subcommittee, and a member of the Council on Judicial Administration. He sits on the China General Chamber of Commerce–USA’s Legal Counsel Committee and is an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School. He writes extensively on matters impacting financial institutions, and his writings have been cited in dozens of law journals.

Education & Admissions

Northwestern University School of Law (J.D., 1997), Note & Comment Editor, Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, First Place, Lowden-Wigmore Prize for Legal Scholarship, Finalist, The Adlai E. Stevenson II Award for Best Brief

London School of Economics (M.Sc., 1994)

College of William & Mary (B.A., 1992)


  • New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma


Representative Experience

Lanier has experience in a wide array of matters impacting foreign financial institutions and large companies:

  • Represented the New York City Bar Association as amicus in an appeal before the New York Court of Appeals—New York’s highest court—on a jurisdictional issue of first-impression (Aybar v. Ford Motor Company).
  • Successfully defended a G-SIB in a series of high-profile lawsuits alleging terrorist financing (Hirshfield v. Bank of China Limited; Wultz v. Bank of China Limited; Moriah v. Bank of China Limited).
  • Won a multimillion dollar award in China for a Fortune 500 company in a confidential arbitration.
  • Defended the U.S. operations of a foreign bank in a lawsuit arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Secured dismissal for an international bank for plaintiffs’ failure to serve under the Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (NBS Trade and Investment Ltd. v. China Construction Bank, et al.).
  • Obtained dismissal for a global bank on an issue of first impression regarding international electronic fund transfers (Calderon-Cardona v. Bank of New York Mellon, et al.).
  • Achieved an often-cited Second Circuit decision on the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) for three Chinese banks, halting judgment creditors’ attempt to seize PRC assets located in China (Walters v. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, et al.).
  • Obtained dismissal of a fraudulent conveyance claim against the New York branch of a foreign bank (Uni-Rty Corp., et al. v. Guandgdong Building, Inc., et al.).
  • Quoted in Dewar v. Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited, New York Branch (NY Supreme) for his writings on New York's separate entity rule.
  • Successfully defended the branch of a foreign bank in lawsuits alleging common law aiding and abetting liability (McDaniel v. Bank of China; Rosner v. Bank of China).
  • Quashed a subpoena issued to a foreign bank on comity grounds (Tiffany (NY) LLC, et al. v. Qi., et al.).
  • Represented a Swiss bank in the Parmalat class action (In re Parmalat Securities Litigation).
  • Represented a Dutch bank in the Madoff litigation (Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC et al v. ABN AMRO Bank N.A.).
  • Represented a GSIB in 16 coordinated cases arising under the federal securities laws.

News & Resources

Industries & Practices

Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring
Foreign Banks and Financial Institutions
International Arbitration & Litigation
Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement
Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG)
  • Appellate
  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring
  • China
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Electronic Discovery
  • Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG)
  • Financial Services Regulatory
  • Foreign Banks and Financial Institutions
  • International Arbitration & Litigation
  • Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Adjunct Professor, Fordham University School of Law
  • Compliance Committee, New York City Bar Association
  • Co-Chair, Subcommittee on Banking, New York City Bar Association
  • Council for Judicial Administration, New York City Bar Association
  • Legal Counsel Committee, China General Chamber of Commerce - USA (CGCC)

Community Involvement

  • Member of the City of Rye Board of Appeals (also known as the Zoning Board)
  • Member of the Board of Trustees, Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester
  • Alumni Club of NYC, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
  • Fourth Century Society, College of William & Mary
  • Delete Blood Cancer DKMS


Lanier Saperstein