Lanier Saperstein

Lanier Saperstein




Lanier is a partner in Dorsey’s New York office, co-chair of the firm’s global China Litigation Practice Group and a leading member of the firm’s Banking Industry Group, where he serves as co-chair of the Foreign Bank Committee.

With 20 years of experience, Lanier is trusted by the firm’s largest banking and financial institution clients to handle their complex litigation and regulatory matters, particularly those involving cross-border legal issues. Lanier’s achievements include the following:

  • obtaining a precedent-setting decision on behalf of three large Chinese banks in the U.S. against an attempt to seize PRC government assets located in China;
  • winning a dismissal for a global bank on an issue of first impression concerning the intersection of international fund transfers and various federal and New York State statutes;    
  • being the first attorney in the U.S. to require a litigant to utilize the Hague Evidence Convention in requesting confidential bank records from China; and
  • successfully representing a global bank in a highly publicized litigation alleging terrorist financing and money laundering.   

Lanier routinely writes and speaks on topics impacting foreign financial institutions. Lanier’s articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Law Journal, among other publications, and he has spoken at industry conferences, including the International Symposium on Economic Crime at Cambridge University, as well as conferences sponsored by the Chinese Business Lawyers Association, the Fordham Corporate Law Center, and the Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia Law School.

Lanier has been quoted in major U.S. and foreign media outlets, including Bloomberg Businessweek, People’s Daily, and Tencent. He is on the panel for the Shanghai International Arbitration Center (SHIAC) and is an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law, where between 2014-2016 he taught a class on international banking litigation. Lanier is a member of the firm’s Marketing Committee and is an active member of the community through his work with various nonprofit organizations.

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


Selected Reported Decisions

Lanier has experience in a wide array of matters impacting foreign banks and other financial institutions, including the federal and state banking regulations, the Antiterrorism Act, the Bank Secrecy Act, the FSIA, federal securities laws, the claw back provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, as well as responding to subpoenas, asset restraints and judgments that implicate foreign bank confidentiality or data protection laws.

Below is a selection of Lanier’s reported cases: 

  • NBS Trade & Inv. Ltd. v. China Constr. Bank, No. 16-cv-6324 (DLC), 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181711 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 22, 2016)
  • Calderon-Cardona, et al. v. The Bank of New York Mellon, et al., 770 F.3d 993 (2d Cir. 2014), cert. denied, 84 U.S.L.W. 306 (U.S. Jan. 20, 2016) (No. 15-122)
  • Wultz v. Bank of China Ltd., 298 F.R.D. 91 (S.D.N.Y. 2014)
  • Wultz v. Bank of China Ltd., 291 F.R.D. 42 (S.D.N.Y. 2013)
  • Uni-Rty Corporation v. New York Guangdong Finance, Inc., Index No. 650361/12, Slip Op. (N.Y. Sup. Court, N.Y County, Dec. 5, 2012) (Sherwood, J.) 
  • Gucci America, Inc. v. Bagsmerchant, LLC, No. 10 Civ 2911 (SAS), Slip Copy, 2012 WL 4468192 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 27, 2012) 
  • Walters v. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Ltd., 651 F.3d 280 (2d Cir. 2011)
  • Calderon-Cardona, et al. v. Bank of China, 11 Civ. 3292 (DLC), 2011 WL 6155987 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 7, 2011) 
  • Tiffany (NJ) LLC v. Qi Andrew, 10 Civ. 9471 (WHP)(HBP), 2011 WL 3135850 (S.D.N.Y. July 25, 2011), aff’d, slip op. (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 14, 2011) 
  • McDaniel v. Bank of China, slip op., Index No. 601006/2010 (Gammerman, J.H.O.) (Jan. 4, 2011) 
  • Rosner v. Bank of China, 349 Fed. Appx. 637 (2d Cir. 2009)
  • Walters v. The People's Republic of China, 672 F. Supp. 2d 573 (S.D.N.Y. 2009) 
  • Rosner v. Bank of China, 2008 WL 5416380 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 18, 2008)

News & Resources


International Comity is Alive and Well: Second Circuit Defers to China’s Interpretation of Its Own Laws in Vacating Multimillion-Dollar Antitrust Judgment
"Expansive Take on Specific Jurisdiction: 'Gucci America v. Weixing Li'," New York Law Journal
“The Failure of Anti-Money Laundering Regulation: Where is the Cost-Benefit Analysis?” Notre Dame Law Review
Op-Ed, "Account Closed: How Bank ‘De-Risking’ Hurts Legitimate Customers," Wall Street Journal
New York State Legislature Seeks to Overturn 'Daimler,' New York Law Journal
"The Anti-Terrorism Act: Bad Acts Make Bad Law," New York Law Journal
“The Separate Entity Rule: The Deep Divide,” New York Law Journal (cited in Dewar v. Bangkok Branch Public Co. Ltd., New York Branch, 112560/2010 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Oct. 26, 2012) (Hagler, J.))
"Limiting Koehler," International Financial Law Review

News & Press Mentions

Chinese Company Law in U.S. Courts, Well Yeah, China Law Blog
China Contracts: Why Choice of Foreign Law is so Often a Bad Idea, China Law Blog
Can Blockchain Prevent Money Laundering?, Finextra
[裁罚真的有效?]美律师吐槽:官方没具体事证满意就开罚, Apple Daily
Partner Lanier Saperstein Discusses His Views on De-Risking, Bloomberg
德拉瓦欢迎中国公司 州长拥抱全球化经济 (Delaware Welcomes Chinese Companies – Governor Embraces Increasingly Global Economy), Sing Tao Daily
Dorsey Partner Lanier Saperstein Comments on NY Bill to Sue Foreign Firms
"New York Weighs Jurisdictional Rule for Foreign Firms," The Wall Street Journal
"The Big Bet to Hold Banks Liable for Terrorism," Bloomberg Business
"Foreign Firms Often Lose Out on Attorney-Client Privilege," The Wall Street Journal
"Attorney-Client Privilege Eludes Some Foreign Firms," The Wall Street Journal Law Blog
"US Work-Product and Privilege Protections Under Renewed Scrutiny," GIR
Phoenix Television, Global News Coverage (US-China litigation issues)
“Chinese Companies Face Many Challenges in Investing in the U.S.,” Sing Tao Daily
"U.S. Supreme Court Decision is Not Based on Politics, But Has Political Impact," People's Daily
Dorsey New York Adds Litigation Partner

Legal Writings

  • "Trends in Global Securities Litigations," The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation, June 3, 2009 
  • "Global Class Actions," PricewaterhouseCooper's 2007 Securities Litigation Study, April 8, 2008 
  • "In Pari Delicto: Where's The Love?" Bankruptcy Law 360, November 15, 2007
  • "Receivers and the In Pari Delicto Doctrine," New York Law Journal, July 9, 2007 
  • "The Opt Out Trend: Why It Is Happening And What Courts and Policymakers Should Do About It," Mealey's Litigation Report: Class Actions, Vol 7, #3, April 5, 2007 
  • "Class Certification: Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better," New York Law Journal, March 8, 2007 
  • "Copyrights, Criminal Sanctions and Economic Rents," 87 Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 1470 (Summer 1997)
  • Lanier's "Copyrights, Criminal Sanctions and Economic Rents" has been cited in at least a dozen prominent law journals, including the University of Michigan Law Review, the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, the University of North Carolina Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, the University of Southern California Law Review, the University of Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal, the American University Law Review, the BU Law Review, the William & Mary Law Review, the University of Illinois Law Review, and the Washington University Law Quarterly. 
  • Lanier’s "Copyrights, Criminal Sanctions and Economic Rents" has also been cited in Wikipedia for the definition of the law and economics term “rent seeking.” See

Select Presentations

Industries & Practices

Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring
International Arbitration & Litigation
Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement
  • Appellate
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Banking
  • Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring
  • China
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Electronic Discovery
  • Financial Services Regulatory
  • Foreign Bank Representation
  • International Arbitration & Litigation
  • Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Arbitrator, Shanghai International Arbitration Center (SHIAC)
  • Adjunct Professor, Fordham University School of Law
  • American Bar Association, Securities Litigation Section
  • Federal Bar Council
  • The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • Chinese Business Lawyers Association
  • Hong Kong Association of New York

Community Involvement

  • Board Member, Board of Trustees, The Mead School
  • Committee Member, Alumni Club of NYC, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
  • Member (2010-2011), The Family Advisory Council, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital
  • Supporter, Delete Blood Cancer DKMS


Lanier Saperstein