Lanier Saperstein

Lanier Saperstein




Lanier is based in our New York office. His achievements for clients include:

  • Successfully defending a global Chinese bank in a high-profile lawsuit alleging terrorist financing;     
  • Obtaining a precedent-setting decision in the U.S. for three large Chinese banks, halting an attempt to seize PRC assets in China; 
  • Winning a dismissal for a global Chinese bank on an issue of first impression regarding international fund transfers; and
  • Being the first attorney in the U.S. to require a litigant to use the Hague Evidence Convention when requesting confidential bank records from China. 

Lanier serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s U.S.-China Practice Group, which was shortlisted for the Asialaw Dispute Resolution Awards in 2017 for “Best in Banking & Finance” and a winner of the China Business Law Award in 2018 in the category of “Banking & Finance.” He recently was described as "one of the foremost experts in the world on international banking" by the Pharma Letter.

In addition to his extensive banking experience, Lanier routinely handles a wide array of general commercial litigation matters for foreign and domestic companies and individuals, including contract disputes, prosecuting and defending against claims of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, pre-M&A motion practice, post-closing adjustment disputes and post-judgment and arbitral award enforcement actions.

His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Law Journal, Quartz, CFO Magazine, and the Notre Dame Law Review. His work has been cited in the University of Michigan Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, and the BU Law Review, among other journals. He has been quoted in numerous media outlets, including the National Law Journal, Bloomberg, Businessweek, People’s Daily, and Tencent.

Lanier has spoken at conferences sponsored by the Wharton China Business Society at Wharton Business School, The Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia University Law School, and the International Symposium on Economic Crime at Cambridge University. He is an adjunct professor of law at Fordham University School of Law, where he teaches a seminar on banking regulation and enforcement.

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 Chinese banks and other foreign 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 the enforcement of 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


"The ATA: Some Sense Brought Back Into the Mix," New York Law Journal
Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co.
"Prizing Apart Bad Facts From Good Law," New York Law Journal
“Instead of more sanctions and bombast, let’s try a smarter, nuanced approach to North Korea,” Quartz Ideas
“U.S. Sanctions Against North Korea: Implications for Chinese Banks”
“The Alien Tort Statute,” Law Journal Newsletter
“Chill Out About China,” CFO Magazine
“The Alien Tort Statute: Still Raising Threshold Questions of First Impression,” New York Law Journal
“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

Dorsey Partner Lanier Saperstein Discusses SCOTUS Ruling on Foreign Country Laws
"Rare Alliance Between Class Action Plaintiffs, US Chamber Prevails at Supreme Court," The National Law Journal
Dorsey Wins Banking & Finance Award in China Business Law Awards 2017-2018
"Delaware amends rule of evidence to create certainty for international companies with Delaware subsidiaries," The Global Delaware Blog
Dorsey Lawyers Lanier Saperstein and Jeremy Schlosser Criticize Use of Secondary Sanctions on Banks Dealing with North Korea
"Ex-Diplomats Warn Against Extending Civil Liability to Bank in Suit by Terror Victims," New York Law Journal
Dorsey’s China Practice on Shortlist for Asialaw Dispute Resolution Awards 2017
Fighting Expenses and Competition, Some Firms Rethink China Strategies
Bullish on China, international firm unveils US-China practice group
Dorsey & Whitney Forms U.S.-China Practice Group
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
"Surveying the Application of ‘Daimler’ in the Circuits," New York Law Journal
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

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
Foreign Banks and Financial Institutions
International Arbitration & Litigation
Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement
  • Appellate
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring
  • China
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Electronic Discovery
  • 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
  • Member, Compliance Committee, New York City Bar Association
  • Arbitrator, Shanghai International Arbitration Center (SHIAC)
  • American Bar Association, Securities Litigation Section
  • Federal Bar Council
  • 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