Background - Practices (Details)

International Litigation


Crowell & Moring's international litigation team has represented private parties, sovereign governments, and state-owned enterprises in cross-border and international commercial, tort, and wrongful death cases. Our lawyers have developed broad perspective and substantial experience litigating international disputes in judicial forums across the United States and Europe. We understand and possess the unique skills necessary to successfully litigate complex, multi-issue, multilingual, multijurisdictional cases in the U.S. courts and abroad.

We have experience in all aspects of international and cross-border litigation, including the following:

Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA)

Our firm has a prominent practice litigating FSIA cases in the United States, and we have developed and leveraged close working relationships with United States government agencies such as the National Security Council and U.S. departments of State, Defense, Commerce, and Justice to promote our clients' interests. Through our experience representing foreign sovereign defendants and individuals and corporations pursuing suits against foreign sovereigns and state owned enterprises, we have helped shape the U.S. courts' interpretation of the FSIA.

Alien Tort Statute (ATS)

Crowell & Moring has experience litigating cases involving the ATS (also referred to as the Alien Tort Claims Act (ACTA)) from both the plaintiff's and defendant's perspective. Our lawyers have successfully defended U.S. government officials against ATS claims brought by foreign plaintiffs, and we have used the ATS as a jurisdictional tool on behalf of foreign plaintiffs in U.S. courts.

International Terrorism Litigation

Our internationally renowned terrorism litigation team has represented clients ranging from former hostages held in Lebanon in the 1980s to victims of embassy bombings and aircraft sabotage around the world. Terrorism proceedings involve complex application of, inter alia, the FSIA, the Federal Tort Claims Act, the Alien Tort Statute, the Torture Victims Protection Act of 1991, the Export Administration Act of 1979, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, and the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act of 2000. We have used our experience with these statutes to obtain some of the largest damages awards in U.S. history resulting from international terrorism. In fact, Crowell & Moring was awarded the largest judgment in a contested terrorism case, against the government of Libya, arising out of the 1989 bombing of a jumbo jet over the Sahara Desert, killing 170 passengers and crew. The firm also played a substantial role in the enactment of the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act of 2000, which led to the payment of numerous compensatory damages judgments against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Discovery Strategies in International Litigation

Crowell & Moring has pioneered the use of 28 U.S.C. § 1782, which grants U.S. courts discretion to order discovery to parties engaged in international disputes. In Roz Trading, the firm won a groundbreaking federal court ruling that § 1782 can be used to obtain discovery in private commercial arbitrations abroad. We also have substantial experience in obtaining foreign discovery under the Hague Evidence Convention for use in U.S. litigation.

Crowell & Moring lawyers also have considerable experience in assisting foreign governments and private parties in securing evidence in the United States for use in foreign criminal investigations and civil proceedings. One of our lawyers represented the government of Chile in securing crucial evidence used in the proceedings against former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet.

Cross-Border Litigation Risk Assessment and Management

Crowell & Moring regularly counsels foreign sovereigns, state-owned entities, and multinational corporations on how to avoid or, if necessary, initiate litigation in the United States and how to manage litigation once it commences. In particular, we have counseled foreign corporations on methods to avoid the expansive jurisdictional reach of U.S. federal and state courts, including use of the FSIA, the act of state, political question, and special factors doctrines, as well as international service requirements. We counsel our international clients on the use of anti-suit injunctions, the forum non conveniens doctrine, and other vehicles to have cases removed from U.S. courts to more appropriate jurisdictions. Of course, when it is in our clients' interests to litigate in the United States, we have a best-in-class litigation team equipped to pursue any U.S. litigation to its completion.

Cross-Border Litigation in the United States and Abroad

Crowell & Moring provides top-notch litigation services to international parties in domestic proceedings involving a wide range of complex legal disputes. We also have experience managing and coordinating parallel litigation proceedings simultaneously in several international jurisdictions, including foreign courts and international arbitral forums. Crowell & Moring's offices in London and Brussels significantly bolster the firm's international litigation capabilities in Europe, including practicing before European courts and tribunals. In addition, we have close working relationships with numerous local firms in continental Europe, Asia, Africa, and Central and South America, which provide a unique competitive advantage to our U.S. clients who are litigating abroad.

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)

Crowell & Moring provides counseling and litigation services to domestic, foreign, and multinational clients regarding compliance with, and enforcement of, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Our practice involves representing clients in investigations and prosecutions by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We also assist clients by designing and implementing FCPA compliance programs, conducting internal investigations concerning transactions with potential FCPA risks, training company personnel, and devising due diligence and other compliance-based tools to help clients safely and productively conduct their global business consistent with U.S. and international anti-corruption laws.