Nicole H. Sprinzen

Vice Chair, White Collar Defense & Investigations

Recent Publication:

Preparing For DOJ's Data Analytics Push in FCPA Cases [Law360]

In this Law360 article, Nicole H. Sprinzen, Kurt Lunkenheimer, and Molly Shaffer look at how data analytics has historically been used in corporate enforcement to understand how the U.S. Department of Justice Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Unit — and likely the SEC, which has its own civil FCPA enforcement unit — will collect and use data to prosecute global foreign corruption cases.

Nicole is a former federal prosecutor and she focuses her practice on representing companies and individuals in criminal matters and parallel civil proceedings, as well as in internal investigations. Her practice includes advising clients in matters arising under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), U.S. export controls and sanctions and anti-money laundering regulations, federal health care laws, and the securities and commodities laws, as well as in connection with federal procurement, mortgage, and bank fraud allegations. She frequently represents corporate and individual clients in antitrust cartel internal and government investigations, including those conducted by the Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s Procurement Collusion Strike Force.

Internal investigations that Nicole has conducted include allegations of workplace harassment against an internationally renowned opera singer on behalf of the industry labor union; allegations of harassment, discrimination and hostile workplace environment in the entertainment and health care industries; allegations of sexual assault in the professional sports industry; and various allegations of sexual assault, harassment and student misconduct on behalf of a government program administrator. Further to that work, Nicole frequently advises clients regarding implementation of recommendations for remedial measures and corporate governance and compliance program enhancements.

Nicole has also represented clients in investigations being conducted by World Bank Group's Integrity Vice Presidency, and served as a monitor for a company participating in the World Bank’s Voluntary Disclosure Program and consulted with clients in designing and implementing effective compliance programs to obtain the release of sanctions and reinstate good standing with the World Bank Group. Nicole has represented clients in investigations by U.S. government authorities under Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) and, while serving as a federal prosecutor, she coordinated parallel foreign proceedings under MLATs.

An experienced trial lawyer, Nicole has tried federal and state cases in the District of Columbia and throughout the country. She has litigated cases involving a broad range of industries, including accounting, banking, securities, commodities trading, health care, construction, government contracting, and the student loan industry. Her practice includes handling False Claims Act under the federal act and state-law corollaries and other civil litigation matters, including civil forfeiture, shareholder class action, securities fraud, breach of contract and defamation cases, including under California’s anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation Law) statute, which supplements the First Amendment in that state.

Immediately prior to joining Cozen O’Connor, Nicole practiced in the criminal defense, investigations, and civil litigation practice in the Washington, D.C., office of a large international law firm. Prior to joining the law firm, she served as a prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, where she prosecuted FCPA, securities and commodities, procurement, and health care fraud cases, as well as cases involving fraud against the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

As a prosecutor, Nicole led criminal investigations in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, and in parallel with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the then-UK Financial Services Authority, and other international antitrust regulators. Nicole was one of the first prosecutors of cases involving the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and other international bank interest rates. She also tried one of the National Century Financial Enterprises cases in the Southern District of Ohio, then the largest private financial fraud committed to date.

Nicole is also an active member of the pro bono community — taking a substantial role in capital murder cases at the trial and U.S. Supreme Court appellate levels, and serving as a member of the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Task Force on Law Enforcement Body Cameras. She also led a team that prepared a revision of The Constitution Project’s publication, Irreversible Error: Recommended Reforms for Preventing and Correcting Errors in the Administration of Capital Punishment.

Experience

News

Eighty-eight Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 23 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2023 Guide

June 05, 2023

Of the 88 lawyers ranked, 17 lawyers have been recognized nationally, and eighteen were recognized in Band 1. Eight of the firm's practice areas have been recognized nationally, and nine were ranked Band 1.

14 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named 2023 D.C. Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

May 30, 2023

Super Lawyers has named 14 Cozen O’Connor attorneys to its 2023 Washington D.C. Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Nicole Sprinzen Speaks with CBS NY About NYPD Officer Accused of Spying for China

February 03, 2023

Nicole Sprinzen was interviewed by CBS News New York on February 2, 2023, in connection with an exclusive story about a Tibet-born NYPD officer Baimadajie Angwang, who made headlines in the New York area and across the country after he had been accused of being a spy for China.

13 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named 2022 D.C. Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

July 12, 2022

Super Lawyers has named 13 Cozen O’Connor attorneys to its 2022 Washington D.C. Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Chambers Ranks 86 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 22 Practice Areas in Chambers USA 2022 Guide

June 02, 2022

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 86 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2022 edition.

82 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 19 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2021 Guide

May 26, 2021

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 82 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2021 edition; of those, 15 lawyers have been recognized nationally.

Twelve Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Recognized as Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

May 05, 2021

Super Lawyers has named 12 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2021 Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list.

Novartis and Subsidiaries Settle FCPA Cases for $346M, Avoiding a Monitor Despite Recidivism

July 08, 2020

Niki Sprinzen was quoted in an Anti-Corruption Report discussing the settlement agreement Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, reached with the U.S. DOJ and the SEC to settle FCPA charges.

63 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 16 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2020 Guide

May 14, 2020

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 63 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2020 edition.

COVID Crimes: White Collar Cases To Expect From The Crisis

May 11, 2020

Niki Sprinzen was quoted in a Law360 article discussing white collar cases such as price gouging and insider trading that are likely to result from the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic fallout.

Fourteen Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Recognized as Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

April 20, 2020

Super Lawyers has named 14 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2020 Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list.

Employers See Strings Attached In $500B CARES Act Relief

April 03, 2020

Niki Sprinzen was quoted in a Law360 article discussing the oversight by a newly created special inspector general of the $500 billion CARES Act that could result in an increase in enforcement and litigation similar to that seen in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

Samsung Heavy Industries Resolves Petrobras-Related FCPA Charges With a Split Fine

December 19, 2019

Niki Sprinzen was quoted in an Anti-Corruption article discussing the Deferred Prosecution Agreement that Samsung Heavy Industries, a Samsung Group subsidiary dedicated to storage vessels and offshore oil platforms, agreed to with the Department of Justice to resolve the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act-related charges.

How I Made Partner: Cozen O'Connor's Nicole Sprinzen

August 01, 2019

Nicole Sprinzen was quoted in Law.com about her time becoming a partner at Cozen O'Connor.

13 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Recognized as Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

April 25, 2019

The 2019 Washington, D.C, edition of Super Lawyers Magazine, published by Thomson Reuters, has named 13 Cozen O’Connor attorneys to its list of Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

Nicole Sprinzen Named to Law360’s 2019 White Collar Editorial Advisory Board

April 18, 2019

The main purpose of the advisory board, according to Law360, is “to get feedback on Law360’s coverage and gain insight from experts in the field on how best to shape future coverage.”

Cozen O’Connor Promotes Eight New Shareholders

August 20, 2018

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce the promotion of eight members to shareholders: Marc Auberbach, Jonathan Grossman, Aaron Krauss, Daniel J. Luccaro, Barbara Muller, Joseph F. Rich, Nicole Sprinzen, and Paula Zecchini.

Publications

Preparing For DOJ's Data Analytics Push in FCPA Cases [Law360]

February 20, 2024

In this Law360 article, Nicole H. Sprinzen, Kurt Lunkenheimer, and Molly Shaffer look at how data analytics has historically been used in corporate enforcement to understand how the U.S. Department of Justice Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Unit — and likely the SEC, which has its own civil FCPA enforcement unit — will collect and use data to prosecute global foreign corruption cases.

DOJ Signals Increased Emphasis on Data Analytics to Prosecute FCPA Global Corruption [Alert]

November 30, 2023

Kurt Lunkenheimer and Nicole Sprinzen discuss the DOJ's recent announcement that they will leverage data analytics to proactively identify and prosecute crimes in foreign corruption cases.

DOJ Announces New Safe Harbor Policy for M&As [Alert]

October 05, 2023

Calli Padilla and Nicole Sprinzen discuss the DOJ's new Mergers & Acquisitions Safe Harbor Policy.

Top DOJ Changes to its Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs [Alert]

March 07, 2023

As part of a sweeping revamp of its white collar criminal enforcement policies that began last year, the DOJ announced two significant changes last week.

DOJ Offering Increased Reductions in Fines to Incentivize Companies to Voluntarily Report Misconduct [Alert]

January 18, 2023

Nicole H. Sprinzen & Joseph Simpson discuss the Department of Justice's changes to its existing Corporate Enforcement Policy that will grant as much as a 75% reduction in fines for companies that voluntarily self-report wrongdoing.

Doing Battle on (At Least) Two Fronts: What Happens When Multiple Regulators Engage in Parallel Enforcement Efforts?

July 20, 2021

Multi-agency cooperation efforts can go a long way toward obtaining mitigated civil or criminal penalties.

CFTC Issues New Guidance Prioritizing Compliance Programs in Enforcement Decisions [Alert]

September 16, 2020

Nicole H. Sprinzen and Yehudah Gordon the CFTC's new guidance memorandum outlining factors that the Division of Enforcement will consider when evaluating compliance programs in connection with actions it brings.

DOJ Antitrust Division Endorses International Cooperation in Cartel Investigations [Alert]

August 20, 2020

J. Bruce Maffeo, Nicole H. Sprinzen, and Thomas Ingalls discuss the DOJ's the Guidance on Enhancing Cross-Border Leniency Cooperation.

Companies Receiving PPP Funds Should Prepare for Audits, and Implement Compliance Now [Alert]

May 08, 2020

Nicole H. Sprinzen and Joseph Simpson discuss steps companies who took PPP funds should take now to prepare for audits by the SBA, Treasury, DOJ, or the FBI.

Contracting to Avoid Force Majeure Litigation in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic [Alert]

April 23, 2020

Abby L. Sacunas and Nicole H. Sprinzen discuss possible language for new and future contracts to avoid contract disputes that arise out of COVID-19 and future pandemics.

Emerging Trends Under the DOJ’s Corporate Enforcement Policy

February 20, 2020

Niki Sprinzen and Kara Kapp (White Collar Defense & Investigations) authored an article in Corporate Compliance Insights, titled Emerging Trends Under the DOJ’s Corporate Enforcement Policy, offering guidance to help compliance professionals navigate the FCPA landscape given what lies ahead, particularly in terms of white-collar prosecutions.

DOJ Antitrust Division Now Gives Credit for Compliance Program in Cartel Investigations

July 22, 2019

Nicole H. Sprinzen and Thomas Ingalls discuss how, under the new Antitrust Division policy, an effective compliance policy would prevent antitrust violations but also remediate them when they do occur.

Education

  • The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1999
  • Lafayette College, B.A., 1996

Awards & Honors

Chambers USA (Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations - DC) (2022, 2021)

DC Super Lawyers (White Collar Defense & Investigations) 2017-2022 (Top 50)

DCA Live’s 2019 Emerging Women Leaders in Law 2019

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • U.S. District Court -- District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court -- Maryland
  • U.S. Supreme Court

ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Task Force on Law Enforcement Body Cameras

Member, Women’s White Collar Defense Association

Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers