Cozen O’Connor: Sprinzen, Nicole H.

Nicole H. Sprinzen

Vice Chair, White Collar Defense & Investigations

Washington, D.C.

(202) 471-3451

(202) 861-1905

Nicole 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 & sanctions and anti-money laundering regulations, 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. 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. 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 and other civil litigation matters, including civil forfeiture, shareholder class action, securities fraud, and breach of contract cases.

Her experience also includes representing clients in matters governed by the First Amendment, and she has represented clients concerning defamatory statements made about them by various media outlets. She also has handled litigation pursuant to 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, she also 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.




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

August 01, 2019

Nicole Sprinzen was quoted in 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.”

Nicole Sprinzen Named to DCA Live’s 2019 Emerging Women Leaders in Private Practice List

March 20, 2019

The list includes the female lawyers “who are emerging as leaders within their firms and the broader legal community.” Winners were recognized at a March 19 event held in the Washington, DC office of Willey Rein.

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.

Betting on Compliance: The Supreme Court’s Decision in Murphy V. NCAA

July 12, 2018

Nicole Sprinzen, a member of Cozen O'Connor’s Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations Practice, shares her thoughts on the Supreme Court’s Decision in Murphy V. NCAA in an interview featured on Corporate Compliance Insights.

Banks Likely to Bet That Sports Gambling Worth the Risk

May 22, 2018

Nicole Sprinzen, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations Practice Group, spoke with Bloomberg Law about what banks will have to do with the legalization of sports gambling.

Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers Recognizes 15 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys

May 15, 2018

Fourteen Cozen O’Connor attorneys have been named 2018 Super Lawyers or Rising Stars by Super Lawyers Magazine Washington, D.C. edition, published by Thomson Reuters.

White Collar Cases To Watch In 2018

January 01, 2018

Nicole Sprinzen, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations Practice Group, discusses the significance of the upcoming sentencing and likely appeal of a former HSBC executive’s fraud conviction in Law360.

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

May 15, 2017

Selection to Super Lawyers is based on peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Money-Laundering Rules Ripe for Overhaul, Bank Group Says

February 16, 2017

Nicole Sprinzen, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations Practice, discusses how money-laundering rules are ripe for overhaul in The Wall Street Journal.

U.S. Anti-Bribery Law Set to Remain in Place Under Trump

December 30, 2016

Nicole Sprinzen, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations Practice, discusses U.S. anti-bribery law under Trump in the Financial Times.

FERC’s Enforcement Appetite Makes Compliance Key

December 19, 2016

Barbara Van Gelder and Nicole Sprinzen discuss recently released white papers from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Law360.

Nicole Sprinzen Discusses Olympus' FCA and FCPA Settlement in The FCPA Report

March 09, 2016

Nicole Sprinzen, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations practice, discusses Olympus' FCA and FCPA settlement in The FCPA Report.

Van Gelder and Sprinzen's Move to Cozen O'Connor featured in Washington Post

January 31, 2016

Barbara "Biz" Van Gelder and Nicole Sprinzen, both members of Cozen O'Connor's Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations Practice, were mentioned following their move to Cozen O'Connor.

Cozen O’Connor Welcomes Nicole Sprinzen to Growing D.C. Office

January 14, 2016

New Member Further Strengthens Criminal Defense Practice.


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.

DOJ Issues Guidance Emphasizing Importance of Remedial Action to Corporate Monitorship Decisions [White Collar Defense & Investigations Alert]

October 17, 2018

Under new Justice Department guidance, corporate defendants have a crucial, time-sensitive window to implement remedial changes independently to potentially avoid the imposition of a government-required monitor to oversee that process.

CLOUD Act Guts Long-Awaited Microsoft Decision [Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations Alert]

April 25, 2018

Nicole Sprinzen and Thomas Ingalls discuss recent Congressional legislation that provides a procedure for U.S. law enforcement to obtain foreign-located communications data from U.S. service providers, ending a long-running dispute concerning the extraterritorial reach of the Stored Communications Act.

Justices Hearing Microsoft Appeal Appear Mixed on Jurisdiction over Foreign-Located Communications [Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations Alert]

March 02, 2018

Nicole Sprinzen and Thomas Ingalls discuss what took place during oral arguments before the Supreme Court, how a bill in Congress may affect the Justices' ruling, and what impact the decision will have on the obligations of electronic service providers.

Federal Budget Deal Reaffirms Executive Legislative Branch Split in Legalized Medical Marijuana Policy [Cannabis Alert]

February 12, 2018

Thomas M. O’Rourke and Nicole Sprinzen discuss how the budget deal affects the cannabis industry.

Microsoft: Supreme Court Decision on Jurisdiction over Foreign-Located Communications Anticipated [Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations Alert]

October 16, 2017

Nicole Sprinzen and Thomas Ingalls discuss the Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari and a forthcoming decision on the specific question of whether law enforcement authorities can use the SCA to obtain a third party’s foreign-stored electronic information under the SCA’s warrant provision.

New FinCEN Proposal Will Extend AML Rules to Currently Exempt Banks and Other Institutions [Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations Alert]

August 31, 2016

Nicole H. Sprinzen discusses a proposed rule by FinCEN that seeks to close a perceived “gap” in regulations intended to facilitate the government’s efforts to curb money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Supreme Court Overturns Former VA Governor’s Conviction Based on Narrowed Federal Bribery Definition [Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations]

June 28, 2016

Nicole H. Sprinzen and Emily Gurskis discuss the U.S. Supreme Court reversal and remand of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell on honest services fraud charges and charges that Governor McDonnell unlawfully obtained property under color of official right.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

Wall Street Journal Webinar

June 19, 2019 - Webinar

Georgetown Law’s 13th Annual eDiscovery Institute

November 10, 2016 - Washington, D.C.

Labor and Employment Law Issues in an Election Year

April 21, 2016 - Fort Lauderdale, FL


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

Awards & Honors

Super Lawyer 2017-2019

DCA Live’s 2019 Emerging Women Leaders in Law

  • 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