Mr Green’s proposed amendment to the Act would give the [Serious Fraud Office] greater power to take direct action against companies, by enabling the SFO to levy US-type fines, and to stigmatise corporates for abetting bribery and financial crimes committed by employees.
The risk of corruption in the global energy trading sector can create problems for companies in both the regulatory and arbitration contexts.
— Attorneys from King & Spalding on corruption risks in the global energy trading sector.
The aim of the DPA is to incentivise cooperation from organisations under investigation by offering a negotiated resolution (in the form of a court-sanctioned, written settlement) in order to avoid the potentially catastrophic consequences of a conviction in the criminal courts. In return for compliance, the prosecutor will defer and ultimately discontinue criminal prosecution.
— Attorney Duncan Grieve and Kevin Roberts of Morrison & Foerster on the arrival of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) to fight corporate crime, corruption, and bribery in the UK.
We must clearly define acceptable limits of both giving and receiving. Many organizations want to put specific and low limits on what employees can receive, but insist on keeping “squishy” language on what marketing and sales (and executives) can give.
— Executives: The Organization’s Gifts Policy Also Applies to You (Carrie Penman of NAVEX Global)
What is clear is that the SFO will not shy away from commencing complex international corruption investigations into large corporations such as Rolls-Royce. The SFO is keen to show that it will investigate and, in the “right case”, prosecute organisations and individuals that have breached the Bribery Act or the law predating the act.
— Attorneys Audrey Dwyer, Nicholas Greenwood, and David Waldron of Morgan Lewis on the UK Serious Fraud Office’s criminal investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption at Rolls-Royce.
Although bribery is an integral part of daily life in many countries and can seem a prerequisite to obtaining or advancing any project, the perils awaiting foreigners who adapt to corrupt cultural norms are substantial.
— Peter Seidman of WeComply in Walk a Straight Line — Even if All Roads Are Crooked
According to the acting head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Mythili Raman, [Alcoa World Alumina LLC] admitted to “involvement in a corrupt international underworld in which a middleman, secretly held offshore bank accounts, and shell companies were used to funnel bribes to government officials to secure business.”
— Attorney Michael Rosensaft of Katten on Alcoa’s recent $348 million fine for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the fourth-largest FCPA settlement in history.
From attorneys at Shearman & Sterling, an impressive 744-page digest of 2013 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases, official communications, and trends:
“Last year, we noted that 2012 had been ‘a fairly slow time’ in terms of corporate enforcement actions, with twelve enforcement actions against corporations. 2013 was slower still, with only nine corporate enforcement actions. There was a steep increase in corporate fines, however, and enforcement against individuals saw a marked increase, from five in 2012 to sixteen in 2013—eight of whom pleaded guilty…”
1. Executive Order 13627 on Trafficking in Government Contracts — Enforcement Begins
2. Compliance with California’s Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 Finally Required
3. OFAC Civil Enforcement Continues to Shift Away from Individuals and Nonfinancial Companies.
4. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Related Enforcement Regains Momentum
5. Non-U.S. Anti-Corruption Enforcement (and, in Particular, German Enforcement) On the Rise
6. “Carbon Copy” Prosecutions the “New Normal”
7. Conflict Minerals Rules Enforcement in Full Force
8. “Anticipatory Obstruction of Justice” Charges Gain Traction
9. Increased SEC Action on Whistleblower Complaints
10. Compliance Professionals Will Expand their Subject-Matter Expertise
2014 is set to be Brazil’s year. The FIFA World Cup is expected to bring 600,000 international visitors to 12 host cities, inject R$25 billion (£6.6 billion) into the economy and present Brazil’s vibrant culture to more than 700 million viewers worldwide. With the eyes of the world on Brazil, 2014 will also be the year that the country signals its intention to get tough on corruption; a problem which is perceived to have historically restricted economic growth and inhibited foreign investment.
On discovering corruption in a target’s business, a potential buyer may choose, or even be obliged under whistleblower rules to disclose a compliance issue to a regulator. If the regulator uncovers widespread corrupt conduct in the target, this may not only result in the collapse of the sale, but also significant fines, penalties and remediation costs for the target.
Recap: What Anti-Corruption Authorities Want In-House Lawyers and Compliance Officers to Know About Enforcement
From Corporate Law Report:
Did you miss the 30th International Conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act earlier this month? Not to worry: attorneys at Akin Gump have distilled some of the key discussions into a series of helpful updates on anti-corruption and bribery compliance.
The FCPA may have its flaws, but it is not anti-business.
At a Chinese subsidiary of a publicly-traded multinational that has implemented this sort of values-based approach, a local employee once told me, ‘We have a stronger compliance culture than our competitors, and we regularly lose business to them. But I wouldn’t trade jobs; I’m glad I work here.’ Talking about values is a first step; demonstrating that they are truly ‘valued’ must come next…
What’s missing from your corporate compliance program? It could be any of a number of items, according to our latest JD Supra Legal Perspective, including:
- A value-based approach
- Periodic testing and review
- Crisis management plans
- Commitment built into the corporate culture
- Unshakable commitment to integrity and ethics
- Integration with the daily flow of business
For the full perspective, read: What’s the One Thing Missing From Your Corporate Compliance Program?