Enforcement authorities around the globe are aggressively enforcing anti-corruption legislation. In the U. S. the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission have declared this to be a “new era” of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or FCPA enforcement. This new era is characterized by an expansive approach to interpreting the statutes, increasingly large sums being paid by corporations to resolve FCPA inquiries and more prosecutions of individuals with demands for longer prison terms.
In the UK the Bribery Act came into force on July 1, 2011. While many decry the impact of FCPA enforcement, the UK Act promises to be even more expansive with harsher results. In many ways it is a strict liability version of the FCPA. It creates a strict liability offense where a bribe has been paid anywhere in the world, subject only to a defense that UK compliant anti-bribery procedures were in place. The Act also introduces a new personal offense for senior corporate officials and takes an expansive approach to jurisdiction.
Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Canada, Australia and others across the globe are stepping up anti-corruption enforcement. To date 38 countries have ratified the OECD Convention on Bribery of Foreign Public Officials In International Business Transactions which is similar to the FCPA.
All of this creates a challenging compliance environment for any company conducting business outside of its home country. This includes not just the multinational actively engaged in transactions around the globe but also the company doing an occasional cross-border transaction or acquisition.
In this “new era” effectively competing in international markets requires experienced counsel with a global view, skilled in navigating the complex currents of international anti-corruption laws and enforcement. Our attorneys have a depth of experience honed through decades of service with government enforcement agencies such as the DOJ and the SEC as well as in private practice counseling business organizations. That experience is bolstered a global view from offices in London, New York, Washington, Seattle, Sidney, Hong Kong and others business centers. Whether its reviewing compliance procedures, planning a one time cross-border transaction, making an acquisition, or successfully resolving an investigation by regulators such as the U.K. Serious Fraud Office or the U.S. DOJ and SEC, our experience will help guide your organization to the successful result it seeks.
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