dcsimg Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Over the last several years there has been an unprecedented rise in the number, severity and scope of FCPA enforcement actions by the U.S. government. Foreign and international anticorruption laws and standards are also aggressively increasing. Key developments include:

  • Introduction of sting operations as a new enforcement tool in the FCPA arena.
  • Increased emphasis on effective compliance programs as a primary aggravating or mitigating factor in determining FCPA penalties (including imprisonment).
  • Increased FCPA prosecutions and imprisonment of senior executives, holding them accountable for plans and actions of employees even without direct knowledge of the improper activities.
  • Increased liability for improper payments by third parties acting on behalf of companies, even without direct knowledge.
  • The UK’s passage of comprehensive legislation — Bribery Act 2010 — modeled after, but reaching beyond, the FCPA.

We not only defend clients facing allegations of violating the FCPA, we also work proactively to help clients ensure compliance with it. FCPA anti-bribery and accounting provisions impose a number of obligations on domestic companies, regardless of whether they have foreign operations.

The FCPA may also trigger severe criminal and civil penalties for companies and their officers, employees and agents who fail to adhere to its obligations. For example, individuals who violate the anti-bribery provisions may be fined up to $100,000 and/or serve five years of imprisonment. Individuals who violate the accounting provisions may be fined up to $5 million and imprisoned for up to 20 years. Companies and individuals are also subject to potential enforcement actions brought by the SEC.

FCPA compliance training at all levels of an organization can help companies avoid violating FCPA mandates. We have found that a company can substantially improve its chances of avoiding FCPA violations by investing in policy development, training and periodic compliance audits. The cost of this type of investment is comparatively small when assessed side by side with the investment required to defend a company against a government inquiry.

However, the core value of an FCPA compliance program may be that it serves to deter employees from engaging in conduct that may come within the FCPA’s purview — conduct that may be normal and customary in certain foreign countries. The FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions are broad and proscribe authorizing — even offering or promising — payment to a foreign official to assist a company or obtain an improper advantage.

A compliance program could alleviate the widespread misconception among employees that facilitating business in foreign countries justifies payments to foreign officials. It is also likely to empower employees to resist the urge to surrender to undue pressures from foreign officials.

The FCPA also imposes record-keeping and internal control obligations that apply only to public companies. Our attorneys help clients effectively navigate the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the SEC, both of which reward effective compliance and ethics programs.

CONTACTS

Howard C. Vick Jr. Partner T: +1 804 775 4340
J. Patrick Rowan Partner T: +1 202 857 1758
Results 1-7 of 7

RESULTS DEPEND ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR OUTCOME.

Representative Matter

Fortune 500 company

Conducted FCPA programme review and audit for a Fortune 500 company covering its businesses in North America, Europe and Asia, including site reviews of operations throughout Eastern and Western Europe.
Representative Matter

Global Fortune 500 company

Assisted a global Fortune 500 mixed industrial company with a corporate risk assessment as part of a global risk assessment initiative across the company’s operations in dozens of countries around the world.
Representative Matter

Fortune 500 financial services company and global 150 international shopping conglomerate

Completed compliance gap analyses through representation of a Fortune 500 banking/financial services client and a Fortune Global 150 international shipping conglomerate. The first focused specifically on the banking/financial services client’s anticorruption compliance program and its handling of FCPA and UKBA considerations. The second involved review of several different substantive areas of the shipping client’s compliance program, including anticorruption, as part of a corporate restructuring that moved a line of business and responsibility for certain Latin American operations under the oversight of the client’s North American operations.
Representative Matter

Client in purchase of several lines business

Provided FCPA-related M&A due diligence review for a client purchasing several lines of business from a Fortune 500 company, including business units subject to the terms of DOJ and SEC settlement agreements related to violations of the UN's Iraq Oil-for-Food program.
Representative Matter

Major mobile phone companies

Assisted two major mobile phone companies in USD $2 billion fraud defense in a multi-jurisdictional asset tracing and recovery action, including obtaining freezing orders and attachment orders in many countries.
Representative Matter

Fortune 10 company

Conducted a series of FCPA reviews and investigations for a Fortune 10 company regarding its business operations in countries throughout the world, including site reviews of facilities in North and South America. This includes engagement with the DOJ and SEC.
Representative Matter

Fortune 500 industrial company

Defense of a Fortune 500 industrial client in a criminal investigation of alleged export control violations resulting in the most significant export control settlement to date ($100 million fine, five-year deferred prosecution agreement and extensive independent monitoring, auditing and compliance reorganization requirements). Ongoing counsel from McGuireWoods included a three-year audit cycle covering all of its business units across six continents with on-site audit activities at facilities in roughly two dozen countries.
Results 1-7 of 7
Maurice A Bellan Maurice A. Bellan
Partner
2001 K Street N.W.
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006-1040

7 Saint Paul Street
Suite 1000
Baltimore, MD 21202-1671

T: +1 202 857 2400
F: +1 202 828 2981
vCard

T:+1 410 659 4438
F: +1 410 659 4599

Ryan Bonistalli Ryan E. Bonistalli
Associate
One James Center
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4030

T: +1 804 775 1014
F: +1 804 698 2036
vCard
Alex J Brackett Alex J. Brackett
Partner
One James Center
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4030

T: +1 804 775 4749
F: +1 804 698 2089
vCard
Jeremy S Byrum Jeremy S. Byrum
Partner
One James Center
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4030

T: +1 804 775 4305
F: +1 804 698 2080
vCard
Christina M Egan Christina M. Egan
Partner
77 West Wacker Drive
Suite 4100
Chicago, IL 60601-1818

T: +1 312 750 8644
F: +1 312 698 4502
vCard
James C Freije James C. Freije
Attorney
2001 K Street N.W.
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006-1040

T: +1 202 857 1702
F: +1 202 828 3314
vCard
Jeffrey M Hanna Jeffrey M. Hanna
Associate
One James Center
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4030

T: +1 804 775 1001
F: +1 804 698 4671
vCard
Robert Plotkin Robert Plotkin
Partner
2001 K Street N.W.
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006-1040

1345 Avenue of the Americas
7th Floor
New York, NY 10105-0106

T: +1 202 857 1750
F: +1 202 828 2970
vCard

T:+1 212 548 7098
F: +1 212 548 2150

Matthew J Reynolds Matthew J. Reynolds
Associate
One James Center
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4030

T: +1 804 775 1192
F: +1 804 440 7729
vCard
Vivian Robinson QC Vivian Robinson QC
Partner
11 Pilgrim Street
London EC4V 6RN
United Kingdom

T: +44 20 7632 1732
F: +44 20 7632 1638
vCard
J. Patrick Rowan J. Patrick Rowan
Partner
2001 K Street N.W.
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006-1040

T: +1 202 857 1758
F: +1 202 828 3304
vCard
Stephen B Sandover Stephen B. Sandover
Counsel
1345 Avenue of the Americas
7th Floor
New York, NY 10105-0106

T: +1 212 548 7006
F: +1 212 715 2313
vCard
James A Sherman James A. Sherman
Attorney
2001 K Street N.W.
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006-1040

T: +1 202 828 2889
F: +1 202 828 2972
vCard
Howard C Vick Jr. Howard C. Vick Jr.
Partner
One James Center
901 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-4030

T: +1 804 775 4340
F: +1 804 698 2247
vCard
Molly White Molly M. White
Partner
1800 Century Park East
8th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067-1501

T: +1 310 956 3423
F: +1 310 956 3143
vCard
Results 1-1 of 1
Speaking Engagement

Compliance with the UK Bribery Act for Private Equity Firms

December 18, 2012
Video Seminar
Results 1-1 of 1
Results 1-8 of 8
Publication

The GRCI Resource Guide

April 2014
Legal Alert

Brazil’s Clean Companies Act Comes into Effect

Subject to Inquiry
February 6, 2014
Legal Alert

2014 Food Industry Outlook

January 8, 2014
Legal Alert

Brazil is the Latest Country to Change the Anticorruption Landscape

Subject to Inquiry
August 27, 2013
Legal Alert

The DOJ's Guiding Principles of Enforcement

Bribery Library
November 26, 2012
Legal Alert

SEC and DOJ Release Long Awaited FCPA Guidance

Bribery Library
November 16, 2012
Results 1-8 of 8