Hughes Hubbard & Reed today released its 2022 FCPA Alert, a comprehensive review of the global cases, trends and enforcement actions that impacted anti-corruption law, multinational corporations and individuals to date this calendar year. For the 13th consecutive year, the highly respected and anticipated annual FCPA Alert highlights the most important trends and lessons for in-house counsel and compliance professionals.
The FCPA Alert’s contributors, led by Laura N. Perkins and Kevin T. Abikoff, co-chairs of Hughes Hubbard’s Anti-Corruption & Internal Investigations practice group, expect enforcement to surge – due in part to the Biden Administration’s recent memorandum on combatting corruption. Their analysis of recent enforcement actions suggests that going forward:
-The Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission will be cooperating with an expansive number of domestic agencies and divisions to conduct complex bribery investigations, as well as a growing number of non-US enforcement agencies.
-Companies that have resolved FCPA matters through NPAs, DPAs or plea agreements should expect increased scrutiny and attention to compliance with ongoing obligations under such agreements.
-While commodities traders, in particular, can expect greater scrutiny, enforcement will continue in a diverse array of traditional and non-traditional industries and in high-risk jurisdictions, with special emphasis on the independence and authority of corporate compliance functions and complete and timely cooperation with enforcement agencies.
The 153-page Alert provides detailed descriptions of key matters from 2020 and 2021 that support these and other key takeaways.
“As enforcement leadership has evolved this year under a new administration in Washington, we’ve witnessed renewed vigor in the investigation and prosecution of bribery and corruption in the United States and abroad,” said Abikoff. “As the regulators continue to leverage greater resources and reach into new industries, it is vital that companies and compliance departments remain vigilant in enforcing their compliance programs.”
The Alert also contains a deep dive into anti-bribery enforcement and developments in France, Brazil, United Kingdom, China, Mexico, and by multilateral development banks. For the first time, the Alert includes a discussion of the rapidly developing intersection between transnational corruption issues and international arbitration. This discussion highlights examples of how tribunals and courts have treated corruption claims in arbitration in recent years and provides insight into key questions raised by bringing claims in arbitration proceedings, regarding the burden of proof, the identification and treatment of red flags, and the impact of government investigations.
“An effective compliance program is more than words on paper,” said Perkins, a former supervisor in the DOJ’s FCPA Unit. “Prosecutors will pursue companies that have established but ineffective programs in place. It’s critical that companies adequately staff and empower their compliance departments, conduct due diligence, address red flags and allegations, and follow-though on their obligations. Every year, our analysis cites example after example of the downsides to a lack of vigilance. Especially given the expected surge in enforcement now is not the time to take your eye off the ball.”
The complete report is available for download here.
About the Anti-Corruption & Investigations Practice Group
Hughes Hubbard’s Anti-Corruption & Internal Investigations Practice Group handles the full range of matters across the anti-corruption and compliance spectrum. It has conducted investigations in more than 90 countries involving the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws, resolved investigations and won landmark decisions for clients before U.S. and international authorities, and has served as compliance monitors approved by the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and the United Nations.
Lawyers in the group include former senior government enforcement officials, corporate compliance counsel, foreign-trained attorneys and certified public accountants located in the United States and France. The group has many longstanding relationships with leading local firms in countries across the world with which it works closely on cross-border matters, including a strategic cooperation agreement with leading Brazilian anti-corruption firm Saud Advogados.
About Hughes Hubbard
Hughes Hubbard & Reed is a New York City-based international law firm that offers clients results-focused legal services and a collaborative approach across a broad range of practices. Hughes Hubbard was founded in 1888 by the renowned jurist and statesman Charles Evans Hughes. The firm is a leader in promoting diversity and is recognized for its pro bono achievements. For more information, visit hugheshubbard.com.