As anti-corruption enforcement is stepped up around the world, international corporations are coming under increasing scrutiny over their business conduct. In the United States, the number of actions brought by the government has increased dramatically since the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice made enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) a priority. Likewise, the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office has particularly targeted allegations of corruption since the UK Bribery Act came into law in 2010.
In the future, businesses operating in the global marketplace must face the possibility of contending with parallel investigations in several countries. As sanctions can be daunting, global businesses must make compliance with the FCPA, the UK Bribery Act and other anti-corruption laws an integral part of their business planning. Moreover, they must properly investigate and take appropriate actions in the event of irregularities.
A Broad Practice
Dechert’s global corporate investigations, white collar crime and compliance team has deep expertise in preventing and resolving anti-corruption compliance issues. Many team members are former federal prosecutors, government regulators or compliance officers, who work collaboratively with colleagues based in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
We bring particular expertise to bear in locations where clients face significant challenges, such as China, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
Our clients include worldwide leaders in industries such as:
- financial services
Our compliance and investigations team is consistently ranked in the top tier by publications such as Chambers, Benchmark Litigation, The Legal 500, Law360, and Who’s Who Legal – The International Who’s Who of Business Crime Lawyers.
Dechert lawyers also have considerable experience investigating and advising on matters of tax and accounting fraud, money laundering and insider trading. In addition, we advise on sanctions and export control issues.
Anti-Corruption Compliance Counseling
Our anti-corruption compliance services are founded on the design, implementation and enforcement of effective anti-corruption programs. Our lawyers draft policies and procedures to train personnel, conduct due diligence and assist with risk management. We identify company-specific risks related to bribery, fraud and corruption and implement solutions to mitigate those risks in numerous jurisdictions.
Our team assists clients in all phases of their compliance and risk mitigation approach, from evaluating existing programs to developing new policies and procedures.
Additional services include:
- monitoring client compliance programs pursuant to agreements with the government
- risk assessments and internal investigations
- designing effective protocols to monitor FCPA, Bribery Act and other anti-corruption compliance
Dechert lawyers frequently counsel clients on anti-corruption issues related to mergers, acquisitions, strategic alliances and joint ventures involving international businesses and sales operations. We also perform due diligence and provide strategic guidance to companies and executives facing anti-corruption compliance challenges throughout the world.
Education, training and testing are important components of the adequacy procedures required for anti-bribery compliance. Many testing programs, which simply gauge an individual’s knowledge or ability to pass an assessment, are not as effective as they could be.
In our experience, the people most dangerous to an organization in the anti-corruption context are those who lack a proper understanding of the issue but nonetheless believe themselves to be well-informed. We aim to help clients identify such people and thus forecast the risk that the organization breaches the law through ignorance or misunderstanding on the part of its personnel.
DechertComprehend is an online appraisal tool that helps companies gain confidence that their employees sufficiently understand the ramifications of decision-making in pressurized situations. The program tests and gauges individuals’ bribery and corruption “understanding gap” by not only assessing how well they recognize what is considered appropriate or inappropriate behavior but also by gauging the confidence in their answers.
DechertComprehend is programmable, scalable and multi-jurisdictional. Based on silent coding, it allows a company to compare and contrast levels of risk among regions, offices and types of employee, allowing resources to be targeted more effectively to the areas of greatest need.
The appraisal tool also checks the effectiveness of existing training and helps companies demonstrate that they are meeting compliance obligations towards continued monitoring and review.
Internal and External Corporate Investigations and Regulatory Proceedings
Dechert lawyers are among the world’s leading practitioners dealing with internal and government investigations. We have an impressive track record of resolving sensitive matters discreetly and favorably, without prosecution, including those precipitated by whistleblower reports or by internal or external audit findings.
We are frequently called upon to handle important and sensitive cross-border investigations in areas such as:
- commercial corruption
- accounting restatements and insider trading
- money laundering
- asset-tracing and recovery
- cartel investigations
We regularly defend public and private companies and their foreign affiliates in complex internal and government investigations involving allegations of corruption and bribery. We advise companies and senior officers, audit committees and boards of directors on all relevant issues, such as voluntary disclosure, disciplinary and remedial measures and local law.
With a detailed knowledge of anti-corruption laws and enforcement agency practices in many countries, we regularly coordinate complex, multi-jurisdictional investigations. We have represented clients in some of the most complex and far-reaching anti-corruption cases around the world, including those launched by:
- U.S. Department of Justice
- Securities and Exchange Commission
- Treasury Department
- Commodity Futures Trading Commission
- Internal Revenue Service
- FINRA and other self-regulatory organizations
- state attorney generals
- securities regulatory agencies
- the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office
- Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs
- the U.K.’s Securities and Futures Authority (now the Financial Conduct Authority)
- Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong