DOJ and SEC Issue Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Guidance

November 19, 2012

On November 14, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a rare and comprehensive publication titled “A Resource Guide to the FCPA,” which sets forth guidance regarding the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

While the much-anticipated guidance breaks little new legal ground and is non-binding, it is an essential consolidation of the government’s positions on many issues that frequently arise under the FCPA, including the definition of a foreign official, the propriety of travel and entertainment expenses, successor liability following mergers for FCPA violations, the characteristics of an appropriate corporate compliance program, and potential outcomes and penalties for FCPA violations. The guidance also provides numerous case studies and examples of conduct that would or would not likely lead to enforcement action. This Dechert OnPoint summarizes the highlights of the 120-page guidance.

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