Vigorous enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) has become a top priority for both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Recently, both have increased resources dedicated to FCPA enforcement.
At the same time, civil and criminal penalties for FCPA violations continue to grow, and DOJ has shown an increasing willingness to criminally prosecute individuals for FCPA violations.
In addition, many other nations have enacted and/or have begun to seriously enforce anti-corruption legislation of their own. Thus any business operating in the global marketplace must make the FCPA and anti-corruption an integral part of its business plan.
To assist clients in navigating the FCPA and other anti-corruption measures, Venable draws on attorneys from our Investigations/White-Collar and International Trade practices. This team includes:
- Former Assistant United States Attorneys with years of experience in leading international investigations, including FCPA investigations
- International trade lawyers who regularly advise corporations on the complex and ever-shifting requirements of the FCPA and other anti-corruption legislation and
- Former trial and staff attorneys for the DOJ and SEC
Our team further draws on the vast industry-specific experience of other Venable attorneys who have significant FCPA and anti-corruption experience. Additionally, Venable has long-established relationships with lawyers around the world to assist us in matters of foreign law that might impact FCPA compliance or an international investigation.
Firm in the belief that the best legal counsel prevents problems rather than reacts to them, we apply our regulatory know-how and years of experience to design FCPA/anti-corruption compliance programs for companies in the United States and abroad.
With the nuances of each client’s business in mind, we:
- create policies and procedures that address not only the FCPA, but also major non-U.S. anti-corruption legislations, such as the UK Bribery Act, and train employees and agents in the FCPA and other anti-corruption legislation
- analyze form documents such as purchase orders and distributorship agreements to decrease the company’s FCPA/anti-corruption exposure
- review supply chain operations to identify areas of potential exposure and risk throughout the logistics chain until final receipt and distribution
- design effective protocols to monitor FCPA/anti-corruption compliance
We also frequently conduct FCPA/anti-corruption pre-transaction due diligence to guard against successor liability and follow-on accounting or disclosure issues that could result in diminution in the value of contracts and other assets.
Venable additionally conducts FCPA/anti-corruption audits and transaction reviews to ensure that an organization's anti-corruption controls and policies are effective. We also conduct due diligence and provide background checks on agents, distributors, consultants, licensees, and joint venture and other business partners that could lead to FCPA/anti-corruption liability for a corporation.
We routinely advise clients on the permissibility of specific initiatives and payments, such as travel and entertainment expenses, promotional expenses, charitable contributions, and the hosting of educational seminars, among others. In recent years, Venable has provided anti-corruption advice to companies operating in the difficult compliance environment of the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones.
Conducting Internal Investigations
Venable attorneys have broad experience conducting FCPA and other international internal investigations. We gather the facts wherever they may be and analyze them from the perspective that comes from having dozens of years of DOJ and SEC experience. Our intimate knowledge of how these agencies conduct investigations enables clients to make sound business judgments in an often fast-moving environment.
We are well versed in the many potential issues associated with gathering information and interviewing witnesses abroad. To provide accurate and complete information and informed advice on potential actions, we rely on our former federal prosecutors and employ state-of-the-art computer forensics. Thus, our investigations are as close as possible to any investigation that the government would conduct.
At the same time, we understand the stress and disruption an internal investigation can cause for employees and management. Accordingly, we strive to conduct an investigation in a timely manner, while remaining sensitive to the corporation’s business needs and with as little disruption to the organization’s day-to-day business as possible.
Defending Your Company and Your People
Our FCPA team brings dozens of years of experience defending corporations and individuals in federal criminal SEC investigations involving the FCPA and other complex regulatory matters. Our attorneys know well the inner workings of DOJ and the SEC and combine this knowledge with vigorous investigation and advocacy to attempt to prevent charges or negotiate a favorable disposition. Should that not be possible, our FCPA team includes savvy and experienced trial lawyers with hundreds of federal jury trials to their credit.
- Transactional due diligence
- Internal investigations
- Defense of organizations and individuals
- Financial services
- Government contracting
- Life sciences/Medical devices
- Logistics/Freight forwarding
- Non-profit associations
- Software engineering