For years, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) repeatedly emphasized that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an enforcement priority. Their actions have borne this out. From 2002 to 2013, the DOJ and SEC resolved over 95 FCPA actions against corporations, resulting in fines and penalties totaling more than $4 billion. The DOJ has also charged more than 85 individuals criminally. Over 100 companies and individuals have disclosed that they are the subject of current FCPA investigations and numerous other investigations are not yet public. In this environment, it is imperative that companies and their executives work diligently to ensure compliance with the FCPA and develop plans to address potential violations of the Act and related government enforcement actions.
Wiley Rein’s multi-disciplinary FCPA Practice has the expertise to navigate clients through this high risk area of law. Our FCPA attorneys are experienced in structuring and implementing effective corporate compliance programs designed to prevent violations. Should problems arise, Wiley Rein’s FCPA Team possesses the skills necessary to investigate and defend complex enforcement actions. Our work on FCPA matters includes:
- Regularly counseling Fortune 500 clients on compliance with the FCPA;
- Conducting due diligence on target or newly-acquired companies, international agents, joint venture partners, and other third parties across the globe;
- Providing annual audit and compliance advice to companies under a consent decree with the DOJ;
- Developing and providing regular FCPA training for publicly-traded and privately-held companies and private equity firms;
- Developing FCPA and anti-corruption compliance programs for entities in a variety of industries, especially in the defense, communications, and financial services sectors; and
- Representing companies and senior corporate executives in DOJ criminal and SEC civil investigative matters.
Our FCPA Practice counsels a wide variety of clients, including government contractors, financial institutions, manufacturers, insurers, communications providers, and energy, engineering, private equity, hospitality, technology, and construction companies. We have handled FCPA issues related to our clients’ business transactions in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. Our clients include public and privately held companies of all sizes, trade associations, and senior corporate executives.
Wiley Rein’s FCPA Team includes former federal prosecutors, experienced international attorneys, seasoned compliance counsel, and strategic litigators. These attorneys work with and are supported by a highly-sophisticated interdisciplinary team of lawyers from our Government Contracts, Telecommunications, Insurance, White Collar Defense & Government Investigations, International Trade, Election Law & Government Ethics, and Food & Drug Law groups, among others.
Risk-Based, Cost-Effective Compliance Programs
Wiley Rein recognizes that a well-conceived and executed compliance program is the single most essential element in preventing FCPA violations. However, to be effective, a compliance program must be appropriately tailored to a company’s actual risk profile. We assist clients in developing individualized compliance programs to minimize both the risk and the adverse consequences of improper conduct. We regularly help companies with:
- Publishing company-wide ethics manuals;
- Conducting training programs and seminars;
- Establishing mechanisms for coordinating/operating the compliance program;
- Conducting due diligence on third parties;
- Assisting with audits;
- Maintaining accurate accounting and record-keeping systems; and
- Setting up anonymous reporting procedures.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Wiley Rein’s attorneys methodically analyze mergers and acquisitions on behalf of both buyers and sellers to ascertain the potential for FCPA violations. Our analysis also looks for possible regulatory pitfalls and liability risks that may be assumed by the successor company. Our professionals counsel companies through the merger and acquisition process by:
- Assisting buyers and sellers in conducting FCPA due diligence;
- Handling internal investigations arising out of corporate due diligence;
- Providing for appropriate discipline of all offenders; and
- Implementing rigorous anti-corruption compliance policies and internal controls to avoid future FCPA problems.
Wiley Rein’s FCPA attorneys handle all aspects of criminal and civil proceedings, as well as internal investigations and voluntary disclosures. We conduct internal FCPA investigations for companies in a wide-range of industries, including defense, financial, insurance, aeronautical, freight, energy, construction, pharmaceutical, and engineering with an eye toward minimizing clients’ potential exposure. At the same time, our team is well-prepared to handle DOJ or SEC proceedings, should they arise.
Wiley Rein’s involvement in enforcement actions and our ability to identify recurring SEC and DOJ enforcement patterns allow us to provide valuable counsel to clients and determine their best course of action should agency intervention seem imminent.
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