Our practice includes devising compliance programs for clients, counseling them as compliance issues arise in the establishment or performance of an international venture, training marketing and other employees (including web-based training), conducting internal investigations, and defending clients in the course of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and grand jury investigations.
For example, we drafted the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance policy for a major U.S. aerospace company and established its due diligence procedures for the evaluation and retention of foreign sales representatives and consultants. We subsequently performed training of the company's marketing personnel and of all the foreign-based distributors for one of its major exporting subsidiaries.
While the sensitivity of many matters precludes identification of specific representations, we regularly help clients answer questions such as the following:
- What do you do when a reseller in Latin America resists payment of overdue amounts in part on the grounds that he has made payments to foreign government officials?
- How do you respond to allegations that foreign affiliate's employee has made an offer of payment to foreign government official in connection with a pending tender for a World Bank financed project in a former Soviet republic?
- Are there proactive steps that you can take to avoid criminal liability when you discover that your manufacturing subsidiary has paid a bribe in connection with a pending sale to foreign government?
In some instances, we have been called upon to investigate the bona fides of a recorded transaction in order to ensure compliance with the FCPA's books and records provisions.
Suspension and Debarment
Finally, where indictment cannot be avoided or settlement is prudent, our experience in debarment and suspension matters makes us uniquely well prepared to address the issues globally. Indictment (or conviction) under the FCPA has collateral consequences for a company's export and government business that require consideration in devising an appropriate resolution.