FCPA, U.K. Bribery Act & Anti-Corruption

Crowell & Moring's White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group was named as one of Law360's 10 "FCPA Powerhouses" in 2013 for its prowess in handling FCPA matters.

This recognition occurred during a time period that has witnessed an unparalleled upward trend in enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Given this robust enforcement and the passage of analogous legislation in other countries, companies and executives are recognizing the need for proactive counseling and the development of sophisticated and reliable compliance programs to reduce the risks inherent in doing business around the world. When companies learn of potential FCPA problems within their business environments, they must act carefully and quickly to minimize the impact of potential government intervention.

Crowell & Moring is often counsel of choice in these situations because our attorneys have represented and counseled clients in FCPA compliance, investigations, and litigation for decades in over 80 countries spanning all six inhabited continents of the globe. The frequency and scope of such representations has only increased with the rise in enforcement and the advent of the expansive U.K. Bribery Act and "carbon copy" provisions. We have extensive experience defending clients under investigation, counseling on compliance issues, providing proactive training programs, conducting internal audits and investigations, and negotiating resolutions of government probes. In 2011, we litigated one of the very few FCPA cases ever to go to trial and obtained a complete dismissal of the charges against our client.

An exceptional attribute of our anticorruption practice is the depth of experience our lawyers have within the government agencies that enforce these laws. As a result, our lawyers are highly knowledgeable of the application of the FCPA and, equally important, the government's approach to its enforcement. For example, our team includes individuals who held senior positions within the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and who handled numerous FCPA investigations and enforcement actions in the role of prosecutor or regulator. One member of our team has 30 years of experience in international procurement and trade, including anticorruption compliance and investigations. Another member of our team held numerous positions during his 12 years in the DOJ and at the SEC, including assistant chief of DOJ's Fraud Section and senior counsel in the SEC's Enforcement Division. Another spent almost nine years in SEC Enforcement and as a Justice Department prosecutor. Additionally, Crowell & Moring has numerous former federal prosecutors as well as lawyers with extensive experience in debarment and other adverse collateral consequences. Our approach to FCPA matters entails composing a team that matches the needs of the client and the matter, and our deep bench affords us the ability to find that fit while respecting our clients' business imperatives.

Representative Engagements

  • Medical Device Manufacturer – Drafted and implemented anti-corruption compliance policies and procedures including Local Compliance Officer Handbook and third party due diligence materials.
  • Ralph Lauren Corporation – Conducted an internal investigation of FCPA issues in Argentina including multiple witness interviews, email, and document reviews in two languages. Led self-reporting to both SEC and DOJ and orchestrated all remediation efforts including risk assessments, compliance and training review and implementation. Outcome: negotiated unprecedented dual non-prosecution agreements (NPAs) with SEC and DOJ. This was the first ever non-prosecution agreement that the SEC had entered into involving the FCPA. Achieved a substantial discount of the monetary penalties and convinced both the DOJ and SEC not to impose a corporate monitor. Drafted and presented annual NPA compliance reports to DOJ/SEC in the course of its two-year reporting term under the non-prosecution agreements, which concluded in April 2015.
  • Magyar Telekom – Represented former NYSE-listed company during six year internal, DOJ/SEC investigation. Revamped anti-corruption/ethics program and procurement controls for operations throughout Eastern Europe. Provided regular reports to board of directors. Outcome: negotiated two-year deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with DOJ. Drafted and presented annual DPA compliance reports to DOJ/SEC. Secured dismissal of criminal information upon successful conclusion of DPA.
  • Counsel to Monitor for Multinational Corporation – Represent DOJ/SEC appointed monitor of a multinational corporation under three year deferred prosecution agreement. Assist with annual worldwide risk and control assessments and reports to DOJ/SEC. Ongoing.
  • Multinational Software Distributor – Internal investigation and DOJ/SEC investigation of potential FCPA violations. Investigation, witness interviews, forensic review, and in-depth analysis of legal consequences and briefing corporate management. Outcome: declination.
  • Aviation Company – Internal investigation, self-reporting, and negotiations with DOJ in connection with FCPA issues concerning Middle Eastern government customer of entity acquired by private equity firm. Outcome: declination.
  • International Freight Forwarding Company – Represented company and CEO in connection with FCPA allegations in West Africa. Outcome: negotiated private non-prosecution agreements from DOJ for both company and CEO.
  • International Satellite Corporation – Represent international satellite company with numerous foreign affiliates in connection with investigation of whistleblower allegation of multiple FCPA violations. Ongoing.
  • After a criminal trial lasting over five weeks in federal court, in one of the few FCPA cases to go to verdict, obtained a dismissal with prejudice of all charges against our client, including allegations of improper payments to government officials in Mexico, based on prosecutorial misconduct.
  • Advising a publicly traded company during their pre-acquisition due diligence and post-acquisition due diligence of the target's operations in Peru and Chile. The investigation has included: in-country interviews, document collection and review, compliance policy assessments, coordination with local counsel, interactions with the target's counsel, direction of forensic accounting support, coordination with the client in conducting a post-acquisition risk assessment and compliance program implementation and providing ongoing advice to the General Counsel and other senior officers regarding the results of the review and related risk mitigation.
  • Defense of numerous other companies and individual executives in various investigations crossing numerous industries, including freight forwarding, international distribution, oil and gas, defense, and international investment; geographic areas covered recently include: Angola, Argentina, Bahrain, China, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, El Salvador, Ghana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama and Singapore.