Grab your beverage of choice, find some shade, and sit back and enjoy the recent work product of FCPA Inc – plus the recent annual report of the OECD Working Group on Bribery.
Gibson Dunn recently released it 2012 mid-year FCPA update (see here). The update begins as follows. “As the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act turns 35 years old, the spike in enforcement activity that we first observed five years ago appears (at least for the moment) to be leveling off. Nevertheless, numerous developments this year bespeak a statute that is maturing rather than falling into obscurity: the first sustained pattern of trial activity; increasing “private attorney general” enforcement; and serious policy debates between industry, executive, and legislative interests leading up to much-anticipated statutory guidance from government regulators. The first half of 2012 was packed with important FCPA developments.” Thereafter, the update is a buffet of useful information and summaries including recent sentencing activity, a discussion of FCPA-related civil litigation, legislative and policy developments, U.K. developments, and a handy chart containing DOJ and SEC statements on corporate cooperation.
Another Gibson Dunn update you should read concerns NPA and DPAs. The firm recently released (here) its mid-year update on corporate deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements. As noted in the update, once again among the most frequent use of such agreements is to resolve FCPA enforcement actions.
Speaking of NPAs and DPAs, Law36o carried an article yesterday titled “DOJ Develops a Taste for Deferred Prosecution Deals.” I liked what Skadden partner John Carroll (here) had to say – that such agreements are a “way for the government to outsource its work and harvest relatively easy settlements” because “the government only has to win the case in the government’s office; it doesn’t have to win in the courtroom.”
Miller & Chevalier recently released its FCPA Summer Review 2012 (see here). The review begins as follows. “‘Expectant’ describes the mood of FCPA practitioners during the first half of 2012. With a slow first half of the year for enforcement releases, and expected developments such as the issuance of the new FCPA Guidance around the corner, the second half of 2012 should be eventful, if not historic, for the 35-year old statute.” Thereafter, the review contains several goodies such as a chart containing known declinations in FCPA investigations 2008 to the present, “comings” and “goings” in the DOJ’s FCPA team, and how a recent district court rulings(discussed in this previous post) appears to have impacted the deferred prosecution agreement in the recent Data Systems enforcement action (see here for the previous post).
Debevoise & Plimpton
Debevoise & Plimpton recently released its periodic FCPA Update (see here). Among other things, the update contains an article on the “current status of the ‘selective waiver’ doctrine, i.e., the notion that a waiver of attorney-client privilege or work-product protection in a submission to the government is not a ‘waiver to all others.’” As the article notes, this is often an issue for counsel to consider in FCPA investigatons when disclosing to the DOJ or SEC.
Sidley Austin recently released its anti-corruption quarterly (see here). Although the quarterly did not include a certain FCPA related development from the second quarter, it did contain an informative lead article concerning FCPA joint venture liability.
OECD Annual Report
The OECD Working Group on Bribery recently released its annual report (here). Spectacular it is not. For all the good the OECD does in raising awareness of bribery and its effects and seeking to reduce bribery and corruption around the world, its enforcement statistics remain misleading, incomplete and in some cases inaccurate.
For instance, as noted in this prior post, it is fairly obvious why OECD member countries have varying degrees of enforcement of bribery and corruption offenses. Among other reasons, in most OECD member countries, prosecuting authorities have two choices – to prosecute or not to prosecute – there is no such thing as non-prosecution or deferred prosecution agreements. Moreover, in many OECD member countries there is no such thing as corporate criminal liability – or even if there is – such corporate liability can only be based on the actions of high-ranking executives or officers. This of course is materially different than the U.S. respondeat superior standard in which a business organization can face legal liability based on the actions of any employee to the extent the employee was acting within the scope of his or her duties and to the extent the conduct was intended to benefit, at least in part, the organization.
The OECD’s statistics as to the U.S. are incomplete. Footnotes in the report state that DOJ and SEC enforcement actions “exclusively for violations of the books and records and internal control provisions of the FCPA” are not captured. This misses a meaningful chunk of FCPA enforcement actions as it is common for the DOJ and SEC to structure settlements (so as to avoid collateral consequences or to reward cooperation or both) without charging FCPA anti-bribery violations (such as in Siemens and Daimler).
Moreover, the OECD statistics as to the U.S. are inaccurate in some cases. In a table “Decisions on Foreign Bribery Cases from 1999 to December 2011,” in a column titled number of individuals and legal persons acquitted / found not liable, the report indicates that only 1 individual or legal person has been acquitted or found not liable in a U.S. foreign bribery case. Not true.
A good weekend to all.