TransPerfect Legal Solutions Hosts Panel Discussion on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)

12/20/2010

With FCPA Investigations Trending Upward, Panel Urges Corporations to Adopt Enhanced Risk Management Practice

NEW YORK, December 20, 2010 – TransPerfect Legal Solutions (TLS), the world’s leading provider of global legal support services, hosted a panel discussion in New York to address current trends and best practices associated with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The panel featured industry experts and was attended by approximately 100 representatives from leading Fortune 500 companies and firms nationwide. 

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 is a United States federal law that makes it unlawful for US corporations to make payments to foreign government officials for the purpose of obtaining or keeping business.¹ The FCPA also requires companies whose securities are listed in the United States to devise and maintain an adequate system of internal accounting controls that accurately and fairly reflect the transactions of the corporation.²

The current number of active FCPA investigations in the Department of Justice (DOJ) pipeline stands at more than 120—a single-year record since its enactment. The overall dollar volume in fines in 2010 alone has exceeded all previous years combined. Furthermore, Lanny Breuer, the U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, has made a point to root out widespread bribery in the pharmaceutical sector, and as a result, cases are picking up steam globally.³

According to TLS Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Brooke Christian, “With FCPA investigations taking such a drastic upswing in 2010, many companies are taking a fresh look at their compliance programs and wondering what more they can do to protect themselves. Our goal for this panel was to arm attendees with best-practice strategies that they could immediately implement across their organizations.”

The discussion featured the following panel of experts:  

  • Barry Sabin – Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP
  • David Stanton – Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Elizabeth Zechenter – Senior Counsel, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Joseph Lee – Partner, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
  • Noreen M. Fierro – Vice President, AML/FCPA Compliance Officer, Prudential Financial Inc.
  • Sharie Brown – Partner, DLA Piper

Using a hypothetical investigation scenario as a point of reference, the panelists discussed best practices regarding FCPA compliance, due diligence, and investigation. The panel recommended that companies affected by the FCPA adopt a series of specific risk-mitigation practices, staying mindful of the draft guidancerecently issued by the UK Ministry of Justice on the “adequate procedures” that a commercial organization should implement to prevent bribery. Although this guidance refers to the UK Bribery Act – the United Kingdom’s version of the FCPA – the underlying principles apply to both Acts.

About TransPerfect Legal Solutions
TransPerfect Legal Solutions (TLS) is the industry leader in global legal support. Founded in 1992, TLS offers a full suite of services, including web-based hosting and review, e-discovery, legal staffing, language services, court reporting, and reprographics. With offices in 66 cities across 5 continents, TLS is a trusted partner for every Am Law 200 and Global 100 law firm, as well as a majority of Fortune 500 corporate legal departments. For more information, visit www.transperfectlegal.com.

1. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, Web. 11 Nov. 2010. http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa/. 
2. Ibid. 
3. Ganis, Steve. “The DOJ’s FCPA Crackdown on the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Industry.” Martindale, 24 Sept. 2010. Web. 11 Nov. 2010. http://www.martindale.com/health-care-law/article_Mintz-Levin-Cohn-Ferris-Glovsky-Popeo-PC_1155918.htm.