Combating corruption has become one of the highest priorities for enforcement agencies in the Americas, the UK and Asia. Endowed with extensive resources, these agencies target not only individuals, but also companies with international operations. In the United States, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) has been a major impetus behind anti-corruption investigations and enforcement actions, the UK Bribery Act is having a similar effect in the United Kingdom, and there has been an unprecedented rise in the intensity of enforcement under anti-corruption statutes in other countries as well.
Mayer Brown’s Team & Capabilities
Mayer Brown has highly experienced lawyers in offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia who offer clients an all-encompassing solution to ensure compliance with an increasingly global framework of anti-corruption statutes. Our team includes former government prosecutors and compliance lawyers with decades of experience in every facet of anti-corruption regulation and enforcement. We advise on the multiple, complex features of the FCPA and the UK Bribery Act and the interplay of those laws with domestic anti-bribery laws globally. We work closely with colleagues in our international offices to ensure compliance with applicable local laws and regulations. Our work addresses both the anti-bribery provisions and the accounting provisions of the FCPA as they apply to domestic and foreign issuers of securities in the United States, as well as to non-issuers. Our global team offers comprehensive guidance and counseling, including the following services:
Corporate Compliance Programs
We advise clients on the development and implementation of internal compliance programs to reduce the risks of a violation of anti-corruption statutes. We conduct compliance assessments to identify strengths and weaknesses in existing compliance programs. Additionally, we help companies formulate compliance policies, address specific implementation issues in the context of particular corporate cultures and multinational operations, and prepare training and other educational materials, among other key practices, to ensure compliance.
We help clients assess prospective transactions with respect to compliance, and we advise on structuring transactions to satisfy the requirements of the applicable anti-corruption laws. We help clients engage in effective due diligence with respect to the engagement of foreign agents, consultants, representatives and joint-venture partners, and we counsel on appropriate contractual provisions to address anti-corruption compliance and risk. In addition to advising on particular international transactions, we also counsel clients on acquisitions of companies engaged in international businesses.
We have extensive experience in handling internal corporate investigations, including those addressing possible violations of the books-and-records, internal controls and anti-corruption laws generally. We have worked with inside counsel, internal auditors and external auditors to assemble and review documents, interview directors and current and former employees, and advise boards of directors and audit committees on the results of investigations. We are familiar with the complexities of multinational investigations, including sensitivity to issues raised by local data privacy and employment laws, as well as blocking statutes, and have considerable experience in coordinating the work of foreign counsel, when needed, in such investigations.
We assist clients in anticipating and preparing for possible FCPA enforcement proceedings by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and we represent clients in such proceedings. We are also experienced in dealing with the relevant UK regulatory and enforcement bodies including the FCA and SFO. Our experience includes negotiating the scope of enforcement proceedings; responding to requests for documents; advocating client positions in submissions to, and in meetings with, officials from the regulator and the enforcer; defending against prosecutions or civil actions; and negotiating settlements. We are also experienced in representing clients in private litigation in which allegations of FCPA violations are made. Not infrequently, such litigation is initiated by parties that have employment or contractual disputes with our clients and seek to use alleged FCPA violations as leverage. A number of our lawyers have served in government and regulatory positions prior to their tenure at the firm and are not only familiar with the enforcement teams but also have firsthand insights into the considerations that affect prosecutorial discretion in the enforcement of the FCPA and the UK Bribery Act.