Several important anti-corruption and FCPA enforcement developments occurred over the first six months of 2016. This year’s Mid-Year Update to our annual Business Guide to Anti-Corruption Laws discusses the most significant of these events, including:
DOJ FCPA Enforcement Pilot Program. The DOJ announced a new one-year pilot program that governs how the DOJ will provide mitigation credit in FCPA cases by providing detailed guidelines for self-disclosure, cooperation, or remediation. In May, the DOJ announced that pursuant to this program it declined prosecution of two companies in light of those companies’ self-disclosure and cooperation.
Vigorous FCPA Enforcement Continues, including $795 million VimpelCom settlement. DOJ and SEC activity showed a continued a focus on FCPA enforcement. In particular, the massive $795 million global settlement between VimpelCom Ltd. and the DOJ, SEC, and Dutch regulators reflects a number of recent trends, including increased international law enforcement cooperation, large fines, and aggressive vicarious liability theories to hold a parent liable for the acts of its subsidiary. Overall, on a purely quantitative basis, enforcement was up: the DOJ and SEC resolved a total of 16 new enforcement actions, which nearly matches the 2015 total in only the first six months of 2016.
U.K. Bribery Act Enforcement. While the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union raises many long term questions about United Kingdom’s international role, including potentially ones related to anti-corruption enforcement, in the short term the United Kingdom continues to aggressively pursue international bribery and corporate economic crime. To date this year, the United Kingdom has extended the contract of a key prosecutor who has the reputation of pursuing corporate crime and is considering expanding corporate vicarious liability to all economic crimes. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom resolved several foreign bribery cases; press reports describe many other U.K. Bribery Act investigations, including against non-U.K. corporations operating within its borders.
In addition to these developments and others related to FCPA and U.K. Bribery Act enforcement, the Update discusses the Panama Papers revelations and their potential effect on anti-corruption enforcement, key developments in FCPA related private litigation, and other significant anti-corruption trends and developments from around the world.
The Update includes perspective and analysis on these events from experts on the FCPA, U.K. Bribery Act, and anti-corruption enforcement from our White Collar and Government Investigations and Securities Enforcement practices.