Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
Although most US businesses have long been aware that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “FCPA”) imposes serious penalties on individuals and entities that obtain (or attempt to obtain) business by bribing foreign government officials, recent years have seen a dramatic expansion of FCPA enforcement both in terms of scope and targeting. Many non-US businesses, for example, incorrectly assume the law only applies to their US counterparts when, in fact, the US government is increasingly prosecuting foreign entities – including companies solely transacting within their own countries. In 2018, the Department of Justice announced what it refers to as “The China Initiative,” prioritizing FCPA scrutiny on all US/PRC business relationships, essentially, one more “offense tactic” in the ongoing trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
JLG actively helps shield individuals and companies who are engaged in international transactions from FCPA liability by creating effective compliance programs; counseling clients on how best to communicate FCPA concerns with foreign counterparties; and actively defending targets of both investigations and prosecutions.
Compliance: As the DOJ and SEC guidelines explain, the first step toward limiting the risk of being caught up in an FCPA investigation is establishing internal guidelines. This includes conducting regular training sessions with senior management and relevant employees. As experienced FCPA practitioners, JLG will meet with management, discuss your concerns and then assist with the implementation of a plan specifically appropriate for your business and counterparties.
Active Engagement: One of the most challenging aspects of FCPA compliance is implementing US legal requirements that, in some nations, might be construed either contrary to cultural norms or even insulting. JLG works with closely with clients and their business partners to explain FCPA issues in a culturally sensitive manner while still emphasizing the absolute importance of transparency.
Defense: For clients facing an investigation or actual FCPA charges (or conducting an internal investigation/audit), JLG’s Global Enforcement Group draws on support from all its sub-specialties. Our long experience constructively engaging with Chinese counterparties further informs our ability to construct defenses that both minimize liability risk and help preserve business relationships.