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FCPA & Global Anti-Corruption

Recent efforts by government authorities around the globe to aggressively enforce global anti-corruption regulations have resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of investigations and prosecutions and the severity of penalties imposed. Today’s anti-corruption enforcement environment creates heightened compliance expectations for companies operating around the world.

To help clients address these complex, changing regulatory demands, Vinson & Elkins provides a one-stop shop, working across practice groups and utilizing lawyers in the firm’s offices in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East to provide a practical, business-oriented approach that mirrors the operational perspective of our clients. This approach also enables us to help multinational corporations, private equity funds and their portfolios, and individuals remain keenly aware of the prohibitions and requirements of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the UK Bribery Act (UKBA), and similar anti-corruption laws and sanctions.

V&E’s global anti-corruption lawyers have been representing clients in all aspects of the compliance process since the FCPA was enacted. In addition to negotiating with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), we routinely advise senior management, accounting professionals, and board members on best practices for addressing real-world compliance issues, helping to identify red flags and resolve potential problems before they arise. Our team supports clients in the development of anti-corruption policies and training programs, and provides updates on significant legal developments that may impact business procedures or operations. We also advise on the structuring and negotiation of commercial agreements that minimize regulatory risk, draft due diligence procedures, and conduct due diligence reviews of foreign business partners and third-party representatives, including agents and consultants.

We regularly conduct internal investigations and, where appropriate, advise on disclosing issues to the DOJ, the SEC, and the SFO. Our lawyers also help clients respond to and defend against investigations pursued by these enforcement agencies and represent companies against shareholder litigation brought in connection with enforcement settlements. V&E’s leadership in this area is the result of years of experience representing the world’s most sophisticated global companies. With a team of anti-corruption lawyers that includes a former DOJ Deputy Attorney General, several former DOJ prosecutors, and former in-house counsels, we provide practical advice informed by experience on all sides of the issues.

Experience Highlights

  • Representing the Audit Committee of a public technology company in connection with allegations from multiple whistleblowers of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations in several countries, including in connection with related SEC and DOJ investigations

  • Conducted an internal investigation for a U.S.-based oilfield services company regarding potential compliance violations of the FCPA and UKBA relating to improper payments regarding travel, hospitality, and entertainment for employees of a Chinese state-owned client. Had extensive discussions with the Board and Audit Committee, including issues related to possible disclosures to authorities

  • Represented two U.S. companies in a coordinated DOJ and SEC FCPA investigation of the energy industry in West Africa and succeeded in having cases closed without the government taking any action against the clients

  • Conducted internal investigation of FCPA compliance for a public multinational technology company regarding sales practices in the Middle East

  • Representing ten senior officers and employees of a commercial real estate development company in large scale FCPA investigation by the DOJ and SEC regarding permitting and licensing in a Latin American country

  • Conducted multiple internal investigations for a U.S.-based natural gas products and services company regarding potential FCPA and embezzlement violations, including in connection with the company’s operations in Kazakhstan and Libya

  • Representing an SEC-registered investment advisor and private equity firm to develop and implement a compliance program to evaluate and manage risks across its worldwide portfolio, conduct pre-investment due diligence, and train firm’s directors

  • Conducted an internal investigation for an international oil company regarding potential FCPA compliance violations in connection with company’s operations with a national oil company in a Middle Eastern country

  • Advising in connection with a Serious Fraud Office Investigation arising out of the UN’s Oil For Food Programme

  • Assisted global manufacturer and distributor of chemicals to conduct an internal investigation related to potential allegations of corruption at a joint venture in India; received declination letters from both the SEC and DOJ

  • Conducted internal investigations into potential breaches of the UK Bribery Act for an African telecommunications company

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