May 5, 2022 – In late April 2022, the World Bank Group’s Integrity Compliance Officer (“ICO”) officially notified a Chinese state-owned company (“Company”) that is a client of Hughes Hubbard & Reed (“HHR”) that it had satisfied the conditions for release from sanction. The release has now occurred. 


In March of 2019, the Company received a “Show Cause Letter” issued by the World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency (“INT”) regarding the misconduct of a joint-venture business partner and former employee of a Company subsidiary during the bidding process for a World Bank financed project in Africa.  In response to INT’s investigation and in order to improve its integrity compliance program (“ICP”), the Company appointed Christine Kang, who has extensive experience in handling Multilateral Development Bank (“MDB”) investigations and sanctions, as its counsel.


Christine and her team promptly assisted the Company in conducting an internal investigation, designing and implementing an enhanced ICP, and launching the negotiation process with INT for the settlement of this case. As advised by Christine and her team, the Company actively cooperated during this process and provided INT with considerable evidence of mitigating factors.  The Company and the World Bank eventually reached a Settlement Agreement (“SA”) in 2020, resulting in a reduced period of non-debarment with conditional release for the Company and debarment with conditional release for its implicated subsidiary. 

The SA required the Company to develop and implement enhanced bid preparation policies and procedures and a related training program, consistent with the relevant principles set out in the World Bank’s Integrity Compliance Guidelines. The SA also required the Company to engage an independent compliance expert (“Expert”) to review the implementation of the bid policies and training program during the sanctioned period. With firm support from the Company’s leadership, the Company’s compliance function, under Christine and her team’s professional guidance, was able to establish a refined and effective ICP, which covers and goes beyond the bid policies and training program, including, among other things, procedures for third party due diligence, compliance risk assessments and compliance audits. The program incorporates international standards and best practices, and is also carefully tailored to the Company’s specific corporate environment in order to minimize potential disruptions to the Company’s daily business operations. 


Christine and her team were able to find innovative and practical solutions to undertake the rectification work during the ongoing pandemic. In close cooperation with the Expert and the ICO, Christine and her team coordinated two virtual site visits, and responded to numerous rounds of inquiries and document requests from both the Expert and the ICO.


In bringing the compliance rectification work to its successful conclusion, the HHR counsel team led by Christine, Mike Huneke and Tamara Kraljic, as well as Ayoka Akinosi, Daniel Chan and Wilson Wang, worked with the Company’s compliance function in drafting a comprehensive Application for Release to demonstrate the strength of the Company’s ICP and compliance with the terms of the SA. 

在合规整改工作的最后阶段,由康乂律师、Mike Huneke律师、Tamara Kraljic律师、Ayoka Akinosi 律师、陈孝业律师和王一凡律师组成的HHR律师团队与公司合规部门密切配合,高效率起草了内容详实、支持证据充分的英文版《解禁申请》,全面汇报并展示了公司在各项合规工作所取得的进展和成绩、且公司已经全面符合《和解协议》所要求的解禁条件。

In late April 2022, the World Bank’s ICO officially notified the Company that it had satisfied the conditions for release under the SA. 


The successful release of the Company marks an important milestone in its compliance rectification work. It serves as a recognition that the Company’s ICP and compliance function are in line with international standards. In the World Bank’s communication with the Company, the ICO encouraged the Company to share its own experience with other business partners. 


This case adds to the increasing list of Chinese corporations counseled by Christine Kang that have successfully obtained release from MDB sanction. It demonstrates the HHR counsel team’s deep experience in implementing compliance programs and understanding the specific challenges faced by Chinese corporations, and solidifies HHR’s position as a leader in the field of MDB investigations and compliance matters.

本项目是康律师协助中国企业获得多边开发银行按期解禁的又一成功案例,进一步展示了HHR团队统筹实施企业合规整改的丰富经验以及对中国企业进行合规整改所面临特有挑战的深入理解和把握,也再次证明 HHR团队在处理多边开发银行调查合规领域的国际领先地位!

The HHR counsel team advising on this matter includes Christine Kang, Mike Huneke, Tamara Kraljic, Ayoka Akinosi, Daniel Chan, Wilson Wang, Natasha Faisal, and Kenneth Corte. 

本项目的HHR团队成员包括康乂、Mike Huneke、Tamara Kraljic、Ayoka Akinosi、陈孝业、王一凡、Natasha Faisal、Kenneth Corte。