Washington, D.C., November 29, 2023 – Hughes Hubbard & Reed today released its Fall 2023 FCPA & Anti-Bribery Alert. For the 15th consecutive year, this highly respected and anticipated resource provides in-house counsel and compliance professionals with an analysis of the top trends and developments in the anti-bribery space, as well as an encyclopedic view of the past year’s enforcement actions and policy updates related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and anti-bribery developments in China, France, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and at multi-national development banks.

Among the top 10 most important global cases, trends and enforcement actions that impacted anti-corruption law, multinational corporations, and individuals over the past year, the Alert includes a comprehensive analysis of Ericsson’s guilty plea regarding breaches of its 2019 deferred prosecution agreement; ABB’s “truly extraordinary cooperation” when confronted with its third FCPA enforcement action; and the U.S. Department of Justice’s new M&A safe harbor policy, compensation clawback pilot program, and emphasis on prosecuting corporate crime with national security implications. 

With these and other developments as context, the Alert provides forward-looking guidance for corporations and individuals navigating the updated landscape. This includes recommendations regarding:

  • Pre-acquisition anti-corruption due diligence and integration planning as a regular part of corporate M&A
  • The need for strong internal controls across the board given the broad definition of “internal accounting controls” as used in relevant FCPA provisions
  • The risk of unintended waivers of attorney-client privilege when cooperating with authorities
  • The material benefits to swift, thorough remediation after uncovering misconduct
  • The consideration of comp-based incentives for ethical behavior and mechanisms to claw back compensation from executives who engage in misconduct, and 
  • The importance of controls governing the use of electronic devices and ephemeral messaging platforms to ensure all business-related communication are preserved 

Laura N. Perkins and Kevin T. Abikoff, co-chairs of Hughes Hubbard’s Anti-Corruption & Internal Investigations practice group, led the development of the 153-page Alert.

“The past year saw several significant developments in anti-corruption enforcement,” said Abikoff. “Amidst these developments, companies need to ensure that, while they move quickly to respond to corruption risks, they also take the necessary time to thoughtfully and thoroughly consider how new regulatory guidance and recent anti-corruption enforcement developments could impact their compliance efforts.”

“Every year, our Alert cites multiple examples of the downsides to a lack of vigilance,” said Perkins. “This year, there are several examples of the upside to heightened vigilance, swift remediation, and proactive cooperation with investigators. New policies and recent policy revisions reinforce incentives for ethical behavior and prompt reporting. Corporations that heed DOJ’s advice can earn dividends in the form of declination, significant credit, and avoidance of monitorships.” 

About the Anti-Corruption & Investigations Practice Group

Hughes Hubbard’s Anti-Corruption & Internal Investigations Practice Group represents many of the premier companies around the world, providing advice on issues spanning the full anti-corruption and compliance spectrum, including

  • Conducting internal investigations
  • Representing companies before domestic and international regulators
  • Designing and implementing compliance programs
  • Serving as designated compliance monitors
  • Counselling companies subject to post-resolution obligations

The team has conducted investigations in more than 90 countries involving the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws, resolved investigations and won landmark decisions for clients before U.S. and international authorities, and has served as compliance monitors approved by the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the United Nations, the World Bank and other multinational development banks.  

Lawyers on our team include former senior government enforcement officials, corporate compliance counsel, foreign-trained attorneys, and certified public accountants. We serve our global clients through our offices in the U.S. and Paris, as well as through our cooperation agreement with Saud Advogados in Brazil and our longstanding relationships with leading local firms in countries across the world. We recognize the sensitivity and urgency of our clients’ matters as well as the discretion they require. We work in small, highly experienced, and mobile groups that can be deployed rapidly to meet our clients’ needs.

About Hughes Hubbard

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP is a New York City-based international law firm with a relentless focus on providing quality service to our clients and delivering successful results in the most complex matters.  With a powerful combination of scale and agility, we offer clients innovative and effective solutions, while remaining flexible to adapt to their needs and market developments. Known for a collaborative culture, as well as our diversity and pro bono achievements, Hughes Hubbard has a distinguished history dating back more than a century. For more information, visit hugheshubbard.com.