Addressing a packed room of ACC attendees in New Orleans this morning, experts from Sidley Austin, Cassels Brock & Blackwell, Lloyds, Vale and Coca-Cola shared their expertise on anti-corruption. The session was entitled 'Keep your execs out of jail and avoid massive fines: responding to the new age of worldwide anti-corruption legislation
Between them, the speakers shared knowledge on the US, Canadian, UK and Brazilian regime.
White-collar lawyer Karen Pop, of Sidley in DC, kicked off by reminding us of the need to be rigorous when analysing the separate bribery and accounting components of statute.
The panel then shared a run-down of recent developments in anti-corruption law in their respective countries. Here's what we heard:
In the US, the case of US v Esquenazi was a multi factor test for the instrumentality of a foreign government.
The country imposes strict liability for parent companies.
It has seen record corporate fines and penalties.
In Canada, the case of R v Karigar saw the first prosecution, conviction and sentencing of an individual under the CFPOA.
In the UK, there has been a number of key developments relating to anti-corruption, but few have been tested in court. It has seen the establishment of the national crime agency, and has been increasing the prosecution of individuals.
Brazil meanwhile, implemented the Clean Companies Act to combat corruption in January 2014.
The talk also included some guidance on anti-bribery policies. Companies should have clear-cut guidelines, thorough risk assessment, regular training, a whistleblower program, etc.
There was a word of warning on the use of foreign agents and intermediaries. Remember to look out for red flags, which include large upfront payments, close relationships with a foreign official and requests for payment of unusually large commissions.
The final part of the session looked at internal investigations, where the advice was "build a culture of compliance".