Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)

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Enacted in 1977, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) makes it illegal for U.S. citizens, U.S. companies, and certain foreign companies to bribe a foreign government official in order to obtain or retain business. Since the FCPA was enacted, trade’s importance to the U.S. economy has significantly increased with exports now at approximately $2.5 trillion in 2018. Read More...

Unfortunately, the FCPA has not evolved to reflect these changes in the global economy. Despite the law’s good intentions, FCPA enforcement practices have created major uncertainty for American businesses who now face civil and criminal penalties for conduct they are either unaware of, or is the result of a single employee’s inappropriate actions.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has put in place a new FCPA compliance program policy that rewards companies that develop and maintain compliance programs that are designed to deter and detect violations. Even further, the compliance program allows companies to disclose wrongdoings to potentially avoid criminal charges if reported in a timely manner.

ILR’s goal is to encourage other agencies to follow the DOJ’s example on compliance enforcement policies, and ensure that U.S. companies face greater certainty and predictability when it comes to complying with the FCPA.

Suggested Resources

Research
  • DOJ's New Threshold for

    DOJ's New Threshold for "Cooperation": Challenges Posed by the Yates Memo and USAM Revisions

    May 26, 2016

    This paper examines the recent release of the Yates Memo, changes to the U.S. Attorneys' Manual (USAM), and the complicated landscape for business compliance and cooperation. Read More

  • ILR Research Review - Fall 2017

    ILR Research Review - Fall 2017

    November 30, 2017

    This special double-issue of the ILR Research Review features a wealth of insight and analysis on the world's rapidly changing litigation environment. The research contained in this issue targets exploitative litigation at home and abroad, examining numerous developments ranging from hyper-aggressive trial lawyer advertising in the U.S. to the imminent expansion of class actions in Europe. Read More

All Results for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)

  1. U.S. Chamber Comments on Justice Department's FCPA Enforcement Pilot Program

    April 06, 2016 | Press Release

    ... Read More

  2. In the News Today - January 12, 2016

    January 12, 2016 | News and Blog

    DOJ's FCPA Unit Hires more Attorneys: U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Leslie Caldwell announced in a speech that the U.S. Department of Justice was "preparing to add 10 new prosecutors to the Fraud Section's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Unit, increasing its size by 50 percent." (Inside Counsel)... Read More

  3. In the News Today - November 19, 2015

    November 19, 2015 | News and Blog

    Prosecution Rests its Case in Sheldon Silver Trial: Throughout the trial of the indicted former New York Assembly Speaker, prosecutors "focused on advancing the notion that Mr. Silver systematically masked any involvement he had with asbestos litigation in an effort to obscure one of the alleged schemes: that he was receiving fees from a law firm for referring patients recommended to him by a doctor in exchange for directing state grants to that doctor's field of research." (Wall Street Journal)... Read More

  4. In the News Today - November 18, 2015

    November 18, 2015 | News and Blog

    Editorial Hits Sheldon Silver for 'Lying' to Editorial Board About True Nature of His Legal Work: "Actually, he had siphoned state funds out of a secret account, given that money to a doctor who treated mesothelioma patients, persuaded the doctor to refer the patients to Weitz & Luxenberg and bagged referral fees. Oh, and Silver had never met any of the clients and did no work on their cases." (New York Daily News)... Read More

  5. In the News Today - November 13, 2015

    November 13, 2015 | News and Blog

    DoJ Considering Policy Shift in FCPA Enforcement? The U.S. Justice Department is "considering a new policy that gives companies a clearer idea of what to expect when self-reporting foreign corruption violations to the government." Said ILR's Harold Kim: "The business community is situated to help cut off corruption at its inception. Trying to get more cooperation upfront is the best way of enforcing anti-corruption laws." This article also highlights ILR's 2010 FCPA reform report, "Restoring Balance." (Wall Street Journal)... Read More

  6. Remarks by Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

    October 27, 2015 | Video | Watch

  7. High-Profile Federal FCPA Probe into Wal-Mart Finds 'Little in Way of Major Offenses'

    October 19, 2015 | News and Blog

    The three-year Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigation into Wal-Mart's activities in Mexico "has found little in the way of major offenses, and is likely to result in a much smaller case than investigators first expected."... Read More

  8. In the News Today - August 19, 2015

    August 19, 2015 | News and Blog

    In a case that "essentially establishes that 'valuable student internships' are covered" under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reached a $14.8 million settlement with Bank of New York Mellon Corp. over accusations the bank provided internships to relatives of foreign officials in violation of the FCPA. The bank has not admitted any wrongdoing. (Wall Street Journal)... Read More

  9. AG Nominee Lynch Forced to Respond to ILR's FCPA Proposals

    February 18, 2015 | News and Blog

    In a written exchange with U.S. Senators, U.S. Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch was forced to counter the views expressed by the now-chief of DoJ's Criminal Division's Fraud Section, Andrew Weissman, in a 2010 paper he authored for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.... Read More

  10. The ILR Research Review - Winter 2014

    December 18, 2014 | Research

    This edition of the ILR Research Review offers valuable insights from the latest of ILR's research on perpetual prosecution, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), social media, and transnational litigation.... Read More



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