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Anti-Bribery Regulation and Enforcement: Are Things About to Change?

Anti-Bribery Regulation and Enforcement: Are Things About to Change?

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January 10, 2017

Spotlight On Talent: Dan Dorsky, Principal and Head of Anti-Corruption and Ethics

These are fascinating times for U.S. and global enforcement of anti-bribery laws. More resources are being dedicated, more countries are participating, and the resulting outcomes have been extraordinary fines and penalties, along with enhanced risk of individual criminal prosecutions. Concurrently, the recent U.S. election may signal an inflection point; Mr. Trump has in the past spoken critically of the FCPA and he is now in a position to potentially act on those sentiments.


So where does that leave us? Will hindsight prove 2016 to be the high water mark for anti-bribery enforcement, or can we expect continuing and increased enforcement?

Let’s begin with a very abbreviated look at the current state. 2016 witnessed truly mammoth enforcement actions: VimpelCom suffered a $795 million penalty (split between Dutch and U.S. authorities), Teva Pharmaceuticals $519 million, Och Ziff $412 million, J.P. Morgan $264 million, and it has been reported that Telia Company may pay up to $1.4 billion. Perhaps of even greater significance, the biggest fine in history was recently announced; Odebrecht and its unit Braskem will pay a combined $3.5 billion (or perhaps a billion dollars more, depending on their ability to pay without going bankrupt). Notably, only $160 million of that amount will go to the U.S. The rest will be paid to enforcement authorities in Brazil and Switzerland. In a continuing trend, non-U.S. attention to anti-bribery laws is markedly increasing in several additional countries, such as France and Israel (Israel and Britain also made some notable arrests of corporate executives).

In this bulletin, Dan Dorsky shares his analysis of the potential impact of the Trump administration on these trends.

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Mr. Dorsky is a former Assistant United States Attorney in both the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and a former Chief Compliance Officer for an S&P 500 company.



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