May 21, 2009
TRACE works with partner law firms in 94 countries. These firms maintain local law materials, available on-line, and provide support for our workshops and other initiatives.
Every second year, experts from these partner firms gather to exchange updates on anti-bribery compliance and enforcement in their jurisdictions. It’s a fascinating event with sophisticated and engaged members of the anti-bribery bar.
A few brief excerpts from today’s presentations are included, below:
Paying bribes with company funds constitutes embezzlement in Germany, which carries penalties for the individual involved as severe—or more severe—than for the bribery itself.
Johann-Christoph Gaedertz, Kaye Scholer
Golf was an unexpected topic of this presentation. The chairman of the KPK was arrested recently for his alleged involvement in the murder of a local businessman and purported rival for the affections of a female golf caddy. Serious criminal implications aside, it turns out that the chairman shouldn’t have been golfing in the first place. The game is so commonly used for discussions and negotiations on corrupt practices that KPK employees are forbidden by internal guidelines from playing golf at all.
Richard Cornwallis, Makarim & Taira S.
The Fujimori era was described in great detail, including ten years of human rights abuses, state-sanctioned narco-trafficking and rampant corruption. The latter culminated in the recent revelation by Swiss banks that US$45 million was being held in accounts there for Montesinos, Fujimori’s personal advisor. The current Peruvian government has made sweeping improvements to national anti-corruption measures, but Peruvians remain skeptical. An annual survey reflects little change over time to the 70% responding that they are “indifferent” to bribery.
José Ugaz, Benites, Forno & Ugaz.
TRACE’s partner firm from the United States highlighted two unsettling trends: first, “creeping” FCPA jurisprudence through settlements. New legal theories are untested in court and simply accepted by companies keen to settle quickly. (Of course, more prosecutions of individuals could mean more trials and legal challenges decided by courts.) In addition, the increased use of more traditional law enforcement techniques was discussed. These include search warrants, wiretaps, and consensually recorded telephone calls. More active involvement of the FBI is likely to bring more of this.
Jeffrey Clark, Willkie Farr & Gallagher