Top Menu

Cooperating With Another Company’s “Efforts To Comply” With The FCPA Does Not Impose Upon A Company The Contractual Obligation To Comply With The FCPA

Judicial Decision

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issues pop up, more than people realize I submit, in civil litigation. However, much of this civil litigation flies under the radar and/or may arise in arbitration proceedings meaning there is little transparency of the underlying issues. I have been a expert in several such cases.

These dynamics make this recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision involving Fiat Chrysler Automobiles International Operations LLC and its former Angolan distributor (Union Commercial Services Limited) all the more interesting.

As highlighted below, in connection with Union’s claim that Chrysler breached an agreement by violating the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing as well as engaged in tortious interference of business relations, the Court held that a contractual clause requiring Union to cooperate with Chrsyler’s “efforts to comply” with the FCPA did not impose upon Chrylser the contractual obligation to comply with the FCPA.

Continue Reading

Benchmarking FCPA Compliance

Over at the White Collar Crime Prof Blog (see here), Professor Ellen Podgor has posted her essay titled “Educating Compliance” (see here) in which she argues that the U.S. government should more actively participate in “promoting compliance with the law.”

In discussing some examples of where the government does pro-actively educate compliance with the law, Profesor Podgor refers to the DOJ’s Lay-Person’s Guide to the FCPA (see here) and the DOJ’s Opinion Procedure Regulations (see here).

While perhaps lacking the “pro-active” label Professor Podgor advocates, an additional resource for companies seeking guidance on FCPA “best practices” is the actual FCPA non-prosecution and deferred prosecution agreements themselves. More often than that, these agreements will contain an appendix that contains the minimum elements of an FCPA compliance program that the DOJ has “signed off on” as part of the settlement process.

Reviewing these agreements, one will find, virtually verbatim, the same elements. For instance, see the Novo Nordisk agreement (here – pgs. 19-21), the Fiat agreement (here pgs. 34-36) and the Faro Technologies agreement (here pgs. 14-16).

While these minimum elements are not the “be-all and end-all” of FCPA compliance, and while any FCPA corporate compliance policy should be specifically calibrated to a company’s risk profile, these elements consistently included by DOJ in resolution agreements are certainly a good initial benchmark for any company’s FCPA compliance policies and procedures.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes