FCPA: The Five Essential Elements of a Corporate Compliance Program-Part I

Next Tuesday morning, at the University Club of Chicago, Stephen Martin and I will co-present at a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) event hosted by Kreller. If you are in or near Chicago I hope that you can join us. The title of our presentation is “Anti-Corruption/FCPA Developments & Best Practices” and we will focus on a concept that Stephen and his partners at the law firm of Baker & McKenzie have developed which are five essential elements of a corporate compliance program.

Over the next two posts, I will sketch out what Stephen and I will be presenting. In today’s post I will present the background to the development of the five essential elements and in Part II, I will go through the remaining elements.

First a word about Stephen Martin; for those of you who do not know Stephen Martin, he has a long and distinguished legal and compliance career. He was at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and then moved in-house, helping some of America’s largest companies to wade through major corporate scandals. He was most recently the General Counsel (GC) at Corpedia before heading into private practice at Baker & McKenzie. He has been around the (compliance) block more than once and I can assure you that he knows his FCPA compliance stuff. He is certainly one of the practitioners that I would go see to make a FCPA compliance presentation.

Why is it important to have such a compliance program? I will answer in two words, Morgan Stanley. The declination to prosecute, issued by the DOJ, provides the most recent and powerful evidence of the benefits of investing in compliance. Morgan Stanley’s pre-existing compliance program was highlighted in press releases and public comments as the biggest reason for the Government’s decision not to prosecute the bank ...

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