Practical steps in a bribery investigation—UK and US perspectives
Produced in partnership with Amanda Raad, Arla Kerr and Harriet Slater of Ropes & Gray
Practical steps in a bribery investigation—UK and US perspectives

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with Amanda Raad, Arla Kerr and Harriet Slater of Ropes & Gray provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Practical steps in a bribery investigation—UK and US perspectives
  • Who is investigating?
  • US
  • UK
  • What and who is being investigated?
  • How has investigation been initiated?
  • Whistleblowing regimes
  • Notification from regulators
  • Internal investigations
  • Document requests
  • More...

Who is investigating?

In our current globalised market, it is very common for multiple government agencies, across multiple jurisdictions to investigate one matter. At the outset of an investigation, consideration should be given to which agencies are known to be involved, and which could become involved in the future. Government agencies can and do conduct parallel investigations with each other, within and across jurisdictions.

By means of eg Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) treaties and Memoranda of Understanding, US and UK agencies can use formal procedures to request co-operation from other nations. For more information on MLA generally, see subtopic: Mutual legal assistance—overview.

US

In the US, the following are the key agencies with jurisdiction to investigate and enforce US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977 (FCPA 1977) violations:

  1. the Department of Justice (DOJ), US Attorneys’ Offices—criminal enforcement (DOJ also undertakes civil enforcement)

  2. the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)—civil enforcement

Other US agencies which often support and co-operate with the DOJ and SEC are:

  1. the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

  2. the Department of Homeland Security

  3. the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)—Criminal Investigation Division

  4. the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

UK

The following are some of the key regulators in the UK who have jurisdiction to investigate and enforce bribery related issues, and have memoranda of understandings in place to assist co-operation:

  1. the Serious Fraud Office (SFO)—criminal prosecutor

  2. the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)—criminal prosecutor

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