The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act—background (US)
Produced in partnership with Stephen R. Martin of Arnold & Porter LLP
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act—background (US)

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with Stephen R. Martin of Arnold & Porter LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act—background (US)
  • Does the FCPA apply to my company?
  • What constitutes an improper payment actionable under the FCPA?
  • Who is a foreign public official?
  • Recordkeeping and internal controls

As businesses eagerly expand into new markets looking for new growth opportunities, they must be careful, as with new growth comes new challenges. Particularly, multinational companies face the risk that one of their subsidiaries, affiliates, employees, or agents may engage in misconduct in violation of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are emphasising enforcement of the FCPA and show no signs of slowing their pursuit of FCPA claims. To prevent, detect and remediate misconduct that may be in violation of the FCPA, in-house counsel and compliance professionals should be aware of any business areas exposed to risk and understand the conduct prohibited by the FCPA. Here, we provide an overview of the law, its application to your company’s business, and an introduction to the essential elements of an effective anti-corruption compliance program. For more information on recent FCPA enforcement trends, see Practice Note: FCPA enforcement trends—parent liability for a subsidiary’s wrongdoing (US) [Archived].

To understand the similarities and differences between the US FCPA and the UK Bribery Act 2010, see Practice Notes: The US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act 2010 compared and The US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977 (FCPA 1977) and Bribery Act 2010 (BA 2010) comparison table.

The FCPA was enacted in 1977 to prevent corrupt practices, create equal

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