Mark F Mendelsohn
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Over the past year, the foreign bribery landscape has continued to grow increasingly complicated for multinational companies, particularly in light of the sweeping fallout from multiple high-profile corruption scandals. In Brazil, Operation Car Wash, the investigation that uncovered a sprawling embezzlement ring at state-owned oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras), has ensnared politicians at the highest levels of the Brazilian government as well as numerous companies that engaged with Petrobras around the world. In March 2016, Brazilian authorities raided the home of former President Lula de Silva and detained him for questioning. Lula and his wife were subsequently indicted by Brazilian prosecutors on money laundering charges in September 2016. The Brazilian crackdown on corruption shows no signs of abating, and has expanded to include investigations related to Eletrobras, Brazil’s state-owned utility.
In the United States, enforcement authorities continue to vigorously enforce the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), with the past year’s cases showing a significant increase in the number of enforcement actions from 2015. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alone brought more FCPA enforcement actions within the first six months of 2016 than in any year since 2011. The investigation and enforcement focus has cut cross a range of industries, including pharmaceutical and medical device companies, airlines, financial services and the telecommunications sector. While these cases continue to cover many regions, business activity in China has remained a major FCPA enforcement priority. As this edition of The Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Review goes to print, 15 corporate enforcement actions have implicated multinationals’ China operations, representing over half of all FCPA actions brought in 2016 to date.
This fifth edition of The Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Review presents the views and observations of leading anti-corruption practitioners in jurisdictions spanning every region of the globe. The worldwide scope of this volume reflects the reality that anti-corruption enforcement has become an increasingly global endeavour.