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Trial Lawyering and FCPA Compliance

As most readers of this blog know, I am a recovering trial lawyer. To this day, some of my best friends are still out there, still teeing it up as trial lawyers. They have an important place in our country’s legal system, including defending corporations, which was my primary client base in those...

Chamber of Commerce: Corporations Form the Cornerstone of FCPA Compliance

Recently one of the most unlikely sources for praise of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) came out to inform us all that corporations are the cornerstone of FCPA compliance and enforcement. You may be surprised to find out that it came from the US Chamber of Commerce. It did not come in the form...

Sherlock Holmes and Innovation in the Compliance Function, Part I – A Study In Scarlet

Today begins a week of double themed blog-posts. First I am back with an homage to Sherlock Holmes, for it was in the magazine Beeton’s Christmas Annual that the characters Sherlock Holmes and Watson were introduced to the world in 1887, in the short story A Study in Scarlet . The second theme...

Craig Biggio to the Hall of Fame and Your Compliance Team

For those of you who do not believe that global warming is upon us, let me assure you that it is real and unfortunately caused by humans. How do I know this for a certainty? It is because there was an event back in 2005 that caused Hell itself to freeze over. I am of course referring to the first and...

Welcome to COSO and the World of Internal Controls – Part I

I have intentionally avoided a Top Five or Top Ten prediction list for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement going forward from 2014 into 2015. However there is one area of FCPA enforcement, which I think underwent a sea change in 2014 and has significant implications for the Chief Compliance...

Victory or Death: William Barret Travis and the Obligations of a CCO

Today in 1836, Alamo commander William Barret Travis issued his famous ‘ Victory or Death ’ plea for reinforcements. It was short so I quote it in full: To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World : Fellow citizens & compatriots—I am besieged, by a thousand or...

Can You Spot the FCPA Risk?

This article was reprinted with permission from FCPA Professor A high-ranking government official encourages other governments to sign deals and change policies to the advantage of various companies. At the same time, those companies were among the many that gave to the high-ranking official’s...

Minnie Minoso Broke Barriers; Goodyear Pushes Compliance Forward

Yesterday we celebrated the hard-nosed playing style of Anthony Mason, who recently passed away. Today we honor a true pioneer in professional baseball, Minnie Minoso, or Mr. White Sox. Minoso was the first black Cuban to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) when he debuted for the Cleveland Indians in...

Responsibility, Accountability and the FCPA Institute in Houston

What is accountability in your compliance program? How does it relate to responsibility for a company to prevent, detect and remediate any issues that might arise under a Foreign Corrupt Practices (FCPA) compliance program? What if a company is so big that it cannot provide meaningful oversight of its...

Ingots of Gold & SEC FCPA Enforcement – Communication – Part IV

Today I want to use the Agatha Christie’s story Ingots of Gold as an introduction to some of the regular communications that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) representatives frequently provide in public forums, regarding their views on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement...

Compensation Incentives in a Best Practices Compliance Program

One of the areas that many companies have not paid as much attention to in their Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) anti-corruption compliance programs is compensation. However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have long made clear that they view incentives...

King Arthur Week, King Arthur and Leadership – Part I

I have been studying the legend of King Arthur and thought it would be good idea to have a week of blog posts around the legend of King Arthur, the Roundtable and his knights. Today I begin with King Arthur and some leadership lessons that might apply to a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO), compliance practitioner...

Levi Strauss and Auditing of Third Parties

This week we celebrate innovation. On May 20, 1873, a patent to create work pants reinforced with metal rivets was granted. This marked the birth of one of the world’s most famous garments: the blue jeans. Jacob Davis, a tailor in Reno, Nevada, presented the idea to Levi Strauss in 1872 when he...

On the Oregon Trail: the BHP Enforcement Action and High-Risk Hospitality

Today we celebrate American exceptionalism. As noted in ‘This Date in History’, on this date in 1834 the first wagon train, made up of 1,000 settlers and 1,000 head of cattle, set off down the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri, on the Great Emigration. After leaving Independence, the...

Robert Appleton: It’s FCPA Compliance or Vegas

Today is the first of a two part interview with Robert “Bob” Appleton and is an edited version of the entire interview which will be available for download when part II is published next week. Hi Bob, and thank you for sharing your experience and perspective with today’s readers...

Does the World Need Another Compliance Provider? – Part 1

This article was originally published at ComplianceX , the Compliance Exchange Richard Bistrong was an International Sales Vice-President in the Defense Sector for most of his career, spending an average of 250 days per year overseas, and twice residing in the United Kingdom. In 2007, the US Department...

Richard Bistrong: When Corruption Becomes Normal

Republished with permission of the FCPA Blog ( original post ) Alison Taylor described on the FCPA Blog how employees are “socialized into paying bribes and encouraged to believe that corruption is an inevitable and necessary response to the hard commercial realities.” Some organizations...

The All-Star Game and Tone at the Top

Today is the 83 rd anniversary of the initial Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game, which took place on this date in 1933, in Chicago’s Comiskey Park. The brainchild of a determined sports editor, the event was designed to bolster the sport and improve its reputation during the darkest years...

Cymbeline – Doing Virtue and FCPA Compliance

Commentators still level the hue and cry that it is somehow the fault of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that companies continue to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Things would improve if only the DOJ and SEC would (1) prosecute companies...

Front-Line Interview Episode 1: Alison Taylor, How Organizations Impact Corruption

(Please visit the site to view this video) In the launch of a new video series, Front-Line Interviews, I engage with Alison Taylor, Director of Energy and Extractives at BSR (Business for Social Responsibility). I first became aware of Alison’s work via a Forbes article she authored “Compliance...

Greatness From Ted Williams and a New FCPA Master Class Training Announced

On this day in 1941, the Boston Red Sox’s Ted Williams played a double-header against the Philadelphia Athletics on the last day of the regular season and got six hits in eight trips to the plate, to boost his batting average to .406, making him the first player since Bill Terry in 1930 to hit...

Astros in the Playoffs, Will Hell Freeze Over?

When recently I contacted the Underworld about the potential listing of this vast property, I was stunned when Satan himself answered the phone. While I was tempted to ask what happened to all his hired help down there, Satan, being much more direct, got immediately to the point and said his action was...

Whom Should You Suspend During an Internal FCPA Investigation?

Whom to suspend during any Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigation is always a delicate question to answer. Unfortunately there is never an easy answer. As the Volkswagen (VW) emission-testing scandal continues to reverberate, it continues to bring up some very knotty questions, which have...

Good-Bye to Maureen O’Hara and How to Drive Compliance Into the DNA of Your Company

Maureen O’Hara died this week. To anyone who has ever watched The Quiet Man on St. Patrick’s Day, she will always be known as Mary Kate Danaher, who was pursued and eventually wed by John Wayne. Testament to the fiery character she often played, O’Hara refuses to consummate her marriage...

A Dash Home for the Ages – Using Start-Up Techniques to Further Compliance

Congratulations to the Kansas City Royals for winning the World Series on Sunday night. Watching a franchise that has never won such a championship, I can certainly understand the elation of a team that had not been to a World Series in 30 years. There were a couple of things in the 9 th inning that...