In the Sherlock Holmes story “The Final Problem” Conan Doyle tried to kill off his fictional detective by having him go over Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland locked in mortal combat with his arch nemesis Dr. Moriarty. However, readers of the Holmes’ short stories protested so much that Doyle had to resurrect him a short story entitled “The Adventure of the Empty House”. What do these stories have to do with compliance? I had been scheduled to chair and participate in the Advanced Anti-Corruption Compliance Strategies Summit being held in Beijing from 4th to 6th December, however as I have not been cleared yet to travel after my recent surgery I cannot do so. So unlike Holmes, I will not disappear, just be land-locked here in Houston.
To say I am disappointed that I cannot attend would be putting it mildly as it will be one of the top compliance-related conferences in the Far East for 2012. If you have not had the opportunity to attend a compliance-related conference tailored to the challenges of working in the Far East this would be the conference for you. Even if you have attended such an event, this conference focuses on China and will give you more insight into how to do business under a plethora of anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws, from the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) to the UK Bribery Act and the recently enacted PRC China anti-bribery legislation.
The person who will take my slot as conference Chairperson is certainly not unfamiliar to coming off the bench. Indeed he is one of the top compliance counsels in the region, Eric Carlson, of the law firm of Covington and Burling LLP. In addition to practicing law, Eric is also a Contributing Editor to the FCPA Blog. In other words, this guy knows his compliance stuff. In addition to presenting my review of 2012 FCPA enforcement and lessons learned, Eric is also on tap to speak about the specific lessons which impact foreign companies operations in China. As a partner in the firm’s Beijing office, he is uniquely placed to do so.
So what are some of the subjects that will be covered? Consider these: 2012 – The FCPA year in review – what we have learned about best practices from the year’s enforcement actions; Official View: Current PRC focus and trends – commercial bribery enforcement; UK Bribery Act – Update on the UK Bribery Act and enforcement a year after implementation; Expert View on the Implications of Recent FCPA-Related Developments – Analyses of Recent Cases and Insights into Future US Government Enforcement Priorities That May Impact China Operations; Managing the multi-jurisdictional aspects of compliance in Asia when multiple parties are interested, plus an update on the new provincial / local laws in China, which could increase risks of debarment; Live examples of strong internal controls and compliance programs – Case studies of changes implemented in the past year to meet or exceed changing global and local regulatory expectations; Sustainable Compliance: Making the Case for Less is More; How to personalize a policy for your company, taking into consideration the specific challenges your employees really face on a day to day basis; Creating robust agreements with Third parties – how to ensure integrity and compliance without losing important partners; Robust due diligence and monitoring of suppliers to ensure a culture of integrity in your supply chain; Supply chain issues and non-governmental bribery – how much oversight is required over downstream parties like agents, intermediaries, distributors, retailers to avoid prosecution and reputation risk?; and a Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Update.
In addition to the above the first day of the conference is Workshop Day with two great workshops, one will focus on ‘Step by Step Guidance on Best Practice for Investigations’ and the second on how to ‘Update Your Compliance Plan and Effectively Assess and Manage Risk’ The second workshop is further broken down into two subparts: Part I: Quickly get up to speed with the latest anti-corruption developments to make sure your programs are defendable and Part II: Effective risk assessment, risk management and risk mitigation for bribery and fraud risk in China. The conference will also have special in-depth tracks for a more detailed exploration of subjects such as internal investigations and managing compliance in the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) context and in joint ventures (JV’s).
The topics will be among the most relevant and informative that you could ask for. They include FCPA prosecutions and enforcement actions, risk assessments and risk intelligence, dealing with facilitation payments, FPCA compliance training, and FCPA risk assessment in M&A work and in dealing with JV’s, auditing and compliance convergence. Simply put, the scope of the Beacon Events conference is as broad and far-ranging as you might ask for; nevertheless the focus is on the compliance practitioner and the business of doing compliance inside a corporation.
Bottom Line: This is one of the very best FCPA conferences that has ever been staged in Beijing. It will offer some of the most cutting edge best practices on a wide variety of issues that bedevil compliance practitioners on a day-to-day basis. This list of speaker is the most ‘A-List’ that has ever been seen at such an event in Beijing. You owe it to yourself to attend. I am just sorry that I cannot do so.
For information on the Conference, click here. For readers of this blog, a discount is offered by Beacon Events. You can receive the discount by entering the online discount code: AC678TFL15. You can also use this discount code if you register directly with Beacon Events.
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© Thomas R. Fox, 2012