I have devoted quite a bit of space over the past few weeks to changes the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been announcing since September with the release of the Yates Memo, the new-breaking story of the DOJ Compliance Counsel, through to the November announcements by Sally Yates clarifying compliance credit under the Memo which bears her name and Leslie R. Caldwell’s articulation of the metrics the DOJ Compliance Counsel will use when evaluating corporate compliance programs.
One thing I did not discuss was the article in the Washington Post by Ellen Nakashima, entitled “Justice Department could give firms a pass on foreign bribery if they confess”, where she wrote about a potential change in DOJ enforcement focus under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), away from prosecuting companies to going after individuals. I plan to rectify this gap in coverage with an event that I have wanted to put on for some time, a Webinar with FCPA expert, Mike Volkov.
In this webinar we will review the announcements and changes in enforcement focus and explain how the DOJ’s FCPA enforcement program is expected to undergo a significant change in policy focus going forward. We will build from the recent adoption of the Yates Memorandum, the DOJ hiring of a new Compliance Counsel to review and evaluate FCPA compliance programs, the attendant metrics and how the DOJ is modifying its corporate prosecution focus.
When you couple the above with the Washington Post article suggesting that DOJ is considering offering companies leniency in exchange for full cooperation and disclosure of FCPA violations so long as the company cooperates fully in the prosecution of culpable individuals and the company maintains an effective anti-corruption compliance program; you have quite a story to explore. Such a change in prosecution strategy could have a significant impact on corporate liability for FCPA violations as well as corporate compliance programs. Businesses have long advocated for a leniency program and one may soon be put into practice.
Both Mike and I are quite excited to be putting on our first joint Webinar. His experience as a former DOJ prosecutor will provide valuable insight into how the Yates Memo will work to change the focus of line prosecutors, from their resources, to how prosecutors are evaluated. Moreover, Volkov has long advocated that companies understand more precisely how and what are the specific benefits of self-disclosure. Back at the Senate Judiciary hearing of 2010, he advocated a self-disclosure model based along the lines of the DOJ program for anti-trust enforcement. Now with the release of the Yates Memo and further clarifications from Sally Yates, I believe we have come quite close to what Volkov advocated. I know you will benefit from hearing about how Volkov thinks this new leniency program may well work in practice.
So I hope you will join Michael and myself, next Tuesday, December 1 at 2 PM EST, for a one-hour exploration of the changes wrought in 2015, what they may mean for FCPA enforcement in 2016 and beyond. I will review some of the specific compliance program inputs we received from the announcement of the DOJ’s Compliance Counsel and Caldwell’s articulation of the compliance program metrics. For more information and registration details, click here.