Practice/Industry Group Overview
Edwards Wildman's impressive experience with US law enforcement, combined with the unique anti-corruption experience of our London-based attorneys, enables us to offer unparalleled service to clients facing any corruption-related situation.
Increased Worldwide Focus on Anti-Corruption Efforts
Prosecutors worldwide are increasingly aiming to hold companies and associated individuals liable for their involvement in public corruption involving even low-level employees working far away from the home office. The New York Times recently published an examination of the crackdown on corporations involved in foreign corruption, remarking, "for companies that have not adapted to the new legal landscape, the consequences are becoming more serious." The US Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission have significantly ramped up their enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The US Department of Justice now has devoted a team of attorneys and investigators to FCPA investigations, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission has likewise increased its FCPA staffing.
Significant Anti-Corruption Experience
Edwards Wildman has impressive experience and capabilities in assisting corporations and individuals confronting corruption issues in a wide array of contexts. Our offices in the US and in London are uniquely positioned to guide clients through almost any corruption-related issue, whether it be implementing effective training and compliance programs, vetting prospective business partners, conducting challenging multi-national internal investigations, or responding to government inquiries or enforcement actions.
We have extensive experience representing a broad range of companies and individuals dealing with the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Firm has several former Assistant US Attorneys among its partners and is skilled at working with government regulators in both informal and formal investigations.
The Firm also regularly conducts corporate internal investigations, and has performed FCPA investigations for clients around the globe. We have, for example, represented clients in connection with corruption investigations in Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Russia, and Taiwan, as well as in the United States and in most European countries. We also have extensive experience with anti-corruption efforts in Africa. We have significant experience related to anti-corruption efforts in the biotech, manufacturing, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries.
We also have extensive experience in data protection, whistleblower protocols, and privacy compliance duties of companies in different countries arising from corruption inquiries, investigations and remedial compliance actions.
We know how to work with a company’s auditors and have experience overseeing and working with forensic accountants and technologists. Our attorneys are experienced in designing and implementing investigations that meet clients’ needs and satisfy the expectations of government enforcers, while avoiding unnecessary and costly practices. The Firm has efficiently handled the complexities of large investigations involving multiple languages and local customs, including managing various information collection and data transfer obligations.
Finally, as prevention is always the best cure, we also have extensive experience assisting our clients in implementing effective anti-corruption compliance programs that both reduce the likelihood of becoming entangled in public corruption inquiries in the first place, and serve to help show prosecutors how serious our clients take corruption issues should any issues ultimately arise.
Unique Anti-Corruption Capabilities
The Firm’s London office boasts some of Europe's most experienced attorneys in the area of foreign corruption. Our attorneys have assisted corporate clients with implementing meaningful compliance and training programs, carrying out a variety of investigations, and navigating corruption-related litigation issues. The significant language abilities of our attorneys allow the Firm to assist clients with anti-corruption in a variety of jurisdictions, from the US to Europe and beyond. We recently worked with the US Department of Justice in supervising a massive corporate FCPA compliance program that spanned nearly all of Europe.
Our work on behalf of corporations is informed by a unique insight gained from our significant anti-corruption work performed on behalf of numerous foreign governments. We have represented several governments in Africa and Asia in their efforts to trace, freeze and recover bribes and misappropriated public funds from dishonest officials, their companies, trusts and associates. In this context our attorneys have investigated many corruptly obtained contracts, working primarily with local anti corruption commissions and law enforcement officers. We have also advised governments on the drafting and implementation of national legislation to put in place anti corruption and anti money laundering measures.