• Elements of an Effective Corporate Compliance Program
  • November 30, 2017 | Author: Jodi L. Avergun
  • Law Firm: Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP - Washington Office
  • Companies that are either located in, or transact business in the United States – even if they are not in highly regulated industries like health care or finance – are subject to an almost ever-increasing array of regulations with which they must comply. Add to that the financial incentives provided by the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act 2010 (“Dodd-Frank Act”) and companies can find themselves at the center of regulatory or criminal investigations in an instant. When this happens, companies under investigation can lessen the blow of any penalty by demonstrating to prosecutors that it had in place an effective compliance program.1 The emphasis on an effective compliance program to deter criminal conduct derives both from Section 8B2.1 of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines,2 and The Principles of Federal Prosecution of Business Organizations chapter of the U.S. Attorney’s Manual.3 The “effective program” described in both documents is the single most important tool, other than self-disclosure and cooperation, on which a company can rely in seeking leniency from the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) at sentencing or in charging decisions. More importantly, the presence of an effective compliance program is a critical weapon in a company’s arsenal to protect it from reputational and financial harm – and of course from government investigations.