BRIBERY PROBES: ARE YOU COVERED?

Over the last decade, massive bribery investigations impacting major companies such as Siemens, Avon and Walmart have dominated the discussions surrounding regulatory compliance. Indeed, hardly a day passes without another headline about a company facing allegations that its employees have bribed foreign officials. In the United States, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have made public statements that anti-bribery enforcement will continue to be a primary focus of efforts. And with the enactment of the UK Bribery Act in 2010, anti-bribery enforcement has become a focus in the UK as well. In the current climate of enhanced FCPA and UK Bribery Act enforcement, any corporation – big or small – subject to either or both regulations will surely have concerns about potential exposure. The receipt of information regarding allegations of corrupt payments triggers an immediate inquiry into the company’s exposure risks and possible disclosure concerns.

Company counsel and directors and officers must understand, prior to the discovery of a problem, whether their existing insurance policies will cover the costs related to the investigation and defence of the exposure risk. Repeatedly, over the course of the past five years, general counsel and officers and directors have been shocked to learn how little relevant insurance coverage, if any, they really have. 

Oct-Dec 2014 Issue

Brown Rudnick LLP