PLANNING AND CONDUCTING COST-EFFECTIVE FCPA INVESTIGATIONS

The title of this article seems like an oxymoron, especially to companies that have been the subject of prominent media reports highlighting the extraordinarily costly FCPA investigations in which they have been involved for months and even years. Investigations costing hundreds of millions of dollars in legal and accounting fees have burdened companies, before even reaching the point of settling the amounts of fines and penalties they will be paying to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It has been widely reported that one major US company was incurring investigative expenses at a rate of over $600,000 per day on its FCPA case.

In response to the global reach of the FCPA and increasing enforcement of other anti-corruption laws by ever more aggressive prosecutors, how can companies, which must undertake investigations to protect themselves, contain their costs? In regularly handling these FCPA cases before the US authorities, we have developed several key strategies to contain costs, while meeting the demands imposed on companies to conduct thorough and effective investigations into potential misconduct. Substantial costs can be saved from the beginning to end of the process if companies and their counsel focus on: (i) effective planning, particularly in the allocation of personnel and resources; (ii) disciplined scoping of the investigation; (iii) maximising efficiencies in conducting the investigation; and (iv) implementing critical compliance enhancements that can contribute to a more favourable resolution of the case.

Oct-Dec 2013 Issue

Baker & McKenzie LLP