With the world economy significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are struggling to survive and facing an acute need to retain existing business and obtain new business. This puts pressure on their business and marketing teams. As a result, proper management of the anti-corruption risks associated with business hospitality is even more important to avoid possible breach of applicable anti-bribery laws such as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Business hospitality, including gifts, meals, entertainment, transportation, lodging and per diems, that legitimately promotes cordial business relations or demonstrates a company’s products or services is a normal part of business relationships across the globe. However, business hospitality that improperly influences the behavior of the recipient to obtain or retain business advantages may result in actual or perceived anti-corruption violations, causing economic as well as reputational damage to the company. So, what are the things to look at when reviewing business hospitality expenses? This blogpost provides some practical advice to in-house legal and compliance professionals on the review and approval of business hospitality expenses.Continue Reading Risk Management for Business Hospitality–The Basics

As the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues globally, multinational companies and individuals are joining the fight against the virus, donating money and medical supplies, and providing necessary services. However, when making these charitable donations, either domestically or globally, companies should consider appropriate anti-corruption compliance procedures under applicable anti-bribery laws such as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to ensure the donation is used for the intended charitable purpose.  Any donation should be carried out in an open and transparent fashion, be based on fair and objective criteria, be accurately and completely documented, and be consistent in all respects with the principles of the company’s code of conduct and anti-corruption policies.

Some practical compliance safeguards include:

  • Donations should be made only to recipients that can be relied upon to use the donation in the legitimate manner intended by your company;
  • Donations should be described accurately and in reasonable detail in the books and records of your company; and
  • Donations that improperly or disproportionately benefit a public official or other recipient who has regulatory oversight over or who can improperly influence your company’s business should not be made.

Continue Reading Anti-Corruption Compliance for Charitable Donations—The Basics

The rampant spread of coronavirus across the world has brought with it terrible consequences to every conceivable part of life – hospitals have scrambled to care for patients, individuals have been confined to their homes, restaurants and bars have closed and flights have been cancelled.  The cogs of justice, however, also have not been immune from the reaches of the virus.

On 17 March 2020, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Burnett, announced the adjournment of all new trials in Crown Court listed to start before the end of April that are expected to last longer than three days.  The decision was made as a result of the large number of participants – judge, members of the jury, defendant, lawyers, witnesses and staff and the consequent risks of a trial not being able to complete.  Lord Burnett’s announcement noted, however, that trials already underway would generally proceed in the hope that they could be completed.Continue Reading Coronavirus: Even Justice is in Quarantine