FIFA Indictments, Corporate Compliance, Alfred Kinsey and Robert Lee
Posted On August 2, 2015
Law360’s Zachary Zagger has a nice piece on the FIFA prosecution and quotes, among others, Jack Sharman:
“Given this many defendants and the fact that there is going to be at least some who are going to cooperate, it would not surprise me if there wasn’t a second wave of charges or people coming out of the woodwork, people you have not heard of yet,” said Jackson R. Sharman III, a white collar criminal defense attorney with Lightfoot Franklin & White LLC.
“If it is going to survive, it is going to have to have a more rigorous compliance structure than some of the items that have come across thus far,” Sharman said suggesting that it may need to create something like a corporate board of directors or an inspector general-type official to address compliance issues directly.
Jackson Sharman, a white collar specialist at Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC, says that the case shows that the notion of a swelling, global compliance culture may be exaggerated. Attorneys and compliance professionals often make the mistake of believing their concerns about bribery are representative of the organizations where they work, he said. “It’s dangerous to assume that a legal regime is being internalized by everybody, because clearly it’s not,” Mr. Sharman said. “Assuming that others think the same way as you think can be fatal.”
Setting others aside, it can also be fatal to your enterprise if you fail to understand how you going about thinking through compliance questions.
Except perhaps for “paradigm” and “silo,” the word “culture” is one of the most abused in the vocabulary of compliance, ethics and consultants. (I once heard a consultant say that he needed “a high hover over the silos.” I thought it an ironic mash-up about drones and agriculture; it was not). Yet, “culture” has a meaning in the broader world; in commerce; and in compliance. “Culture” represents a gear-shift in compliance and ethics, and can be smooth or bone-rattling.
(For the careless reader, note that the title refers to McKinsey, the consulting firm, not to Alfred Kinsey, the sex researcher).
Global or domestic, “compliance” comes in three flavors — criminal, civil and regulatory. Sometimes, you get a mouthful of all three at once.