FIFA Indictments and the Notion of Global Compliance

Well played?

Well played?

In an article by Joel Schectman for the Wall Street Journal and its “Morning Risk Report,” Jack Sharman is interviewed about the idea of a global compliance regime in light of the recent indictments of FIFA officials:

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.”

Read the full article here: The Morning Risk Report: FIFA Allegations Shows Old School Bribery Lives On

Compliance drill.

Compliance drill.

There will doubtless be much fodder for discussion in the FIFA cases — bribery, FCPA, jurisdiction, cooperation and many more issues — but here here is a good place to start.



Breaking Bad, All the Time: White Collar Crime for Business Lawyers

 

Trial Dot Com

The Network of Trial Law Firms is an excellent CLE vehicle.  Here’s a Sharman White Collar Panel Video of a Network panel about white-collar issues for civil lawyers — me, Jackie Arango of Akerman Senterfit (Miami), Joel Neckers of Wheeler Trigg (Denver) and Gerry Leone of Noxon Peabody (Boston).  Here’s the blurb from the Network program:

No one thinks of themselves, their employees or their company as “criminals.” On the other hand, Walter White was once just a chemistry teacher. The lines between what are business-crime problems and what are traditional corporate civil issues — compliance, due diligence, regulatory recordkeeping and permitting, whistleblowers, confidentiality, privilege and indemnification — have become blurred. Listen to an experienced panel highlight the most important events and insights from 2013 and what to expect in 2014.

Video camera

I know, I know.  The video is a bit long to just sit and watch unless you’ve previously gone to the “Cocktails” archive of this blog, but I find the most curious point to arrive at minute 25:22, where I play for the crowd a 140-second video of myself talking about search warrants.  A video within video.  They loved it.





Less Law Department Budget, More Growth, Unknown Compliance: What’s The Corporate Ethos?

In an era of flat or barely budging general-counsel or risk-management budgets, the question of  Balancing Budgets and Growth, especially for a multinational company, can be brutal.  Creating a compliance structure that looks cool on paper (or digitally) is one thing; testing actual performance is another.  As in most areas that test human willfulness and weakness against human laws, only the overriding culture and ethos will save the day (or cause the day to fail).


Honor and the FCPA

This is a compelling question: FCPA Professor on Trust in the Corporation

Can a culture of trust — of honor — work better as a corporation’s FCPA defense than a labyrinth of rules?  This is not merely a “tone at the top” kind of question.  Rather, it requires a commonly-shared landscape of what is honorable conduct; a handful of commonly-shared principles of comportment; everyone’s understanding that this system works to the benefit of all; and a single-sanction intolerance for whatever wanders outside that ethical landscape.

Even if the honor-culture is more effective than checking-off-the-boxes in your department’s compliance template, how does a company in an FCPA case defend the honor-culture to investigating Government agents and lawyers?  Won’t they desire to see how many boxes were (or were not) checked?