Morrison & Foerster has extensive experience across a broad range of issues involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other anti-corruption laws around the world. MoFo’s FCPA and Global Anti-Corruption practice has deep experience in and insight into this complex area of the law, and our clients routinely seek our guidance in:

  • Developing and Testing Compliance Programs
  • Mitigating Risk in Business Partner Relationships
  • Performing Transactional Due Diligence
  • Undertaking Internal Investigations
  • Defending Against Enforcement Agencies in the United States and Abroad
  • Conducting Risk Assessments

We leverage our global network of resources and experience in the United States, Latin America, Europe/EMEA and the Asia-Pacific region to ensure seamless geographic coverage for our clients. Our award-winning white-collar practice includes distinguished former federal prosecutors and regulators, veteran career defense attorneys and seasoned foreign counsel. We are the only law firm in the world with two former managers of the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section’s FCPA Unit: the former Deputy Chief of the FCPA Unit who was in charge of all of DOJ’s FCPA investigations and resolutions in the United States and was one of the principal authors of the widely acclaimed publication A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; and a former Assistant Chief of the FCPA Unit who tried two landmark FCPA-related cases and was later promoted to Senior Deputy Chief, the Fraud Section’s third-ranking official. Our team’s strength comes from its unmatched experience and diversity, bringing together nationally-recognized trial attorneys, former federal prosecutors and regulators, privacy experts, international trade specialists, government contracting lawyers, and an in-house forensic accounting director who is both a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner. Because of the breadth and depth of our team, we are consistently able to tailor our resources to effectively and efficiently address client needs, whether that client is a large multinational corporation or an individual business executive or board member.

Our engagements have included sensitive internal investigations, defense of enforcement actions, real-time practical advice and legal opinions about novel corruption-related business issues, individual representation, risk-related third-party and transactional diligence, the training of boards, senior managers, and employees, risk assessments, and the design, testing, and implementation of compliance programs.

Internal Investigations and Government Enforcement

We have extensive experience conducting corruption-related internal investigations for private, public, large, and small companies all around the world. When issues arise for our clients, we are well positioned to help. The assistance we provide ranges from working with our clients’ internal teams to handle small investigations, to executing major cross-border internal investigations. And if clients face government investigations or criminal charges, we have the experience and credibility to help them navigate government scrutiny and contest charges in a courtroom where necessary.

Anti-Corruption Transactional and Third-Party Due Diligence

Whether our clients are entering a new market, engaging a new consultant or distributor, or acquiring a new business, we help them conduct appropriate, risk-based corruption due diligence to assess the associated risks and develop a plan for mitigating any risks.

Knowing how much due diligence is enough requires real-world experience, considered judgment, and insightful analysis. We believe in a practical and risk-based approach, one that is tailored to the company and transaction at issue, so that our clients can focus their compliance resources where they are most needed. We are well positioned to help our clients benchmark how their due diligence approach (both as to third parties and business transactions) compares to the approaches of their peers and to assess whether the regulators will feel that the level of diligence completed is sufficient given the risks.

Anti-Corruption Risk Assessment and Compliance Programs

We believe, and experience shows, that most anti-corruption problems can be prevented by understanding risks and putting the right compliance programs in place. As businesses evolve, their risks evolve. Staying ahead of those risks is critical. This is why regulators in both the U.S. and abroad repeatedly underscore the importance of thoughtful and regularly-updated risk assessments as an essential component of any compliance program.

Understanding current and developing risks enables companies to make informed and practical decisions about what policies and procedures are necessary and what resources are needed to implement them effectively. Assessing evolving risks also informs the appropriate approach to effective compliance training such as the audience, content, frequency, and delivery system. Having a risk-based and appropriately tailored compliance program not only decreases the likelihood that problems will arise, but also places companies in the best position possible to detect and remediate problems if an issue does surface. Besides protecting a company’s reputation, this will also demonstrate to regulators that a company takes compliance with the law seriously.

Read our recent publications involving developments in FCPA and Anti-Corruption.

  • Conducting a cross-border internal investigation into potential violations of anti-corruption laws at several European affiliates of one of the largest companies in Asia.
  • Represented a senior executive in an investigation of a retailer’s activities in Mexico in connection with an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Mexican authorities into possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The investigation initially focused on alleged bribes paid in connection with the opening of retail outlets in Mexico, but has expanded to Brazil and other countries.
  • Represented the audit committee of an international fertilizer company in its internal investigation resulting from a whistleblower complaint alleging violations of the FCPA. After we completed the investigation and reported the results to the SEC, the SEC declined to conduct an investigation of its own and closed the file.
  • Represented a U.S.-based multinational public corporation in an internal investigation of whistleblower allegations of violations of the FCPA in China and elsewhere in Asia, with interviews in several countries. Following the conclusion of our investigation and self-reporting, the SEC and DOJ took no action against our client.
  • Represented senior executives of multinational corporations in investigations by the DOJ and the SEC into allegations of illegal payments to government officials in Nigeria, Angola, Kazakhstan, and Thailand.
  • Represented an officer of a large oil services firm in a joint DOJ and SEC investigation relating to payments to government officials in Indonesia and Brazil.
  • Represented a major U.S. medical device developer in an internal investigation involving FCPA and anti-bribery issues in China.
  • Represented employee of an international public company under investigation for violation of the FCPA in connection with activities in Argentina. After testimony, the SEC took no action against the employee.
  • Assisted publicly traded U.S. energy company with anti-corruption due diligence into foreign acquisition target with substantial operations in China, Latin America, and South Asia. Based on results of due diligence, developed anti-corruption compliance program for merged entity and assisted with in-person training of China employees prior to closing.
  • Assisted company with anti-corruption due diligence in connection with acquisition of foreign telecom company with substantial operations in Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Based on results of due diligence, advised company regarding implementation of post-acquisition compliance program.
  • Represented company with a post- acquisition anti-corruption compliance review of a newly acquired business with operations and significant government touch points in Russia, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
  • Represented leading investment fund in conducting pre- acquisition FCPA and anti-corruption due diligence for acquisition of a manufacturing business with significant operations in China, Thailand, Japan, and Mexico; designed and implemented post-closing risk assessment and remediation program.
  • Represented company with significant operations in Asia and Latin America in conducting an anti- corruption risk assessment. Following the risk assessment, assisted with development of global compliance program, including developing policies and training, as well as procedures for screening third parties.
  • Represented a technology company with significant international operations in conducting an anti-corruption risk assessment. Following the risk assessment, assisted the company with updating its policies, procedures, and training plan to reflect learnings from the assessment.
  • Our FCPA and Global Anti-Corruption team has earned a reputation for the results we deliver to our clients. Both our collective work and that of our individual team members is widely recognized. Highlights include:

    Chambers Asia Pacific: Singapore 2019
    Band 1: Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption (Daniel P. Levison) “good cerebral lawyer”

    Chambers Asia Pacific: China (International Firms) 2019
    Highly ranked in Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption, with Timothy Blakely highly recommended

    Global Investigation Review 2018
    GIR 100: World’s Leading Investigations Practices

    Who’s Who Legal Investigations 2019
    Daniel Levison and Timothy Blakely are listed as leading lawyers

    The publication commented that “Daniel Levison is recognised as a major player in the market, impressing sources with his top-tier work on cross-border investigation and compliance matters, ” and that “Timothy Blakely is a practitioner who peers state ‘stands out in the region’ and is ‘definitely worthy of recognition’ for his excellent work on internal investigations relating to anti-corruption laws.”

    Chambers USA 2018
    National: FCPA
    New York: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations

    Chambers USA 2017
    National: FCPA
    New York: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations

    Legal 500 US 2018
    National: Dispute Resolution: Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense

    Legal 500 US 2017
    National: Dispute Resolution: Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense

    Legal 500 UK 2017
    Corporate Crime (including fraud, bribery, and corruption)
    Fraud: Civil
    Fraud: White-Collar Crime

    Global Investigations Review
    GIR 100 2018: World’s Leading Investigations Practice
    GIR 100 2017: World’s Leading Investigations Practice

    Ethisphere Institute
    Six of our attorneys have been named “Attorneys Who Matter,” an honor that recognizes attorneys who have significantly advanced of corporate compliance and ethics.

    Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award: The U.S. Attorney General presented this prestigious award , the second-highest honor for employee performance, to Charles Duross for his leading role in prosecuting  a member of Congress for violating the FCPA. The Assistant Attorney General also awarded James Koukios this award in recognition of his work as a lead trial attorney in two landmark FCPA-related trials, United States v. Esquenazi and United States v. Duperval.

    U.S. Assistant Attorney General’s Exceptional Service Award: Presented to Charles Duross by the U.S. Assistant Attorney General overseeing the Criminal Division, this honor is considered the Criminal Division’s highest award for employee performance. Mr. Duross received this recognition for  his leadership during the OECD Phase 3 of the United States’ FCPA enforcement program. 

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    Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019





    “Thriving FCPA practice with a strong bench of attorneys that includes a number of former federal prosecutors and regulatory experts… Handles a broad range of compliance matters including corporate monitorships.” (Chambers USA 2018)


    “[The firm] is handling the monitorship of Odebrecht following a high-profile and multi-jurisdictional coordinated action taken by U.S., Brazilian and Swiss regulators. The group also represents high-profile individuals in numerous cross-border criminal matters.” (Legal500 US 2018)

    FCPA White Paper
    Download Our
    FCPA White Paper

    The Investigations Review of the Americas 2018
    Read our “Data privacy and transfer in cross-border investigations” chapter first published in GIR’s The Investigations Review of the Americas 2018.

    The Guide to Corporate Crisis Management - First Edition
    Read our “Anti-Corruption in Latin America,” chapter in The Guide to Corporate Crisis Management - First Edition

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