Category: General

Integrating and Training Your Agents and Distributors (Part II of IV)

The Department of Justice and the SEC know they can push companies to expand and improve their anti-corruption compliance programs. They are well aware that the requirements set forth in their settlement documents, as well as the critical “Hallmarks of an Effective Compliance Program” in the FCPA Guidance, have resulted in expansion and improvement of anti-corruption compliance efforts. One specific area is the ever-increasing requirement...

The New Focus on Agent and Distributor Monitoring (Part I of IV)

I thought it would be helpful to run a series this week on the third-party due diligence process. It is one of my favorite topics and one that requires careful and continuing attention. I have put together a four-part series on some significant issues. Today we start with agent and distributor monitoring. The field of due diligence has quickly filled up. If you look at...

Long and Winding Road of FCPA Investigations

We all know the legal maxim – justice delayed is justice denied. The origins of the phrase go way back in history. Martin Luther King Jr. used the phrase in his letter from Birmingham jail in 1963, stating “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” The principle underlies much of our justice system, including the Constitutional right to a speedy trial. As a former prosecutor...

Brothers and Sisters in Arms: Defining Protocols for Legal and Compliance

When it comes to the relationship between legal and compliance, I reminisce to my days refereeing fights between my children (before they hit the ripe old age of the 20s) . I hate to refer to the days of Rodney King asking the US public – “why can’t we just get along?” There is a lot of truth in both of my references but it...

Five Important Traits for a Successful CECO

You know a successful Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer when you meet one. You can see it in the way they carry themselves, the way they speak and the way they interact with people in the company. A successful CECO is a positive person, one who commands respect, and who exercises careful judgment. More importantly, a successful CECO is a leader, not a business leader,...

Compliance Training Is Also About What You CAN Do

Lauren Connell, Managing Associate at The Volkov Law Group, joins us again for a posting about positive training — what you can do as opposed to what you cannot do.  Her profile is here and she can be reached at lconnell@volkovlaw.com. Your employees know that a suitcase full of cash given to a foreign government procurement officer to win a contract is a bribe and...

The Double Whammy: Cubist’s Recent FCPA Disclosure

In the FCPA enforcement world, corporate disclosures of potential violations carrying significant messages. Cubist Pharmaceuticals (Cubist) disclosed in a Form 10-Q that its subsidiary, which it acquired last year, Optimer Pharmaceuticals (Optimer) may have violated the FCPA in payments made to a research laboratory in 2011. Cubist’s disclosure is another in the continuing saga of pharmaceutical and medical device companies that have long-suffered FCPA investigations...

The Value of Due Diligence Certifications

As companies wrestle with designing and implementing due diligence screening and monitoring programs, several organizations have been pushing the value of certifications. The certification services come in different forms and with different levels of review. Plus they come with a range of legal caveats. For now, these programs are valuable but only for a limited purpose. Companies that solely rely on certification services are definitely...

The Absence of a CECO and the GM Fiasco

This is a posting that I have wanted to write since the GM scandal occurred. I have to start with a rhetorical question – Would the GM debacle have occurred if GM had an independent and empowered Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer? The answer to this is not as easy as you think. Having an empowered CECO does not necessarily mean that all legal violations,...

Five Essential Improvements to Corporate Governance

Continuing with my list theme for the week, it is important to remind everyone that a culture of compliance begins with the board of directors, filters to the CEO who commits to promoting ethics and compliance in the company, and finishes with a fabric of ethics and compliance that is built on trust and integrity. I recognize I have said more than a mouthful but...