Former SEC and DOJ Attorneys Discuss Thorny FCPA Questions on Jurisdiction and Liability

One distinguishing factor of the FCPA is the “manifest and obvious gap between what the statute provides, and how it is enforced by the regulatory agencies,” Laurence Urgenson, a partner at Mayer Brown, observed at PLI’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and International Anti-Corruption Developments 2017 event. That gap and the lack of judicial scrutiny of the law can invite ambiguity. Urgenson, and his fellow former federal prosecutors Philip Urofsky, a partner at Shearman & Sterling, Bruce Yannett, a partner at Debevoise, Thomas Hanusik, a partner at Crowell & Moring, along with Richard Grime, a partner at Gibson Dunn and former Assistant Director of the SEC Division of Enforcement, discussed some of these unresolved issues at the PLI event, sharing candid insights about how the government “stretches” the statute, and how the statute can reach subsidiaries, people and successors, including ways to lessen potential liability. See also “2016 Brought Heavy Enforcement, a Flurry of Settlements and Disruption to the FCPA Space” (Mar. 1, 2017).

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