Until a few years ago, corporate decision-makers often worried that knowledge about their company’s human rights impacts may increase risks of litigation, prosecution and investment withdrawal.
Entries in Knowledge (53)
Compliance professionals facing push back from deal makers ought to take heart from a recent English High Court decision involving UBS (AG) London UBS and Leipzig’s water utility KWL.
Sam Rubenfeld of the Wall Street Journal reported that Joel Esquenazi and Carlos Rodriguez, who were convicted for FCPA-related offenses in a scheme to bribe officials at Haiti’s state-owned telecom company, plan to file a petition this week for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court.
Federal district judge Keith B. Ellison denied motions for summary judgments filed by the SEC, and by former Noble executives Mark Jackson and James Ruehlen.
A pending case -- largely ignored by the compliance profession and the press -- brings before the courts one of the most troubling issues of the Wal-Mart investigation: Was the Wal-Mart Board of Directors misled during 2005-2012 regarding an alleged Mexican bribery scheme and subsequent cover-up? If so, was that due to intentional misconduct by some directors or senior executives reporting to the Board who either participated in or knew about the purported scheme?
If a local manager in China pays bribes and is liable under the law, could his or her supervising executives in the U.S. or Europe also be held criminally responsible? Or should they shrug off the possible liabilities by claiming “the mountain is high, the emperor is far away?”
Companies often face extortionate demands from foreign police, bureaucrats, and regulators, who threaten to hold, expel, or even harm employees if ransoms aren't paid. And there have always been questions whether those involuntary payments can violate the FCPA.
FTI Consulting this week announced the results of its research into U.K. business leaders’ perception of the Bribery Act. While no one expected the new law to immediately eradicate bribery by U.K. businesses, what's surprising is the number of business people who freely admit they would flout the rules to win business.