At Sea About Whether You’re Violating The FCPA? Don’t Be – Just Ask!
March 1, 2022 | The Insider: White Collar Defense and Securities Enforcement
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act advisory opinion procedure is back—and it may prove more useful than ever. On January 21, 2022, the United States Department of Justice issued its latest FCPA Opinion Procedure Release. This Release—DOJ’s second in as many years—suggests a potential revitalization of the opinion procedure process, which has been criticized for being cumbersome and slow and which previously had fallen into disuse. Nonetheless, the process can be a useful tool for companies faced with the dilemma of acting to satisfy the demands of foreign government officials in the face of the significant obstacles often posed by the U.S. anti-bribery laws. The January 2022 Release is significant both for the swiftness with which DOJ rendered its opinion as well as its discussion of the applicability and scope of the rarely discussed duress defense to the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions.