Florida companies involved in business that transcends the interests of a single country must be aware of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance. Gunster attorneys are dedicated to understanding the complexities presented by the FCPA, and seek to simplify and apply these regulations to Florida businesses and individuals seeking to shield themselves against potential violations and enforcement proceedings. Civil and criminal penalties for FCPA violations can be financially ruinous for businesses and individuals, and may lead to millions of dollars in financial penalties and imprisonment.
Gunster advises domestic and foreign business owners and their agents, executives and managers on the FCPA. The Act’s broad coverage and expansive meanings make it a potentially perilous statute, with enormous financial and legal consequences for U.S. businesses and individuals. The FCPA contains anti-bribery provisions, which forbid the offering of anything of value to a foreign official. It also contains accounting requirements, which essentially require public companies to maintain accurate books and records, as well as internal accounting controls and practices that ensure shareholders and the Securities and Exchange Commission have a clear picture of the organization’s finances.
Our team’s goal is to design customized FCPA compliance programs. The U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC have publicly stated that FCPA compliance programs must be tailored to a specific company’s business and its risk environment. A business with few transnational operations will be expected to have a less sophisticated and comprehensive FCPA compliance program compared to a multinational company.
Gunster has experience serving as FCPA counsel. Our attorneys are focused on remaining well versed regarding the Corruption Perceptions Index by country, as well as with the anti-corruption laws that apply in foreign jurisdictions, such as the U.K. Bribery Act, among others. Our attorneys are committed to working with clients who have regular commercial activity in Latin America and beyond to institute vigorous FCPA compliance programs with effective controls for detecting and eradicating questionable payments.
Creating an FCPA compliance program requires lawyers who thoroughly understand the nature of a company’s business. Gunster attorneys strive to fully understand our clients’ dealings with foreign officials, the employees and agents who interact with foreign officials, and third-party contractors. Our FCPA attorneys are also involved in the evaluation of existing compliance programs and in the establishment of audit committees designed to execute and monitor such initiatives. In addition, Gunster attorneys endeavor to create and conduct ongoing FCPA related training programs for leadership and employees, as well as work to oversee internal investigations and reporting procedures geared toward the protection of the company and its employees.
Gunster attorneys advise clients on FCPA implications pertaining to commercial transactions. Although the FCPA nowhere mentions mergers and acquisitions, it is widely expected by the Department of Justice and the SEC that businesses will conduct FCPA due diligence in merger and acquisition deals prior to closing. In matters where proper due diligence cannot be established, thorough FCPA due diligence must be completed within 180 days of closing the deal. After 180 days of the closing of any acquisition, the acquirer may be civilly and criminally liable for any FCPA violations acquired. Our attorneys focus on conducting FCPA due diligence, which allows our clients to more accurately evaluate the value of the acquisition at hand, as well as to address and remedy potential bribery issues under the FCPA prior to the acquisition.
FCPA legal counsel should be experienced in dealing with the Department of Justice Frauds Section and SEC because those agencies oversee FCPA matters. Counsel must also be well versed in conducting corporate investigations and working with forensic accountants. Gunster attorneys have practical experience handling corporate investigations, and are dedicated to understanding the practices and expectations of the enforcement agencies. Among the firm’s attorneys are a former chief of the fraud and economics crimes section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami, as well as former state and federal prosecutors. Our mission is to provide our clients with one of the most qualified legal teams in Florida in order to mount an effective and vigorous defense against an FCPA claim. Gunster attorneys strive to deliver the requisite experience and credibility needed to achieve the resolution of any FCPA matter.