Shearman & Sterling has published the latest issue of its bi-annual FCPA Digest report, highlighting how FCPA enforcement actions have fared amid a difficult year marked by the COVID-19 outbreak, the presidential elections, natural disasters and the ensuing disruptions of market and governmental activity.

Among the highlights from 2020 were:

  • Eighteen corporate enforcement actions, with total sanctions of approximately $8.24 billion, making 2020 a record-shattering year in terms of quantum of FCPA enforcement penalties.
  • An average corporate sanction of $110 million (excluding outliers), which is higher than the average from recent years; and a median corporate sanction of $106 million, which is also significantly higher compared to recent years;
  • The aggregate amount of foreign government recoveries in FCPA enforcement actions ($4.75 billion) exceeds the amount assessed by the U.S. government ($3.41 billion);
  • The first update to the FCPA Resource Guide and the first DOJ Opinion Procedure Release in the last six years;
  • The growing coordination between the FCPA enforcement agencies and other U.S. government entities, including OFAC and the CFTC;
  • Record rewards under the SEC whistleblower program and significant whistleblower reforms under the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act;
  • The National Defense Authorization Act includes corporate transparency reforms aimed at eliminating the use of anonymous shell companies and explicit statutory authority for the SEC's disgorgement powers;
  • In the U.K., after a slow start in the first half of the year, the Serious Fraud Office secured a number of bribery-related outcomes, including a DPA against Airline Services Limited and convictions against a number of individuals arising from the Unaoil investigation. However, despite some notable successes in the past six months, the SFO remains under pressure to increase the number of outcomes it delivers.

Our latest report explores continuing and developing trends and patterns in the U.S., the U.K., and elsewhere, as well as helpful guidance on emerging best practices in FCPA and global anti-corruption compliance programs.

Read the January 2021 "FCPA Digest: Recent Trends and Patterns in the Enforcement of the FCPA."

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