Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP has published its 2008 Year-End FCPA Update.
By any measure, 2008 was a monster year in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) enforcement. With thirty-three enforcement actions between the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the statute’s dual enforcers, 2008 was the second busiest numerical year on the books, trailing only 2007. But beyond the numbers (after all, with the massive Siemens resolution, 2008 dwarfs all other years combined in fines and disgorgement), 2008 saw the FCPA’s enforcement regime mature like never before. There were no unimportant FCPA enforcement actions this year. Whether the trend was increasingly aggressive enforcement against individuals, ramped up international coordination, the joining of FCPA prosecutions with prosecutions for distinct federal crimes, or others trends discussed herein, every case fits an important trend in foreign bribery enforcement that we expect to continue into 2009 and beyond.
They go on to highlight five trends in FCPA enforcement:
1. Escalating corporate financial penalties;
2. Increasing focus on individual prosecutions;
3. Internationalization of foreign anti-corruption enforcement;
4. DOJ’s coupling of FCPA prosecutions with other charges; and
5. Continuing upswing in FCPA litigation.