Brian Sillaman
Member of Hughes Hubbard & Reed, former attorney in the SEC Enforcement Division

June 17th, 2013

An FCPA Lawyer In Paris

Today’s post is a Q&A with Bryan Sillaman (Hughes Hubbard & Reed). Sillaman is a member of the firm’s Anti-Corruption and Internal Investigations Practice Group and is currently working in the firm’s Paris office. Prior to joining Hughes Hubbard, Sillaman was an attorney in the SEC Enforcement Division where he conducted several Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations.

Q: What brought you to Paris and what is it like being an FCPA lawyer in Paris?

Hughes Hubbard has had an office in Paris for nearly 50 years, and has a long history representing French companies. I was fortunate enough to be asked to come to Paris to assist one of our French clients with a global anti-corruption review. At the time, it was unclear how long I would stay, but that was nearly four and a half years ago. It has been fascinating and instructive to see how the FCPA and U.S. enforcement environment is perceived within Europe, and to also witness the development of other significant international anti-corruption initiatives, such as the passage of the U.K. Bribery Act, which got the attention of a lot of European companies. The industry of compliance appears to be steadily growing in France, with one of the French universities creating a Masters in Law and Business Ethics (Master Droit & Ethique des Affaires). While part of this seems to be in response to increased enforcement of European companies by the U.S., I also believe that the political climate in Europe generally, and France specifically, is becoming less tolerant of corruption – particularly at the governmental level – which has helped fuel the industry.

Q: How are European clients different from U.S. clients, perhaps in terms of voluntary disclosure, cooperation with enforcement agencies, etc.?

One thing to keep in mind when working with European companies is that, at least in certain countries, it was legal and in fact tax deductible to pay bribes until just over a decade ago. In this sense, anti-corruption compliance is a newer issue for many companies, although it is one that is gaining increased focus and attention, particularly within multinational corporations. It should also be remembered that for the first approximately twenty years of the FCPA’s existence, it was relatively rarely enforced. Thus, while perhaps some European countries are lagging the U.S. in bringing their own enforcement proceedings, there does appear to be an increased focus on the issue within the corporate community.

For better or worse, European conceptions of topics such as voluntary disclosure, cooperation, and remediation have been largely shaped to date by U.S. enforcement jurisprudence and posture. Therefore, in advising European companies on such issues, counsel naturally have differing philosophical viewpoints on the potential benefits and pitfalls of voluntary disclosure or cooperation. Anecdotally, however, I think that the concept of voluntary disclosing issues to the government (and potentially being prosecuted in return) strikes many European companies as contrary to sound logic. European clients also find fascinating the broad jurisdictional view taken by U.S. (and now U.K) regulators, as well as what until recent history is a new concept: that of the independent corporate monitor.

There are also more nuanced issues that can have a profound impact on how to conduct a compliance review with European companies that may, at first blush, seem unusual to U.S. counsel. For example, one of the initial differences that will likely become apparent is how European companies approach data privacy rights of employees and the handling or movement of potentially sensitive information. Europe in general, and certain countries like France in particular, have much stronger personal privacy data rights than those we may be familiar with in the United States, and these rights extend into an individual’s workplace. Counsel who are not wary of these issues and take them in consideration in structuring and conducting a review can face their own legal trouble. In addition to bestowing legal rights on individuals, these data privacy concerns must also be taken into account culturally, in the sense that counsel should be prepared for greater resistance to activities such as the collection of emails and electronic data that may be necessary, but nonetheless intrusive, steps towards conducting an effective review.

Q: You have travelled extensively as part of your FCPA practice (Angola, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Middle East, Nigeria, Thailand and Venezuela). From these travels and experiences, what do you believe are the major root causes of FCPA violations?

Corruption is most certainly a two-way street. When it comes to bribe payers, unfortunately many cases seem to boil down to greed and a myopic focus on winning at all costs that is ever-too-present in many industries. For sure there are frequently claims that “everyone else is doing it,” but as we all learned when we were young, that doesn’t make it right. In terms of bribe recipients, while I will not claim to have researched the issue as much as others have in this field, anecdotally one of the major themes in countries we often visit is the absence of a fair and livable wage for government functionaries. In these cases, officials may feel as though there is no alternative but to seek payments from companies and their employees (who they may see living at a much higher standard) in order to earn a sufficient living. With larger-scale corruption, I think the same mentality exists, but in a more perverse way – officials placed in charge of vast amounts of resources see companies and others making significant amounts of money off of those resources and see no alternative but to seek what they come to view as their rightful piece of the pie.

Q: What do you know or realize now as it relates to the FCPA and FCPA compliance that you did not know or realize while at the SEC working on FCPA cases?

Perhaps it was more a function that I was at the SEC very early in my career, but I did not realize until traveling extensively assisting clients in this area the importance that companies place on practical guidance when it comes to anti-corruption compliance. It is one thing to recite to a client the FCPA’s statutory language, but quite another to provide helpful guidance on ways in which companies can operate in a legal and compliant way in very difficult locations and business environments. I and my colleagues operate from the premise that most people want to do the right thing, they just need the training and guidance to do so. I think this thirst for practical guidance is one of the reasons that DOJ/SEC Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has been well received within this community, and I applaud both agencies for the significant efforts that went into making it approachable and practical. Certainly, there remain very difficult questions, some of which do not have a clear answer. For example, when and to what extent is it appropriate to take personnel action against an employee? There may not be a black-and-white answer to this question, and in Europe, where labor laws tend to heavily favor employees, implementing appropriate employee sanctions can be quite difficult. Having been fortunate enough to have helped companies navigate through some of these issues, I acknowledge that I lacked a full appreciation earlier in my career for the time and energy that companies and their compliance personnel devote to implementing, in a practical way, the anti-corruption legal standards and guidance that govern their activity.


Bart M. Schwartz
Chairman and CEO Guidepost Solutions LLC


Guidepost Solutions LLC









Comply or Explain v. Comply or Confess

Last week I had the privilege of participating in the European Symposium on Ethics and Governance at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. It was quite a gathering under the tutelage and supervision of Dean Roxana Family of Cergy-Pontoise School of Law in Paris, France. She did a fantastic job bringing together experts, government officials, business people and students from many countries to hear from similarly diverse groups of panel members.

I discussed the difference between the "soft law" compliance requirements found in France, the UK and many other countries compared to the "hard law" in the United States. The soft law, known as "comply or explain', means that listed companies must defend any deviation from the standard. But, if the explanation is accepted then the deviation is accepted. I'm over simplifying it a bit, but that is the gravamen of the program. I compared that to our system, which has no government models and relies to a great extent on law enforcement. I dubbed it "comply or confess."

About Guidepost Solutions, LLC
Guidepost Solutions is a global leader in investigations, due diligence, security design consulting, immigration and cross-border consulting, and monitoring and compliance solutions. We help companies, government agencies, individuals and their advisors solve problems, advance business opportunities, mitigate risks and resolve disputes - among many other services. Our professional team includes former federal and state prosecutors and law enforcement officials and leaders in the security, investigations, and intelligence and public safety communities. Our solutions protect lives, assets and reputations.

Bart M. Schwartz

Chairman and CEO

Bart M. Schwartz a plus de 30 années d’expérience en tant qu’avocat au tribunal, associé, juriste d’entreprise ou dirigeant et conseille à ce titre les entreprises, les gouvernements et les particuliers sur des questions complexes.

Ancien chef de la division criminelle dans le district sud de New York, à l’époque sous la supervision du procureur Rudolph Giuliani, Bart Schwartz a suivi les poursuites relatives à la fraude financière et commerciale, le crime organisé et d’autres formes de criminalité à col blanc. Il a effectué certaines de ses missions en tant que moniteur pour Deutsche Bank AG, BP et DHL, récepteur des fonds Merkin liés à l’affaire Madoff, conseiller de la conformité pour les Emirats Arabes Unis, enquêteur pour Hewlett-Packard et Texaco et assurer de la transparence pour la Metropolitan Transit Authority de New York. Il a également été élu, par les investisseurs, au conseil d’administration des stratégies de crédits structurés Bear Stearns Ltd pour mener une enquête indépendante et sert maintenant comme co-conseil au receveur. Une de ses entreprises, Guidepost, est le moniteur d’intégrité de l’Autorité portuaire de New York et du New Jersey pour la construction du projet, pluriannuel de plusieurs milliards de dollars, du Centre de sécurité des véhicules au sein du complexe du World Trade Center à New York.

En 1991, Bart M. Schwartz a fondé et servi comme Président-directeur général de Decision Strategies, une entreprise de renommée internationale d'enquête et de sécurité, qui a été vendue à SPX (NYSE: SPW) en 2001. Il a continué en tant que PDG jusqu’en 2003, lorsqu’il a démissionné pour démarrer sa nouvelle entreprise. Il a mené de nombreuses enquêtes nationales et internationales, y compris les enquêtes internes et des enquêtes relatives aux questions de ressources humaines, de conformité, de Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, de fraude, de recherche d’actifs et de diligence.

Bart M. Schwartz est aujourd’hui Président-directeur général de SolutionPoint International, Inc., qui possède Guidepost Solutions, LLC; Bode Technology Group, Inc. and NSM Surveillance. Il est également Président du comité de conformité de HMS Holdings Corp.

Keith Darcy
Executive Director, Ethics and Compliance Officers Association (ECOA)

"The Ethics and Compliance Officer Association (ECOA) is the largest membership organization in the world exclusively for ethics and compliance professionals. Formed 20 years ago, ECOA now has over 1,250 members across six continents. Our mission is to provide our members with the tools and resources necessary to mitigate against legal, regulatory and reputational harm. By virtue of our size we also provide access to an unparalleled network of ethics and compliance experts, as well as a global forum for the exchange of ideas and strategies.

The world today is complex, networked, global and transparent. In a transparent world there are no secrets and there is no place to hide. As a result all of our decisions are subject to a new standard – the light of day. It is imperative that we find alliances with like-minded institutions that are committed to address the increasing internal and external threats to organizational integrity.

The Chair of Excellence of Law and Business Ethics was created in 2007. ECOA saw an opportunity to partner with UCP to develop the next generation of ethics and compliance leaders. Each year ECOA members host meetings in the United States with the student cohort and share with them the challenges and opportunities that await them in their careers. We have immensely enjoyed our association with Dean Roxana Family, Anne-Sophie Barthez and the students and look forward to many more years of collaboration.

The need for this continued partnership between UCP and ECOA has never been greater. The economic collapse of these past several years has evidenced a stunning series of lapses in fiduciary responsibility, judgment and integrity. It has exposed ponzi schemes, fraud, bribery and corruption worldwide. It has uncovered a growing gap between rich and poor. Indeed, there has been a profound loss of trust in our markets, financial institutions, organizations, governments and leaders. The role of the university is to develop the next generation of global leaders that will bring a strong sense of social responsibility to address the ever-increasing complexities that the future holds in store. We congratulate UCP and the Chair Droit & Ethique des Affaire for your leadership and commitment."

Magazine Challenges


"... Cergy offre quelques pépites, en droit et éthique des affaires, en gestion des risques financiers ou en gestion des instruments financiers par exemple. ..."

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Communiqué 20/10/2011

Dans le cadre d’un partenariat de trois ans, Alstom parraine la promotion 2011 des diplômés du master Droit et Ethique des affaires de l’Université de Cergy-Pontoise


Dans le cadre d’un partenariat avec l’Université de Cergy-Pontoise, Alstom a accueilli le 20 octobre 2011 dans son siège de Levallois-Perret (Hauts-de-Seine) la cérémonie de remise des diplômes du master Droit et Ethique des affaires, placée sous l’égide de Françoise Moulin Civil, Présidente de l’Université de Cergy-Pontoise, et de Patrick Kron, Président-Directeur Général d’Alstom. Trente étudiants ont ainsi reçu leur diplôme des mains d’Anne-Sophie Barthez et Roxana Family, co-directrices du master, et de Jean-Daniel Lainé, directeur Ethique et Conformité d’Alstom et parrain de la promotion 2011.

Alstom a entamé en septembre 2010 un partenariat d’une durée de trois ans avec la faculté de droit de l’Université de Cergy-Pontoise, créatrice en 2007 de la chaire de droit et éthique des affaires qui abrite le master européen du même nom. A travers un parrainage, Alstom participe au cursus pédagogique du master et à des programmes de recherche juridique. Chaque année, le groupe accueille des étudiants du master en apprentissage dans son département éthique et conformité, tandis que des spécialistes de ce département interviennent dans des conférences données à l’Université de Cergy-Pontoise.

« Grâce à ce partenariat, Alstom investit dans la formation de futurs responsables de l’éthique et de la conformité, un métier qui se développe dans de nombreuses entreprises. Le cursus mis en place par l’Université de Cergy-Pontoise est unique en son genre en France et offre aux étudiants une formation directement opérationnelle », explique Jean-Daniel Lainé.

Le partenariat avec l’Université de Cergy-Pontoise s’inscrit dans l’engagement d’Alstom en matière d’éthique des affaires. Preuve de cette volonté, l’agence internationale ETHIC Intelligence vient récemment de certifier le Programme d’Intégrité d’Alstom à la suite d’un audit mené entre janvier et juillet 2011 dans une dizaine de pays où le Groupe est présent. Alstom est la première entreprise du CAC40 à recevoir cette certification qui confirme les efforts accomplis depuis plusieurs années pour renforcer et développer sa politique d’intégrité.

Internet www.alstom.com

Marion Grange
major de la promotion 2011

"Consciente des enjeux économiques, sociaux et environnementaux de demain, j'ai choisi le master Droit & éthique des affaires car il permet d'allier théorie et pratique mais aussi d'aborder le monde des affaires avec un regard différent sur les problématiques actuelles de développement durable et de RSE. L'apprentissage effectué au secrétariat général du conseil d'administration d'EDF et le contact avec les professionnels ont été pour moi un véritable atout afin de poursuivre la découverte de la vie professionnelle et de consolider mes expériences, aujourd'hui indispensables à mon insertion professionnelle".

Emmanuel Lulin
directeur de l’Éthique Groupe, L’Oréal

«L’Oréal considère que les leaders mondiaux de demain seront les entreprises qui auront intégré l’éthique dans leurs plans stratégiques comme dans leurs pratiques quotidiennes. Le groupe participe au financement de la Chaire droit & éthique des affaires pour promouvoir les activités scientifiques dédiées à cette thématique. Il a parrainé en outre la première promotion des étudiants du master Droit & éthique des affaires et financé des bourses d’études. »

Jean-Daniel Lainé Senior
vice-président Ethicsand Compliance, Alstom

«Les entreprises ont plus que jamais l’obligation de disposer de programmes d’intégrité solides. Ces programmes doivent être construits, communiqués et mis en place par des experts pluridisciplinaires. La Chaire droit & éthique des affaires de Cergy-Pontoise se propose de multiplier les échanges et d’enrichir la réflexion en associant les professionnels et les scientifiques. Alstom est fier de contribuer à cette mission en finançant la chaire et en parrainant la 3e promotion du master Droit & éthique des affaires.»

Kirsten Lehmann
Major de la promotion 2010

Le master 2 Droit & éthique des affaires m’a tout de suite intéressé en raison de son offre de formation riche et innovante. Les cours suivis m’ont permis de compléter mon cursus de droit des affaires avec une dimension éthique, très recherchée par les entreprises aujourd’hui. Concernant mon apprentissage, effectué au secrétariat général du conseil d’administration d’EDF, il m’a permis de mettre en pratique mes acquis, notamment en gouvernement d’entreprise, et de participer activement à la vie de l’entreprise. Intégrant l’EFB en janvier prochain, j’espère ainsi exercer en tant qu’avocate spécialisée dans les problématiques de gouvernement d’entreprise et de RSE. » Kirsten Lehmann, major de la promotion 2010

Pedro Montoya - Parrain de la promotion 2009-2010
Group Chief Compliance Officer

"Le master offre un complément essentiel à la formation juridique pour faire face aux enjeux actuels des entreprises. La compliance, l’éthique des affaires et la responsabilité de l’entreprise, cosntituent aujourd’hui des éléments clé de notre compétitivité. La grande diversité et la qualité des intervenants issus tant du monde académique que du milieu de l’entreprise participent au succès de ce jeune master. Les étudiants bénéficient des liens privilégiés entretenus avec les entreprises. EADS est fier d’associer son nom au développement d’une formation ambitieuse en matière d’éthique des affaires, et de participer à la promotion d’un modèle européen de la compliance. "