In 2020, the biggest Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) headline was the record-shattering global anticorruption enforcement fines and penalties collected by foreign regulators in actions involving a coordinated FCPA resolution. In the United States, the DOJ and the SEC also collected record fines and penalties, but those numbers were eclipsed by the global figures. While the COVID-19 pandemic did not appear to slow the ability to resolve cases that were near resolution, it did impact ongoing corporate and individual investigations due to the complications of conducting witness interviews and collecting certain types of information remotely, including limited access to courts and grand juries for large parts of the year.
On the horizon, we expect continued focus on FCPA enforcement and international coordination under the Biden Administration. In our 2016 Year in Review, we predicted that FCPA enforcement under the Trump Administration would not likely slow down or change dramatically due to the significant resources already dedicated to FCPA enforcement and the large backlog of FCPA investigations. Similarly, we expect FCPA enforcement to remain an enforcement priority in the next administration. The new administration will mean new leadership in key DOJ and SEC posts, but these changes will not likely impact enforcement activity.
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