What Happened in Oslo Shouldn’t Stay in Oslo - Corporate Compliance Insights

by Richard Bistrong, Anti-Bribery Consultant & Speaker

Richard Bistrong,  Anti-Bribery Consultant & Speaker

The following post originally appeared in Corporate Compliance Insights and is reposted with the publishers’ permission.

Highlights from the Oslo Anti-Corruption Conference

Fresh on the heels of the Anti-Korrupsjons+Konferansen in Norway, Richard Bistrong offers a look inside the conference and details some of the key takeaways

In 2015, I had the honor of participating in the Oslo Anti-Corruption Conference, or Anti-Korrupsjons+Konferansen, and that engagement was via video, as I did not yet have the restoration of international travel privileges.  So, it was an incredible honor this year when Helge Kvamme (pictured), Partner in Investigations & Compliance at the Norwegian Law Firm Selmer DA, asked me on behalf of the event organizers to come to Oslo to present live at this year’s conference on June 8 and 9. Besides the fact that it was wonderful to spend the week in Oslo, which is one of the most interesting and charming of European capitals, it was an incredible two days; right from the start, there was some very serious messaging, as the opening keynote address was by Erna Solberg, the Prime Minister of Norway.  That says a lot.

The panels were fascinating and included some of the most experienced anti-corruption practitioners on a global basis, but as I have shared before, it’s often during meal times and breaks where there’s a great deal of discourse and learning. Some of my “chatting” partners over coffee and meals included Trond Eirik Schea, Chief of ØKOKRIM (Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime); Guro Slettemark, Secretary General, Transparency International Norge (also an organizer); and Tina Søreide, Professor of Law and Economics, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). It’s a challenge to describe how these conversations are the source of critical thinking and inspiration when it comes to anti-corruption challenges.

A few of my takeaways included an address by David Green CB QC, Director of the Serious Fraud Office (David was the HMRC Prosecutor who signed my own Immunity from Prosecution Agreement in the U.K.), who described the SFO’s investigative teams and how it’s not unusual for investigative journalists’ reports to “flag up” individuals and organizations that might require further scrutiny.  He talked about the SFO’s digital forensic unit and their power to compel information from potential witnesses as well as the production of documents.

He also addressed several current (and publicly reported) investigations where charging decisions relating to individuals will be made this summer and how the new U.K. DPA regime has served a policy aim designed to limit collateral damage to innocent parties (employees and customers) by allowing a company to draw a line in the sand as to the termination and mitigation of corrupt conduct. As he said, it allows a multinational to “move on.” He also detailed how DPAs are by invitation only, but in the U.K., they include Judicial participation and control, unlike the DOJ regime. He also shared an investigative tool which I found fascinating, just by name, called an “Unexplained Wealth Order,” which is an investigative order requiring the holder of an asset to account for it.

Later in the day, there was a panel titled, “International Developments – Looking Back: The Most Important Takeaways from Key Enforcement Actions, and Settlements – Looking Ahead: Updates on New Priorities.” It might as well have been titled, “anti-bribery all-stars.” We heard from Nicola Bonucci, Director for Legal Affairs, OECD; Anton Pominov, Director General, TI Russia; Lucinda Low, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson; and William “Billy” Jacobson, Partner, Orrick.

Nicola Bonucci shared how there were 833 current bribery allegations in the OECD working group matrix and how the “rogue employee” is being displaced by corrupt systems.  He also addressed how the OECD is thinking of bribery in the greater scheme of transnational economic and financial crime, and how the level of international anti-bribery cooperation and enforcement is unprecedented, but that more sharing of international financial and forensic information is needed. That was a sentiment echoed later in the day when George “Ren” McEachern, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI, who is responsible for FCPA, Kleptocracy & Antitrust Matters, talked about the International Foreign Bribery Taskforce (IFBT).

Lucinda Low also addressed how bribery is a part of wider illegal economic and transnational crime.  She focused on the “demand side” of bribery, where local enforcement is “spottier” than the supply side and which still requires more indigenous political will, with an independent judiciary and empowered prosecutors. She shared how many countries still don’t have the political resolve or adequate investigatory and prosecutorial tools to pursue domestic “demand corruption.” And she pointed to how the Panama Papers have exposed the weak links of addressing corruption, where there are continued flows of illegal financial activity to those on both sides of corrupt transactions.

Billy Jacobson, the DOJ fraud prosecutor who made the “target” call to my own defense attorney in 2007, discussed the choices a company faces when considering voluntary disclosure and cooperation, versus the calculation of internal mitigation and remediation. He addressed the Yates Memo and shared the challenges of pursuing individual cases, where companies might be more prone to cooperation but where individuals, facing significant jail time, might have a much different set of considerations and risk factors in deciding to cooperate or challenge the government’s evidence in the courtroom.

While this might be at best a high-level roundup, I hope it gives readers encouragement and motivation to attend and support these global conferences, which are unique opportunities to engage with peers and leaders from around the world. And, finally, it’s a long way from New York to Oslo, so I’d like to personally thank the Anti-Korrupsjons+Konferansen organizers for thinking of my own experience and perspective in bringing value to this “anti-bribery all-star” event.

Photo courtesy and (c) Richard Bistrong

Written by:

Richard Bistrong,  Anti-Bribery Consultant & Speaker

Richard Bistrong, Anti-Bribery Consultant & Speaker on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.