April 3, 2013

Some Greater Clarity on the FCPA’s Reach Over Foreign Nationals

By Gordon Schnell and Jean Kim (Published by Thomson Reuters)

Despite the government’s ever-expanding crusade against foreign bribery, there has been little in the way of judicial guidance as to how far the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act allows the government to go.  Most cases settle at the gate as only the most brazen (or reckless) defendants want to take on the government in its drive to root out foreign bribery.  The case law is thus limited and the legal boundaries ill-defined, leaving would be violators particularly vulnerable to the whims of U.S. enforcement bodies (the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice).  But thanks to a pair of recent motion to dismiss decisions out of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the FCPA’s reach over foreign nationals might have gotten just a little bit clearer.

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