FCPA Compliance and Ethics Blog

May 31, 2012

Houston – The Epicenter of FCPA Conferences in June

Next month the 7th Annual Compliance Week Conference will be held in Washington DC. In my opinion, it is the very best all-around compliance conference in the country and I would urge you to attend if you can do so. However, in the month of June, the city of Houston is playing host to three of the best conferences focusing on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance that I have recently seen. If you are a compliance practitioner and want to hear about the most cutting edge best practices regarding FCPA compliance and meet some of the top compliance practitioners in the US, you should plan to attend one or all of these upcoming events. So for one month Houston will be the epicenter of FCPA conferences, rather than its prior moniker as the epicenter of FCPA enforcement actions.

University of Houston

The University of Houston, Law Center – Center for Consumer Law, is hosting the “First Annual Ethics and Compliance Symposium” on Thursday June 7. The event is billed as one “to provide practical advice about real-world challenges that face ethics and compliance officers.  From training, to monitoring and auditing, to specific emerging risks like export controls, the Symposium is meant to be an interactive and useful event for the practicing E&C professional.”

The panelists include practitioners from the sponsoring law firm of Baker and McKenzie, notably Paul McNulty (he of the ‘McNulty’s maxims’) and White Collar specialist Ryan McConnell. There are also several Chief Compliance Officers (CCO’s) from well-known local energy companies such as Doug Walter from Phillips 66, Jay Martin from Baker Hughes and Dan Chapman from Parker Drilling. Rounding out the presenters are those from forensic and consulting firms such as Michael Schwartz from KPMG, Ramsey Pace from FTI and Mike McConnell from Grant Thorton LLP.

Bottom Line: Anytime you can hear Paul McNulty talk about “What Enforcement Authorities Expect in a Company’s Compliance Program” drop what you are doing and go listen.

World Check

World Check continues its program of top FCPA speakers with an event in Houston on June 26. The panel includes two of the best compliance practitioners I know; my “This Week in FCPA” cohort Howard Sklar and Jonathan Marks, he of the Marks’ “13 Step FCPA Action Plan”. I have heard them both speak and they are good.

Howard will examine ‘Schedule C’, which is the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) minimum 13-point best practices list of elements which should be included in your compliance program. It is found in recent Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPA) entered into by the DOJ. Howard provides a color-by-number guide to compliance in his usually cool, calm and collected manner.

Jonathan Marks, a Partner & Leader in the Fraud, Ethics & Anti-corruption Practice at Crowe Horwath LLP, will give an overview of how organizations can deter problems before they arise and how to work toward building or enhancing a culture of compliance that addresses both the FCPA and the UK Bribery Act. I have used Jonathan’s 13 Step FCPA Action Plan in my practice. It is an excellent guide by which you can evaluate or assess your current compliance program and it is flexible enough to act as a guidepost for compliance program implementation or enhancement.

Bottom Line: Are you kidding – would you miss the opportunity to see Howard Sklar rant in person? But seriously, I know both of these guys and they both know their stuff as well as anyone in the field. This is the Tuesday event that I will attend. And the price is right – as in the event is complimentary.

Hanson Wade – Oil and Gas Supply Chain Compliance

Hanson Wade has put together one of the absolute best aggregations of FCPA compliance talent that has ever come to Houston for a conference; over three days, June 26-28. I realize the first day overlaps with the World Check event but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. The first day of the conference is Workshop Day with two great workshops. One on Supplier Due Diligence presented by Paul Liebman and the second on Managing the Risk of Third Parties by Rich Battaglia.

I have previously written about Dan Chapman and his interview presaging the event. In addition to Dan and several other top CCOs from the Houston area, the conference will be the only Texas appearance of the FCPA Professor, Mike Koehler, who will moderate a panel on “Does the Current FCPA Enforcement Environment Adequately Recognize Good Faith Compliance?” In addition to Dan Chapman, the FCPA Professor and other CCOs who will speak, there are some of the very top compliance practitioners, from both in-house and private practice, who will speak about doing the business of compliance on a day-to-day basis. It all starts with Jeff Spalding, Assistant General Counsel of Halliburton who is the event’s Chairman. Also included are such compliance industry leaders as Julia Symon from KBR; Julian Ranzato from DHL; Sam Tate from BP; Steven Gyeszly from Weatherford; Arvind Sharma from Flowserve and Ronald Sponberg from Baker Hughes.

The topics will be among the most relevant and most informative that you could ever ask for. They include FCPA prosecutions and enforcement actions, risk assessments and risk intelligence, dealing with facilitation payments, FPCA compliance training, and FCPA risk assessment in merger and acquisition work and in dealing with joint ventures, auditing and compliance convergence. Simply put the scope of the Hanson Wade event is as broad and far-ranging as you might ask for nevertheless the focus is on the compliance practitioner and the business of doing compliance inside a corporation.

Bottom Line: This is one of the very best FCPA conferences that has ever been staged in Houston. It will offer some of the most cutting edge best practices on a wide variety of issues that bedevil compliance practitioners on a day-to-day basis. This list of speaker is the most ‘A-List’ that has ever been seen at such an event in Houston. You owe it to yourself to attend.

For information on the Hanson Wade Conference, click here. For readers of this blog, a discount is offered by Hanson Wade. You can receive the discount by entering the online discount code: FOXLAW. You can also use this discount code if you register directly with Hanson Wade.

For information on the World Check event, click here. The event is free so no discount is needed.

For information on the University of Houston event, click here. Sorry but I haven’t been authorized to offer any discounts.

This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of the author. The author is not, by means of this publication, rendering business, legal advice, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such legal advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified legal advisor. The author, his affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person or entity that relies on this publication. The Author gives his permission to link, post, distribute, or reference this article for any lawful purpose, provided attribution is made to the author. The author can be reached at tfox@tfoxlaw.com.

© Thomas R. Fox, 2012

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