FCPA Compliance and Ethics Blog

May 15, 2014

Nolan Ryan’s First No-Hitter and Checking In On the FCPA Professor

LearnAs the Houston Astros continue their journey into complete non-relevance, both to myself and the greater southeast Texas TV watching audience, today we celebrate one of the Astros greatest players, Nolan Ryan. On this day, 41 years ago, Ryan pitched the first of his seven No-Hitters. Ryan played with the Astros from 1980-1988. Of course the idiocy of current Astros management did not begin with the current owner, as the team basically cut Ryan in 1988, saying that he was “washed up” at the tender age of 41. He simply went on to play for the Texas Rangers for another six years, where he only went on to pitch No-Hitters six and seven and record another 1000 strikeouts.

While I cannot determine at this point if the FCPA Professor will have a similarly sterling 26 year career that Ryan accomplished, he recently has done a couple of things that I certainly believe continue to demonstrate his All-Star work in the fields of law and compliance. As clearly denominated by his moniker, the FCPA Professor, he teaches law with a specialization in the arena of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). While myself and others bemoan to him that he needs to get out on the speaking circuit so that we can hear more of this critique and analysis of FCPA enforcement and to learn from him, I was interested to see he is correcting this by leading his first FCPA Institute this summer over two days, July 16 and 17. The event will be held in Milwaukee and hosted by the law firm of Foley and Lardner.

The Professor’s stated goal in leading this first Institute is “to develop and enhance fundamental skills relevant to the FCPA and FCPA compliance in a stimulating and professional environment with a focus on learning. Information at the FCPA Institute is presented in an integrated and cohesive way by an expert instructor with FCPA practice and teaching experience.” Some of the topics, which will be covered, include the following:

  • An informed understanding of why the FCPA became a law and what it seeks to accomplish;
  • A comprehensive understanding of the FCPA’s anti-bribery and books and records and internal controls provisions and related enforcement theories;
  • Various realties of the global marketplace which often give rise to FCPA scrutiny;
  • The typical origins of FCPA enforcement actions including the prominence of corporate voluntary disclosures;
  • The “three buckets” of FCPA financial exposure and how settlement amounts in an actual FCPA enforcement action are typically not the most expensive aspect of FCPA scrutiny and enforcement;
  • Facts and figures relevant to corporate and individual FCPA enforcement actions including how corporate settlement amounts are calculated;
  • How FCPA scrutiny and enforcement can result in related foreign law enforcement investigations as well as other negative business effects from market capitalization issues, to merger and acquisition activity, to FCPA related civil suits; and
  • Practical and provocative reasons for the general increase in FCPA enforcement.

In other words, it is what you have come to expect from the FCPA Professor; well-thought out reasoned analysis, practical knowledge and learning, and provocative thinking and assessment. For more information on the FCPA Institute, click here.

However, as I will not be able to attend the Professor’s FCPA Institute since I will be hosting my daughter’s annual summer trek to the heat and humidity of Houston, I was equally pleased to see another offering by the FCPA Professor which comes out this summer and indeed it appears in book stores next month. It is his long awaited volume, entitled The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in a New Era, where the Professor takes a look at the FCPA’s new era of enforcement and confronts the FCPA statutory text, legislative history, judicial decisions, enforcement agency guidance, and resolved FCPA enforcement actions. The contents include the following: Prologue Introduction and Overview; Chapter 1. Before the New Era: The Story of the FCPA and Its Early Enforcement; Chapter 2. FCPA Foundational Knowledge; Chapter 3. The FCPA’s Anti-Bribery Provisions; Chapter 4. The FCPA’s Books and Records and Internal Controls Provisions; Chapter 5. FCPA Enforcement; Chapter 6. Reasons for the Increase in FCPA Enforcement; Chapter 7. The FCPA’s Long Tentacles; Chapter 8. FCPA Compliance and Best Practices; Chapter 9. FCPA Reform; and Conclusion. Of course there is a handy Index as well.

The Professor has some early high praise for his work including the following kudos:

From Michael Mukasey, Former U.S. Attorney General, says “Professor Mike Koehler has brought to this volume the clear-eyed perspective that has made his FCPA Professor website the most authoritative source for those seeking to understand and apply the FCPA. This is a uniquely useful book, laying out systematically the history and rationale of the FCPA, as well as its evolution into a structure governed as much by lore as by law. It will be valuable both to those who counsel international corporations, whether in connection with immediate crises or long-term strategies; and to those who contemplate what the FCPA has become, and how it can be improved.”

From Daniel Chow, Associate Dean for International and Graduate Programs, The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, USA, says of the book “This is the single most comprehensive academic treatment of the Foreign Corrupt Practices available. Professor Koehler’s book will become the authoritative standard for the field. The book not only treats the history of the FCPA, but analyzes the statute’s elements in detail, discusses current cases, and makes proposals for reforms where the current law is deficient. The book is written in a clear, accessible style and I will use it often as a resource for my own scholarly work.”

From Richard Alderman, Former Director of the UK Serious Fraud Office, states “An excellent and thought-provoking book by a great expert. Backed up by rigorous analysis of cases, Professor Koehler constantly challenges those involved in anti-corruption work by asking the question “why?” He puts forward many constructive and well-argued suggestions for improvements that need to be considered. I have learned a lot from Professor Koehler over the years and I can thoroughly recommend this book.”

And from Tom Fox – “if the FCPA Professor writes about it you need to read it. While you may disagree with him, your FCPA perspective and experience will be enriched by the exercise.”

So if you are like me and cannot make it up to Milwaukee in July, go to Amazon.com and pre-order a copy of the FCPA Professor’s book, which is scheduled to ship next month. To order click here.

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, 2014

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