The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) has started garnering headlines around the world.  It’s no wonder, considering the size of the fines and settlements extracted by the DOJ and SEC from non-U.S. companies in 2010 for violations of the FCPA.  As of the date of this writing, eight of the top 10 largest settlements and fines involved non-U.S. companies.  Since the “The Long Arm of the Law:  Why non-US companies Need to Comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” was drafted in mid-December 2010, Alcatel-Lucent and affiliated entities settled charges with the DOJ and or the SEC for a total of $137 million, giving the French company the #8 spot in the top 10 list and moving Panalpina and ABB Ltd. down to #9 and #10, respectively (and bumping Shell off the top 10 list).  This article was written to demonstrate to companies based in South America, and Argentina in particular, about the broad reach of the FCPA, but the guidance in the article is broad enough that its lessons should be heeded by all companies around the world, wherever they are based.

David Saltzman and Franco Rodriguez Vazquez are lawyers at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (US) LLP and Estudio Bunge, respectively.