Aggie Law Conference Examines Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

October 17, 2017

FCPA 2017 presenters Left to right: Assistant United States Attorney Paul Yanowitch, Walmart Global Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Jay Jorgensen, University of Miami Law School Professor Marcia Narine Weldon, Southern Illinois Law School Professor Mike Koehler, Ohio State Law School Professor Daniel Chow, Northwestern Law School Professor Juliet Sorensen, and Texas A&M Law Professor Peter Reilly at the FCPA Conference.

In the year the FCPA statute turns 40, practitioners and academics gathered October 12 at Texas A&M University School of Law to examine the legal and policy issues relevant to the current enforcement and compliance landscape.

“The FCPA is as controversial now as it was when the statute became law in 1977,” said Professor Peter Reilly, who organized the conference. “This conference provided a neutral setting for attendees to learn about the current state of the FCPA, free from some of the heat that can come out of these discussions on Capitol Hill.”

It also included in the trenches commentary from industry leaders, including keynote presenter Jay Jorgenson, Executive Vice President, Global Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Walmart.

“Walmart is on the cutting edge of basically designing a compliance program specifically addressing the FCPA,” Reilly said. “Jay provided useful insight as to how they are trying to build a better mousetrap in terms of compliance.”

Paul Yanowitch, Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office – Northern District of Texas, addressed conference attendees about the DOJ’s views on the statute generally and its enforcement.

“Paul provided the kind of detail one cannot glean from academic articles,” Reilly said. “He shared key insights about what the DOJ prioritizes when determining prosecutorial decisions around the FCPA.”

Conference attendees also participated in legal and policy sessions, presented by Daniel Chow, Professor, Ohio State School of Law, Mike Koehler, Professor, Southern Illinois School of Law, Juliet Sorensen, Professor, Northwestern School of Law, and Marcia Narine Weldon, Professor, Univ. of Miami School of Law.

Kit Addleman of Haynes and Boone LLP and Sandra D. Gonzalez of Greenberg Traurig LLP discussed the FCPA enforcement and compliance landscape.

“As most of these matters are settled through deferred prosecution agreements, this conference gave attendees a rare opportunity to gain a sense of what’s happening with the FCPA,” Reilly said.