Welcome to the TRACE Compendium, a compilation of summaries of international anti-bribery enforcement actions. Most actions included in the TRACE Compendium are Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) enforcement actions brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and/or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). However, the TRACE Compendium also includes the growing number of international anti-bribery enforcement actions brought by enforcement authorities outside of the United States, particularly amongst signatories to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. For the non-U.S. enforcement actions, in order to capture increased international enforcement activity, summaries are included for matters currently under investigation. Enforcement activity included in the TRACE Compendium shares one characteristic: the conduct at issue – the bribery – crosses an international border. Domestic anti-bribery prosecutions and investigations are outside the scope of the TRACE Compendium.
In recognition of the dynamic and enigmatic nature of the international anti-bribery enforcement landscape, which is continually being shaped through the various settlement agreements and in the courts, the TRACE Compendium is designed to provide its readers with a user-friendly, compliance-savvy and fully searchable database of comprehensive, yet succinct, summaries of this body of “case law.” For purposes of organization and categorization, the TRACE Compendium uses the term “case” expansively and non-literally, referring to any international anti-bribery enforcement action regardless of whether the matter was actually litigated or brought before a court. In addition, due to the importance of US DOJ Opinion Procedure Releases as a source of guidance for attorneys and compliance professionals, the TRACE Compendium also includes summaries of these materials, which are neither “cases” nor enforcement actions of another sort (the Opinion Procedure Releases are currently not posted but will be available in early December).
The TRACE Compendium's summaries of enforcement actions are organized by a “Case Name” that encompasses all enforcement activity connected to a particular set of conduct. This means that enforcement actions brought by one or more enforcement agencies against one or more defendants will be included in the same summary if the conduct at issue is the same. This includes situations where enforcement actions are not simultaneous in time. TRACE Compendium aims to help readers understand the risks and potential liabilities – to both corporate entities and the individuals involved – flowing from a particular set of conduct. Providing the summaries in congregated format best serves this end. For purposes of counting the total number of U.S. enforcement actions, however, each entity and individual will be counted separately.
As you will see below, the summaries are searchable by name or by numerous other criteria, including year, substantive criteria, enforcement authority, and enforcement result. When reading the discussions of conduct violating a particular foreign bribery law, please note that in many cases the companies or individuals involved settled the charges against them without ever admitting to the alleged wrongdoing. After the nature of the case has been stated, we have avoided the widespread use of “allegedly” throughout that Compendium.
We believe that the TRACE Compendium will be a useful tool for the international anti-bribery community. If you have any questions about the TRACE Compendium or are interested in TRACE membership, please follow the “Questions/Comments” link to the left to submit your inquiry.
Completing and growing our collection of non-U.S. anti-bribery cases and investigations is a work in progress. We invite the international community to advise us of transnational anti-bribery developments in their countries and we encourage parties to provide additional details regarding matters with which they are familiar.