Latest updates

Cybersecurity in Japan: being aware of your business partners' risks
Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
  • Japan
  • 24 February 2020

A recent high-profile theft of hard drives containing sensitive personal data has highlighted the need for Japan-based companies to ensure that their cybersecurity measures include processes for disposing of personal data that has been entrusted to them and reviewing their security controls regarding business partners who may come into contact with personal data. The case involved an employee at an IP recycling company who stole nearly 4,000 data storage devices that were destined for disposal.

Anti-corruption, compliance enforcement and legislative developments in 2019
  • Turkey
  • 10 February 2020

The year 2019 was a busy one for Turkey with regard to anti-corruption and compliance matters. This article explores the developments from both a national and an international perspective. Among other things, the European Commission published its Turkey 2019 Report, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development stated that it would establish a centre in Istanbul and Turkey introduced two new trial procedures to the criminal justice system.

Corporate criminal liability: commodity trader pays Sfr94 million for lack of organisational corruption prevention
CMS von Erlach Poncet Ltd
  • Switzerland
  • 23 December 2019

Under Swiss criminal law, criminal offences committed within a corporation during the course of its commercial activities may result in the corporation's direct criminal liability if the offence cannot be allocated to a specific individual within the corporation due to the corporation's deficient organisation. The Office of the Attorney General recently convicted a commodity trader of failing to take all due organisational measures to prevent corruption by its employees and agents and fined it Sfr94 million.

Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations enter into force
Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore
  • Nigeria
  • 16 December 2019

The Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019 recently came into effect, replacing the existing Proceeds of Crime Regulation 2012. The regulations set out procedures for all law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies – which are supervised by the Attorney General's Office – to ensure the effective coordination of the investigation of illegally acquired assets and the proceeds of crime, among other things.

Fraud investigations arising from arbitral proceedings
Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore
  • Nigeria
  • 09 December 2019

The High Court of England and Wales recently granted claimants in an arbitration leave to enforce an award against the Nigerian Ministry of Petroleum Resources. The media attention surrounding the decision prompted the Nigerian government to respond in a manner that has been described as unusual. One thing is clear: allegations of involvement in fraudulent conduct in matters relating to government contracts in Nigeria should not be unexpected.

DOJ memorandum provides clarified guidance on corporate inability-to-pay claims
Hogan Lovells
  • USA
  • 11 November 2019

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a new guidance memorandum entitled "Evaluating a Business Organisation's Inability to Pay a Criminal Fine or Criminal Monetary Penalty". This memorandum aims to provide greater clarity, transparency and uniformity as to how the DOJ's Criminal Division evaluates companies' claims that they cannot pay a proposed criminal fine or monetary penalty.

New corporate group governance guidelines
Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
  • Japan
  • 28 October 2019

Certain large corporate groups in Japan have been criticised for having antiquated group governance structures that do not provide adequate protection against corporate malfeasance. It has been recognised that poor group design and governance often play at least an indirect role in white collar crime. As part of ongoing efforts to address these issues, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry recently published the Practical Guidelines on Group Governance Systems.

Authorities ramp up enforcement of foreign companies' non-compliance with national anti-bribery laws
AnJie Law Firm
  • China
  • 07 October 2019

The prosecution of commercial bribery has once again become a key issue following the amendment of the Anti-unfair Competition Act. With the restructuring of the act's anti-bribery provision – which dovetailed with the national anti-corruption movement – the government appears to be cracking down on unlawful commercial activities by both domestic and foreign companies. To guide companies in this regard, this article provides an intuitive roadmap to the Chinese anti-bribery regulatory scheme.

US government issues indictments against Nigerian citizens
Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore
  • Nigeria
  • 23 September 2019

Throughout August 2019 the Nigerian media heavily reported on the US government's actions against Nigerian nationals who have been accused of committing various acts of fraud. Of particular note is the arrest of a successful Nigerian entrepreneur and the US Department of Justice's recent federal grand jury indictment against 77 named and three unnamed individuals reported to be Nigerians.

In the public interest? Attorney general receives backlash for confirmation appearance
Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore
  • Nigeria
  • 16 September 2019

During Federal Attorney General Abubakar Malami's recent confirmation appearance before the Senate he was asked why the administration had failed to comply with court orders and responded that they were not in the public interest. Although heavily criticised, Malami's statements are unsurprising, given how he used Executive Order 6 in his first term to indiscriminately prevent persons not accused of wrongdoing from accessing bank accounts without recourse to the courts.

New plea bargaining system in practice
Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
  • Japan
  • 12 August 2019

Since Japan's first plea bargaining system was introduced in June 2018, prosecutors have used plea bargains in two cases, the second of which led to the dramatic arrest of Carlos Ghosn, former CEO and chair of Renault-Nissan, on the tarmac of Haneda Airport in November 2018. The one-year anniversary of the new system therefore seems like an appropriate time to take stock of the first cases and examine the implications for the future.

Q&A on Cayman AML regime: service providers, delegation and risk-based approach
  • Cayman Islands
  • 17 June 2019

The government and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority are well aware that it is imperative that the Cayman Islands is not only perceived to, but does in fact, play a central role in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. At the same time, there is a deep understanding of the need to remain competitive and commercial. This article addresses a number of key questions concerning the 2018 amendments to Cayman's anti-money laundering regime.

Court expresses concern with government's outsourcing of corporate internal investigations
Hogan Lovells
  • USA
  • 27 May 2019

A court has expressed concern with the government's "routine outsourcing" of investigations to the targets of those investigations seeking cooperation credit. The court noted the corporate target's "uniquely coercive position" over its employees, who may also be potential targets of the investigation. The decision may profoundly affect the structure and scope of cooperation agreements between the government and the corporate targets of criminal investigations.

Updated DOJ guidance underscores importance of implementing truly effective corporate compliance programmes
Hogan Lovells
  • USA
  • 13 May 2019

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently confirmed the importance of implementing a robust compliance programme that is not only well designed, but also adaptable and able to function effectively. The DOJ's latest guidance makes clear that companies have a strong incentive to maintain an effective compliance programme. Most importantly, these programmes must be fully implemented, account for the structure and scope of a company's business and actually operate effectively.

Whistleblowing certification regime launched
Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
  • Japan
  • 13 May 2019

Over the past decade, a number of significant regulatory and compliance issues have affected large multinationals based in Japan. As such, the Consumer Affairs Agency recently created a certification regime for corporate whistleblowing systems, which is designed to incentivise businesses to voluntarily enhance their own whistleblowing systems and thereby gain the trust of various stakeholders, including shareholders, counterparties and consumers.

Authorities finally take action in 21-year corruption case
Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore
  • Nigeria
  • 06 May 2019

After years of inaction and many questions as to why the Nigerian authorities have done nothing to pursue Nigerian wrongdoers in a 21-year corruption case involving oil giant Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited and Italian company ENI SpA, it appears that the Nigerian authorities have finally decided to pursue criminal proceedings against Nigerian parties. In April 2019 the Abuja High Court issued orders for the arrest of former Petroleum Minister Dan Etete Etete and Attorney General Mohammed Bello Adoke.

Cooperation with foreign judicial authorities – Article 271 of Criminal Code remains serious obstacle
CMS von Erlach Poncet Ltd
  • Switzerland
  • 29 April 2019

The Federal Supreme Court recently ruled that a Swiss-based asset management company's disclosure of client information to US authorities with a view to facilitating the conclusion of a non-prosecution agreement violated Article 271 of the Criminal Code. The decision reiterates that the court does not look favourably on persons who take matters into their own hands and bypass the competent Swiss authorities in furtherance of foreign state interests.

Enhanced regulation of illegal payment and settlement business and FX trading
  • China
  • 15 April 2019

Criminal activities such as illegal payment and settlement business and FX trading have become increasingly rampant in recent years. Although these activities have been classified as business crimes in various laws and regulations, the applicable penalties have been unclear. However, new interpretations of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate set out the applicable convictions and penalties for illegal business operations involving FX trading and payment and settlement business.

Anti-corruption: legislative changes and enforcement
  • Brazil
  • 15 April 2019

Brazil has seen extensive legal changes and enforcement efforts against corruption over the past few years. As a result, local and multinational companies active in the region have increased their anti-corruption compliance efforts, particularly by introducing more frequent and comprehensive anti-corruption risk assessments and touchpoints with government entities and officials, as well as strengthening their anti-corruption compliance programmes.

Justice Manual and FCPA enforcement
Hogan Lovells
  • USA
  • 18 March 2019

Throughout 2018 the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued to ring the clarion call for cooperation and sought to provide some certainty, consistency and coordination regarding the incentives offered to companies that provide voluntary disclosures. In particular, the DOJ centralised its guidance memoranda into what is now known as the Justice Manual. The DOJ's goals were to identify redundancies, clarify ambiguities, eliminate surplus language and update the manual to reflect current law and practice.

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