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Compliance Officers Struggling with Expanded Responsibilities and Liabilities

September 11th, 2014
in Anti-Corruption / FCPA, Legal Conferences, Regulatory Compliance and Trade |

Compliance and Legal Risk Leaders SummitThe recent Munich Court Judgment against Neubürger (April 2014) has shown how the failure to address regulatory risks and comply with relevant laws exposes senior management to prosecution.

As a result, legal counsel and compliance officers whose responsibility it is to report to, adequately inform and protect the board are increasingly challenged to answer to their CEO, board, regulators, and investors.

What does this mean for the compliance officers who are now viewed as the watchdogs of their company? Are they really all that stands between the company and potentially costly compliance breaches?

Comprehensive industry research recently conducted by C5’s legal division with compliance officers and legal counsel from across Europe’s leading multinational and up-and-coming SME companies delved into the evolution of the compliance role, revealing the key challenges keeping them awake at night.

“Under-Resourced and Over-Exposed”

The rapid development of the compliance role has led compliance officers to question the remit of their job description in light of increased responsibilities, liabilities, and internationally accepted standards.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior compliance officer from an MDAX-listed company expressed concern that they are “under-resourced and over-exposed”.

“We are increasingly being seen as a proactive job function, whereas in prior years it could be said that the role of the compliance officer was to react to legal and regulatory developments.”

This is the result of ever-expanding responsibilities that have seen them tasked with managing and harmonising a diverse range of corporate governance issues such as “human resources, environmental, human rights, data protection, anti-trust, and anti-bribery”.

The international nature of modern business only exacerbates the problem, having to work through a myriad of potential regulatory issues in “every country they operate in”.

Top 5 Challenges Keeping Compliance Officers Awake at Night

As a key focus of the research, over 50 cross-industry compliance officers and legal counsel were asked: “what are the top 5 compliance challenges keeping you awake at night?” Their revealing answers and select quotes are below:

  1. Anti-trust and competition: “This area is very interesting because of the level of enforcement and penalties potentially exceeding that of FCPA breaches”
  2. Data privacy: “The NSA scandal has heightened awareness of this issue in Germany, and it is an area we could use extra definition and discussion”
  3. Personal liability of compliance officers: “This really hits where it hurts… extradition is possible!”
  4. Labour law & HR compliance: “Arguably the biggest issue on the horizon, and we still don’t know who in the company wears responsibility for it”International trade sanctions: “We have recently begun exploring operations in Russia, so this is currently an incredibly problematic issue to determine what we can and can’t do”

An over-arching challenge faced by compliance officers was revealed to be establishing the critical importance that compliance plays within a company, and therefore securing buy-in from a board questioning whether compliance really does create additional value; “without the board taking this seriously, how do we get the financial and internal support we need?”

 Implications for Compliance Officers?

With the avoidance of reputational damage a key motivating factor for companies, it is absolutely business critical that risk assessments are conducted and robust compliance programmes are implemented as a result. These programmes need to reflect a broad range of diverse regulations, and must translate a company’s values and principles into day to day operations and behaviour.

However, this process requires a business-specific tailored approach, and when compliance officers are faced with limited resources and budget, how can you efficiently install a compliance programme without sacrificing any efficiency?

Unsurprisingly and unfortunately, there are no easy answers. What works for any given company will differ based on size, geographical scope, and inherent corporate cultures and values. Simply put, benchmarks vary.

The good news is that companies are increasingly seeing the value in a robust compliance programme, if for no other reason than to protect against the heightened risk of individual liability for board members.

Based on our research, the role and responsibilities of compliance officers and legal counsel have expanded quicker than expected, and it will be some time until the support afforded them matches what is expected of them. In the meantime, they will be left looking for insight wherever they can find it, with a hope to establishing a best practice approach suitable for their company.




Article written by Ben Sharples, Senior Legal Conference Producer – B.Sharples@C5-Online.com

Compliance and Legal Risk Leaders Summit

The Corruption risks Scandinavian businesses face when doing business in overseas markets

August 26th, 2014
in Anti-Corruption / FCPA, Legal Conferences, Litigation, Regulatory Compliance and Trade |

Recent enforcement activities by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and FCPA are signaling a new era of relentless invAC Scandinavia small brochureestigation and prosecution of corrupt practices. The cases involve investigations for individuals and companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Alstom UK, Airbus Group NV, Sweett Group and others. In this article we review the recent bribery and corruption cases brought against Scandinavian companies.

The Transparency International Perception index ranks Scandinavian countries as “least corrupt countries”: Denmark (1st), Finland (2nd), Sweden (3rd), Norway (5th) and Iceland (12th). However, companies from most of these countries have been involved in corruption scandals. Some cases are settled others are on-going for alleged violations in overseas markets.

In the majority of the cases, the industries targeted include: Defense, Pharma, Chemical, Oil & Gas…the activities involved include: exports, cross-border transactions, bribing senior foreign government officials to gain/retain business and the companies involved are partially owned by the local government.

Local anti-corruption enforcers have been involved in some of these cases but other enforcement agencies such the U.S. DOJ and the U.S. SEC have brought cases against these companies including:

-       “In 2004, Oil Company Statoil has been found guilty of bribery and fined 20m Norwegian kroner (£1.6m; $2.8m) for paying bribes to secure contracts in Iran”. 

-       “Oil for Food scandal: In late summer 2005, the public was shocked by revelations that about 20 named Danish companies had allegedly paid money under the table in connection with contracts entered into with Iraqi companies and authorities. The contracts had been entered into in connection with the oil for food programme, after the UN had relaxed the total embargo previously imposed on Iraq because of its occupation of Kuwait.”

-       “On 11th May 2009, Novo Nordisk (Novo) entered into a deferred prosecution agreement for their involvement in a bribery scheme involving the Iraq government as well as the Oil-for-Food program. Novo is a global healthcare leader in diabetes, hemophilia, growth hormone therapy, and hormone replacement therapy based out of Bagsvaerd, Denmark. They have agreed to pay roughly $18 million in fines and penalties as well as meet other conditions set by the deferred prosecution agreement.”

-       “In July 2012, The Norwegian state controlled Statoil (70%) has been involved a number of corruption scandals.

-       In January 2014, “The Norwegian chemical fertilizer company Yara International has been ordered to pay a fine of 295 million Norwegian kroner (48 million U.S. dollars) for three gross corruption cases abroad. The Yara International issued a statement on Wednesday, accepting the fine for the bribery cases the company committed in Libya, India and Russia. After a prolonged investigation, the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (ØKOKRIM) has come to the conclusion that a large sum of bribe money was paid by Yara International over a period from 2004 and 2009 to senior officials in Libya and India and suppliers in Russia, according to the NTB report.”

-       “In February 2014, Kongsberg Gruppen, the Norwegian defence contractor, is under investigation by Norwegian authorities for corruption related to sales of communications equipment in Romania from 1999 to 2008. Kongsberg’s contracts in Romania are said to total 1.4 billion NOK (233 million USD).

-       In March 2014, “Telenor, Norway’s majority state-owned phone company has been pulled into the corruption case surrounding Russian phone company Vimpelcom in Uzbekistan, with Norwegian investigators visiting its offices.”

-       Kongsberg has disclosed that it conducted an internal investigation in 2012 to 2013 and did not find enough evidence to inform the Norwegian authorities. According to the CEO Walter Qvam, Kongsberg “heard in the spring of 2012 through different vague signals that there could be suspicion that the business practice wasn’t quite as it should be in parts of the business,” and so initiated the investigation with the help of PwC.”

With all these states already being through the OECD Phase 3 Evaluations (Finland in October 2010), Iceland (in December 2010), Norway (in June 2011), Sweden (in June 2012) and Denmark (in March 2013), their respective governments are expected to enforce local anti-corruption laws.

Recent enforcement activities by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) are signaling a new era of relentless investigation and prosecution of corrupt practices. The cases involve individuals and both domestic and foreign companies such as GlaxoSmithKline PLC under investigation for possible criminal violations; charges against Alstom UK unit for alleged overseas bribery; Airbus Group NV employees under investigation into possible corruption at a subsidiary; the formal investigation of survey and construction services firm Sweett Group; the closure of the Innospec prosecution with final two individual convictions.

It is clear, that conducting business, in regions that have traditionally rated poorly on the global transparency perception index, it is critical that multinationals have a robust management compliance programme in place. In this era of increased enforcement the compliance programme must be capable of assessing and mitigating all low, medium and high risks to constantly demonstrating commitment to compliance.

AC Scandinavia 600x100



Managing bribery and corruption risk in the life sciences industry

May 23rd, 2014
in Anti-Corruption / FCPA, Pharmaceuticals/Biotech/Life Sciences |

Managing bribery and corruption risk in the life sciences industry

Managing bribery and corruption risk in the life sciences industry

Managing bribery and corruption risks in the mining and metals industry

May 23rd, 2014
in Africa, Anti-Corruption / FCPA |

Managing bribery and corruption risks in the mining and metals industry

Managing bribery and corruption risks in the mining and metals industry

Anti-Corruption Infographic

May 6th, 2014
in Africa, Anti-Corruption / FCPA, Legal Conferences |

PwC 2014 Global Economic Crime survey is one of the broadest and most comprehensive economic crime surveys the company has ever conducted, collecting feedback from over 5,000 global respondents.

The below infographic is based on the responses related to anti-corruption. To read PwC’s full report visit: www.pwc.com/crimesurvey.


Anti-Corruption Infographic

Click here to view the infographic


Essential elements of a Corporate Compliance programme

April 21st, 2014
in Africa, Anti-Corruption / FCPA, Legal Conferences |

Source: Presented at C5′s 2nd Forum on Anti-Corruption, West Africa. Full presentation available here.


Essential elements of a Corporate Compliance programme


Organisational leadership & culture

•Tone from the Top
•Compliance and Controls structure (FTE and non-FTEs)
•Incorporating compliance objs into coy-wide objs

Standards & Procedures

•Internal policies, procedures and SOPs

Training & Communications

•Mandatory trainings
•Trainings deep diving into high risk areas
•Innovative communications e.g. Internal newsletters, weekly tips, branded items

Enforcement & Incentives

•Robust consequence mgmt protocols
•Incentives (internal and external) e.g. Awards, acknowled-gements, endorsements

Due care in delegating authority

•3rd Party due diligence
•Extending mandatory trainings to key 3rd parties
•Annual compliance certification for key 3rd parties

Monitoring, auditing & reporting

•Enhanced whistleblower reporting platforms
•Backend and front-end monitoring/compliance reviews
•Robust breach management processes

Response & continuous improvement

•Feedback employee compliance surveys
•Annual certifications (internal & external)

Organisations whether, public or private, should strive towards moving from awareness to repetoire/embedding these pillars in their Compliance programme.


Related events


Anti-Corruption West Africa


What: Anti-Corruption West Africa

When: Tuesday, June 10 to Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Where: Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra

More info: Click here to receive your free brochure.



Corporate Fraud West Africa

What: Corporate Fraud West Africa

When: Thursday, June 12, 2014

Where: Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra

More info: Click here to receive your free brochure.


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#C5AntiCorruption #C5Fraud

Anti-Corruption West Africa – Request your brochure

April 14th, 2014
in Africa, Anti-Corruption / FCPA, Energy, Legal Conferences, Regulatory Compliance and Trade |

Simply emails us at socialmedia@c5-online.com to receive your free brochure.


C5's 3rd Forum on Anti-Corruption West Africa Edition


Meet them this June, in Ghana – Keynote and Government Speakers:

• Olaoulo Adegbite, Director of Operations, EFCC (Nigeria)
• Charles Ayamdoo, Director, Anti-Corruption section of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (Ghana)
• Abbia Udofia, Deputy Director of Operations, ICPC (Nigeria) Shannon Bullock, Programme Officer, Corruption and Economic Crime Branch, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (Austria)
• Hon. Aliou Barry, Guinea MP and Member of the Audit Committee of GOPAC
• Samuel de Jaegere, Anti-Corruption Advisor, Regional Office for West and Central Africa, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (Senegal)
• Amos Sakaba, CEO, One Stop Shop Investment Centre (Nigeria)


Expert speakers from leading companies across West Africa share their experiences and lessons, including:

• The Anti-Corruption Enforcement Scenario in Nigeria and Ghana: an Address from the Investigators
• Managing the Compliance Department while Developing a Sustainable Corporate Governance Model
• A Practical and Business-Oriented Approach to Risk Management in West Africa to Conduct Third Parties’ Due Diligence and Operate Investments
• Detecting and Mitigating Internal Frauds and Conducting Internal Investigations in a Non-Supporting Environment
• Third-Party Liability: How to Mitigate Your Exposure in case of Your Business Partner’s Wrongdoing


Learn how these companies implement compliance requirements in West Africa:


ABB (Nigeria) Oando (Nigeria)
Access Bank PLC (Nigeria) Siemens (Nigeria)
Atlantic Energy (Nigeria) Total (Nigeria)
Diageo (Cameroon) UT Bank (Ghana)
Ecobank (Cameroon) Unilever (Nigeria)
Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana) Volta River Authority
Microsoft (Nigeria)


Free brochure and more information available: socialmedia@c5-online.com


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Anti-Corruption West Africa

April 11th, 2014
in Africa, Anti-Corruption / FCPA |

How to benefit from PPPs to strengthen mutual anti-corruption compliance

Complimentary presentation from C5′s 2nd Forum on Anti-Corruption, West Africa Edition


Anti-Corruption in West Africa

 Click here to view the document as a PDF


Highlights of the presentation:

  • Relevance of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in driving Internal and External Compliance
  • The PPP Scorecard – how effective have these been and why?
  • PPPs Solutions that Work


Related Event


C5's 3rd Forum on Anti-Corruption West Africa Edition

Click to see the cover of the brochure.


What: C5′s Third Forum on Anti-Corruption West Africa Edition

When: 10-11 June, 2014

Where: Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra

To receive a PDF version of the complete brochure and for more information email socialmedia@c5-online.com

Anti-Corruption – Industry News

March 5th, 2014
in Africa, Anti-Corruption / FCPA, Legal Conferences, Litigation, Regulatory Compliance and Trade |

Turkey learns how to fight against corruption from Singapore, By SERKAN DEMİRTAŞ, Posted on Hurriyet Daily News

The number one item on Turkey’s agenda since Dec. 17 are the massive corruption and graft allegations against senior government members, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family. Four ministers had to resign after prosecutors argued that they had received bribes from an Azeri origin businessman, Reza Zarrab, who was arrested along with the sons of two ex-ministers. [Read More...]


EU probes corruption claims at Turkish gov’t agency, Posted on Hurriyet Daily News

The European Commission has launched an investigation into allegations that a Turkish government agency misused EU funds. The probe follows reports in Turkish media of tender-rigging and illegal recruitment at the Centre for EU Education and Youth Programmes in Ankara under former EU minister Egemen Bağış. [Read More...]


Are Africa’s politicians value for money? By By Olivier Monnier in Abidjan, Billie Adwoa McTernan in Accra, Monica Mark in Abuja, Jeff Mbanga in Kampala, Patrick Gathara in Nairobi and Crystal Orderson, Posted on the Africa Report

The dusty streets of Ouagadougou teemed with people last August protesting against President Blaise Compaoré’s plans to create a Senate alongside Burkina Faso’s 111 seat National Assembly. One of the demonstrators carried a sign reading: “Some are eating. Others are watching. This is how revolutions are born.” [Read More...]


Navigant Expands UK Disputes & Investigations Team, Posted on the Wall Street Journal

Addition of forensic accounting and investigations experts bolsters strong global team. LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 05, 2014– Today, Navigant (NYSE: NCI) announced the addition of four senior professionals to its Disputes & Investigations (D&I) practice in London, strengthening its existing team and enhancing the Firm’s presence in the UK.  [Read More...]


Corporate Africa ‘at risk from evolving economic crime’, surveys show, Posted on Out-Law.com

Economic crime is continuing to threaten businesses across Africa, with firms at risk of “secondary damage” from fraud and corruption, such as revenue losses and tarnished corporate images, according to two new surveys. [Read More...]


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Anti-Corruption - France Anti-Corruption - North Africa Anti-Corruption - Turkey


For a complete list of all Anti-Corruption & Fraud upcoming events: Click Here


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January 16th, 2014
in Anti-Corruption / FCPA, Healthcare, Legal Conferences, Litigation, Pharmaceuticals/Biotech/Life Sciences |

Belarus Ambulance Doctors: Underpaid And Overworked, by Vadzim Smok, Posted on BelarusDigest

Leading up to New Year’s Eve and throughout the first week of 2014, employees of the Minsk municipal ambulance service launched a protest. They are demanding a raise in salaries and improved labour conditions. The healthcare sector in Belarus remains financed by the state and has one of the lowest average salary rates of any profession. Among its neighbours, Belarus allocates the smallest portion of its GDP towards healthcare, which has resulted in its gradual decline in recent years. [Read More...]


Supreme Court hands Monsanto victory over farmers on GMO seed patents, ability to sue, Posted on RT

The US Supreme Court upheld biotech giant Monsanto’s claims on genetically-engineered seed patents and the company’s ability to sue farmers whose fields are inadvertently contaminated with Monsanto materials. The high court left intact Monday a federal appeals court decision that threw out a 2011 lawsuit from the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and over 80 other plaintiffs against Monsanto that sought to challenge the agrochemical company’s aggressive claims on patents of genetically-modified seeds. [Read More...]


Sinopharm executives face corruption probe, Posted on BBC News

China’s largest drug distributor Sinopharm has said two of its former senior executives are being investigated over alleged corruption. A former vice president was detained by police last week, while a former general manager is also being probed. Sinopharm is the most high-profile domestic company to feature in China’s crackdown on misconduct in its pharmaceutical sector so far. [Read More...]


For more Pharma, Biotech and Life Sciences blog posts click here.


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Anti Corruption Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices IndustryPharma & Biotech Patent Litigation

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