Paul Butler Speaks With Metropolitan Corporate Counsel on FCPA Enforcement Under Trump Administration

Akin Gump litigation partner Paul Butler has been interviewed by Metropolitan Corporate Counsel for the article “The $64,000 $64 Million Question: How will President Trump influence international bribery enforcement?” Butler, whose practice focuses on government and corporate internal investigations as well as related civil litigation, spoke about Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement and the changes he expects under the Trump administration.

Among the specific topics that Butler discussed:

  • How has FCPA enforcement changed over the years? “It’s grown exponentially. … Its growth is also due to international anti-corruption enforcement following the signing of conventions like the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Anti-bribery Convention, as well as the passage and enforcement of foreign laws like the UK Bribery Act. These developments have led to more globally coordinated enforcement actions, resulting in larger settlements, and an increased flow of information, leading to expanded resources for both the DOJ and SEC FCPA units.”
  • Does he foresee changes in FCPA enforcement during the Trump administration? President Trump and his nominee for chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission “have pointed out that, in their opinion, enforcement of the FCPA had been overreaching and was not accomplishing what it sought to do, which was to create a level playing field for U.S. businesses. … I could see some change in the scope and direction of enforcement under the FCPA in the next four years, but we will need to wait and see how personnel appointments unfold to fully understand how drastic any changes may be.”
  • Should much stock be put in old statements by President Trump? “I do think President Trump’s prior comments reflect a policy position that perhaps U.S. business has been disadvantaged by overregulation and overenforcement. On the other hand, the DOJ and the SEC now receive a tremendous amount of information on potential FCPA violations, including from voluntary disclosures, whistleblowers and/or actions taken by competitors. … What we might see is a different approach to the resolution of those matters.”

To read the full interview, please click here.