The FCPA, Foreign Agents, and Lessons from the Halliburton Enforcement Action
Southern Illinois University School of Law
Ohio Northern University Law Review, Vol. 36, No. 2, 2010
The recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Halliburton Company and its affiliated entities sends a "proceed with caution" message to any company seeking to engage a foreign agent to assist in obtaining or retaining business. The action and its resolution also reinforce the importance of the minimum due diligence metrics the FCPA enforcement agencies expect a company to undertake before engaging a foreign agent. Parent companies should pay particular attention to the Halliburton action because the due diligence expectations will apply not only to agents it engages, but also agents engaged by all subsidiaries and affiliates over which the parent company exercises control and supervision.
This article first addresses how foreign agents can greatly expand a company's overseas business opportunities and how engagement of foreign agents has become the norm when seeking business opportunities abroad. Next, a limited FCPA background is provided to properly understand the FCPA risks of engaging foreign agents. Thereafter, this article provides an in-depth discussion of topically relevant facts from the Halliburton enforcement action. Finally, this article ends with a discussion of FCPA due diligence strategies that a company should employ when engaging foreign agents in order to minimize FCPA risks.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: FCPA, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Foreign Agents, Halliburton, Due Diligence
Date posted: September 27, 2010