Bredin Prat has considerable experience in compliance and anti-corruption matters which far pre-dates enforcement of the recent anti-corruption laws, notably the Sapin II Law. The firm had already developed this practice for its French clients belonging to foreign groups themselves having to comply with domestic or extraterritorial rules, or for French or foreign groups (i) carrying on a regulated activity already subject to anti-money laundering rules and/or (ii) having voluntarily chosen to comply with good practice and recommendations which have come into existence over the past thirty years.
The firm regularly advises clients with respect to setting up or assessing the following procedures:
- internal control procedures for the prevention of corruption and breach of the duty of integrity;
- internal control procedures relating to the duty of vigilance of parent companies and contracting companies resulting from the French Law of 27 March 2017;
- procedures relating to transparency of relations between special interest representatives and public authorities, i.e., lobbying, as amended by the Sapin II Anti-Corruption Law and subsequent legislation;
- procedures relating to the identification of beneficial owners;
- internal anti-money laundering procedures, particularly as applicable further to transposition into French law of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive.
In addition, the firm regularly assists clients in preparing and conducting internal investigations, in relation to their internal control procedures, when facts have been revealed which require internal investigations and/or within the context of mutual assistance procedures in administrative, civil or criminal matters, especially in situations requiring urgent intervention.
Working seamlessly with the firms from our Best Friends Network or alongside US firms, Bredin Prat also handles the French aspects (or aspects involving other French-speaking countries) of investigations under the UK Bribery Act or the US FCPA.
In respect of all of the above, the firm is regularly asked to advise on the following legal and organisational issues:
- application of the French law protecting against the effects of extra-territorial application of legislation of a third country and the EU Blocking Statute;
- restrictions relating to French and EU data protection legislation;
- legal conditions governing the collection and processing of relevant information and the corresponding practical aspects;
- relations with commissioners acting pursuant to the Hague Convention on the taking of evidence abroad in civil or commercial matters;
- relations with French or foreign administrative or judicial authorities in the context of international mutual assistance in judicial matters and/or for the purposes of ensuring legal certainty in the relevant proceedings.
Lastly, and despite the subject-matter being only fairly recent, the firm has developed considerable experience concerning audits carried out by the French Anti-Corruption Agency (Agence Française Anticorruption – AFA), including:
- assessing internal anti-corruption procedures with regard to the requirements of the Sapin II Law and the French Anti-Corruption Agency’s recommendations;
- preparing public or private sector undertakings for a potential audit;
- assisting undertakings in audits conducted by the French Anti-Corruption Agency, and
- if necessary, assisting undertakings in the event that the case could be referred to the Disciplinary Committee of the French Anti-Corruption Agency.