Most multinational companies have learned, in the past decade if not before, that a decision not to invest in effective integrity and compliance programs is one they take at their own peril. In the wake of Enron and 9/11, the U.S. government has moved to raise the compliance and reporting bar for multinational companies with nearly any connection to the U.S. market, whether through operations, sales, services, or securities traded on U.S. exchanges. The most immediate legislative reactions, in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the USA PATRIOT Act, have been joined by additional legislative, regulatory, structural, and policy changes to sharpen the focus on security and border protection, to dramatically increase fines and penalties for compliance, and to supplement resources dedicated to enforcement. Each year, compliance hurdles are pushed higher by increasingly complex regulatory regimes and a growing emphasis on self-regulation. International regulatory enforcement has consistently trended upward, with more frequent and more aggressive enforcement actions -- and more severe corporate and individual penalties -- across the board. At the same time, competitive pressures have similarly increased, creating the need for more cost-effective compliance.
The pursuit of international business is coupled with the obligation to ensure compliance with a package of U.S. and multilateral legal regimes -- anti-corruption laws, export controls and economic sanctions, customs laws, anti-boycott laws, anti-money laundering laws, human rights principles, and key elements of the Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley Acts -- that follows companies, their employees, agents, and sometimes affiliates wherever business leads them. These companies turn to Miller & Chevalier to help achieve effective compliance, which requires the development and maintenance of a corporate culture of “reinforced integrity” -- that is, a culture grounded in core values and reinforced by tailored compliance policies and procedures.
Working together in and across these substantive areas enables our lawyers to identify and advise not only on the requirements of individual regulatory regimes, but also on their points of intersection and potential conflict. In doing so, we can achieve efficiencies in integrating compliance policies and processes into a company’s day-to-day global operations and transactions so that it is equipped not only to comply, but to compete effectively in today’s markets and in the increasingly complex regulatory environment.
Depth of Compliance Experience
Miller & Chevalier’s exceptional depth and breadth of compliance experience derives from our extensive background counseling and representing clients on compliance and enforcement matters; from our leadership positions in various bar and non-governmental organizations; and from the insights of our members who have served in high-level positions in the U.S. government agencies drafting, interpreting, and enforcing these laws, as well as in private industry. Our compliance team includes members who formerly served in several key positions in the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Department of Justice and the National Security Council. In these positions, firm lawyers developed critical laws and regulations, including co-authoring the Anti-Boycott regulations of the Export Administration Act, negotiating and implementing customs rules of origin under free trade agreements, and drafting nearly all the fundamental building blocks and policies of the Commerce Department's Export Administration Regulations (EAR), including the de minimis rules, publicly available treatment, and the deemed export rule. Team members also interpreted and enforced U.S. sanctions, AML and anti-fraud statutes.
Practice members are actively involved in key organizations that research and advance important developments in the compliance area. The group features the former chair and the current vice-chair of the International Bar Association’s Anti-Corruption Committee; the co-chair of the Forum on International Corporate Compliance for the Institute for International and Comparative Law (IICL) of the Center for American and International Law (CAIL); a faculty member of the TRACE Anti-bribery Specialist Accreditation, a former vice chair of the Anti-Corruption Task Force of the American Bar Association’s International Law Section; and the former chair of the American Bar Association’s 2007 Rule of Law Anti-Corruption Task Force.