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Criminal Liability Risks for Compliance Officers: A Multi-Jurisdictional Perspective - Part I

Corporate Counsel

In this article, the first in a two-part series, Ann Sultan, along with attorneys at Simmons & Simmons, Debevoise & Plimpton, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, surveyed the criminal enforcement risks for compliance officers in companies operating in the U.S., France, and the Netherlands. The authors wrote that anti-corruption legislation, recent enforcement actions against corporate compliance officers, and increased attention from regulators and enforcement authorities on individuals highlight the criminal enforcement risks for compliance officers. Although "[n]one of the jurisdictions canvassed in part I of this article have a specific regime for holding compliance officers criminally liable for offences committed on their watch," the authors wrote, "compliance officers are more and more likely to find themselves in the front line – if not as a suspect, then as key witnesses to assessing the company's compliance programme as well as in relation to the (potential) criminal conduct."