On November 28, 2012, Louis J. Freeh, the former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, addressed UNICOST, the National Association of Magistrates District of Rome, on the importance of anticorruption reform in international business.
Judge Freeh’s discussion comes at an important time, as the Italian Parliament in recent weeks has taken step to confront corruption by passing a new law intended to address influence peddling, as well as corruption among companies in the private sector and enhancing penalties for other bribery offenses. Coming at a time when corruption scandals have been front page news across Italy, the legislation is seen as an important component of Prime Minister Mario Monti’s efforts to reform public finance, improve foreign investment and enhance public confidence in government. Judge Freeh’s remarks come on the same day that the new Italian law will take effect.
Based on his experience in the public and private sectors, Judge Freeh will discuss the increasing attention paid to anti-corruption laws by governments around the world. Nations have been enhancing anti-corruption laws and increasing enforcement of existing laws. As a result, corporate leaders across the globe have increased attention to efforts to operate lawfully and ethically in today’s global economy. These steps are necessary to meet shareholder expectations and avoid the financial and reputational harm that can result from a violation.
At the UNICOST event, Judge Freeh discussed the compliance steps that organizations can take to advance the anti-corruption effort. From his experience as a court-appointed compliance monitor, Judge Freeh discussed the importance of an organization setting an appropriate leadership tone for its ethical and lawful operations. He also explained other steps that can be taken to ensure a company remains in compliance with the wide range of laws affecting international commerce.
Judge Freeh is a partner at the law firm of Pepper Hamilton, which assists companies to understand how to comply with a broad range of other anti-corruption laws that apply to international businesses. Pepper Hamilton and its affiliate company Freeh Group International Solutions, LLC provides experienced guidance to ensure that our clients’ compliance and risk management programs are deterring and detecting potential anti-corruption issues. We evaluate and design effective programs to meet specific risks of our clients’ international operations. We also conduct internal investigations of suspected corrupted payments, and design remedial strategies to best protect our clients.
Our practice group includes experienced professionals seasoned by years of running law enforcement agencies and counseling international businesses on sophisticated compliance issues. Engaging Pepper Hamilton sends a strong signal that a company is committed to conducting its international business ethically and properly.