On July 26th, our Tokyo office hosted a unique event: Face to Face with the Regulators. Delegates were able to get up close and personal with regulators from the US Department of Justice, US Securities & Exchange Commission and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation for a discussion on the following topic :
- Enforcement trends
- Industries under the regulators’ spotlight
- The conflict between US regulators’ expectations and business culture in Japan
- Clarifying regulators’ expectations
- Managing ediscovery requirements and tips for a cost-effective process
Although the day was designed to help Japanese businesses, the insights that were shared are valuable for European businesses who have subsidiaries in the USA. Below is a high level overview of the the key points that came out of the day’s discussions.
- Pay now or pay later. Implementing and investing in compliance programmes is something that will save your company money in the long run. It is always better and cheaper to uncover wrongdoing and use leniency programs than undergo an investigation triggered by a whistleblower or having attracted scrutiny from regulators. This applies to both anti-bribery and antitrust cases.
- Collaboration between national and international regulators is increasing each year. This means there are more resources to conduct investigations leading to more prosecutions and subsequently more risks for companies operating domestically and abroad.
- Third party subsidiaries, partner organisations and suppliers remain a source of considerable risk for companies. Companies need to be vigilant and ensure that their compliance programmes and training extends to these organisations and individuals. Management needs to buy into to compliance and communicate directly with those on the ground to understand and manage risks.
- Individuals are becoming more important to investigations. Programs have been introduced that financially reward individuals for reporting wrongdoing to the authorities. This will incentivise potential whistleblowers into taking action against their companies. Equally, individuals violating antitrust and anti-bribery legislation are at risk from prosecution and can receive harsh including fines and prison sentences.
- Ediscovery is essential for effectively responding to regulatory investigations and facilitating efficient compliance programs. The sophistication of this technology means you can respond quickly to requests for information, uncover and preserve key evidence and avoid excessive costs associated with processing large volumes of data
Thank you to all of our speakers, delegates and our colleagues in the Tokyo office for making the event so informative and inspirational.