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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
Corruption Risk<br />

Corruption Risk

A priority focus for your board

Corruption risk calls for a balanced and intelligent approach that fits both the business and its pocket.

Companies risk severe and sometimes catastrophic reputational and financial damage because of bribery scandals. Multinationals risk being subject to multiple multimillion dollar fines imposed by enforcement authorities in numerous jurisdictions. The impact can hit individuals too. Board members who have been part of the scandal and failed to prevent or detect the corruption that followed are at risk of personal prosecution, having their roles terminated, and being prevented from acting as company directors going forward.

Anti-bribery laws and their enforcement are expanding and strengthening at national and international level. Boards should act now to review their anti-corruption measures, including developing a robust proactive board-level strategy to address corruption risk.

We can assist by assessing the risks in your business, putting policies and procedures in place to address those risks and advising you as to how to best handle any issues that arise should the worst happen.

Be clear on corruption risk

5 questions to ask yourself

Have we elevated corruption risk to the boardroom?

Shareholders, banks, suppliers and other market participants expect multinational companies to demonstrate a strong commitment to developing a responsible corporate culture as part of a social licence to operate. Stamping out corruption is at the core of this expectation. In the eyes of the market, a management-level anti-bribery compliance policy is no longer sufficient. Are you meeting external expectations by tackling corruption risk from the boardroom? Is your board engaged and active in setting the right "top-down" approach for the organisation?

Have our anti-corruption policies been refreshed and updated in the past 24 months?

Your core policies (HR / anti-bribery / money laundering / gifts and hospitality / third-party relationships / whistle-blowing / training / business continuity / insurance) must be revisited periodically with the evolving corruption landscape in mind. You will need to ensure that systems are effective to ensure your board is always alert to corruption risk issues and is able to react quickly. Are your basic controls up-to-date and are your reporting lines working as they should?

Are we addressing the corruption risk profile of suppliers and agents?

Your suppliers, business partners, agents and consultants need to be examined and vetted for corruption risk and you need to include up-to-date corruption protection clauses in your contracts with these third parties. Can you be sure that the practices of your suppliers and agents comply with your high standards? Will suppliers help you to manage the fall-out from corruption and will they compensate you for your losses?

As our business grows, do we adapt our policies and controls?

As your business evolves, moving into new countries or product areas, or changing its scale or customer profile, its corruption risk profile changes so that strategies, policies and controls need to be revisited. Does this happen? Are global policies being adopted uniformly across new parts of the organisation? Are bolt-on acquisitions fully integrated?

What is our response plan if there is a corruption scandal?

When an incident breaks, an hour-by-hour response plan is needed across the organisation to ensure that business leaders, legal, compliance, HR, IR and PR teams work together as one. Should you undertake an internal investigation and will you have the benefit of legal privilege? What are your reporting obligations? Are you ready to step into action if a crisis breaks?

Why Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance will help you assess your bribery and corruption exposure, and develop a well-informed risk strategy that embeds effective corporate governance and robust corruption controls throughout the organisation.


Petrofac – lessons for effective anti-bribery processes

Petrofac pleaded guilty on 1 October to seven counts of failing to prevent bribery, after its anti-bribery procedures failed to prevent systematic corruption. What went wrong, and what lessons does this case offer for ensuring that anti-bribery procedures actually work?

Find out more about Petrofac – lessons for effective anti-bribery processes

Meet our Corruption Risk team

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Joshua Berman

Joshua Berman

Washington D.C.



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Joshua Berman, a seasoned trial and appellate lawyer, has over twenty years of experience handling white collar and government investigations matters both in the private sector and in government. Josh represents and provides counsel to corporate clients, Boards of Directors and individuals in government, Congressional and internal investigations, civil litigation, information security, and securities enforcement proceedings. Josh has expertise in developing global compliance and training programs for companies, and handling due diligence in connection with anti-corruption and other potential fraud matters.

Charles-Henri Boeringer

Charles-Henri Boeringer




Charles-Henri Boeringer specialises in white collar crime matters.  

Over the last few years, he has assisted clients before criminal authorities and courts at all stages of proceedings, from investigation to final hearing, in very high profile matters involving frauds, corruption or market offences.

From 2010 to 2012, he was seconded to our Hong Kong office where he was working with our Asia Anti-corruption practice. Charles-Henri has also extensive experience in commercial litigation.

Charles-Henri is a member of our global Corruption Risk team. He is the Africa Practice Leader for Risks, Compliance, Investigations.

Luke Tolaini

Luke Tolaini




Luke Tolaini advises companies and their Boards on matters of reputational significance.

Working across sectors Luke advises on crisis incidents, investigations and material disputes, often involving government authorities. He is a co-lead of Clifford Chance's global Risk team advising clients on compliance, risk prevention, crisis management, and cultural remediation.

Lei Shi

Lei Shi

Managing Partner, Mainland China



Lei Shi's practice focuses on China-related dispute resolution matters, including international arbitration, regulatory compliance and investigation, and commercial litigation.

In the arbitration area, Lei has over 12 years of experiences as counsel in arbitration under HKIAC, ICC, SIAC, CIETAC, LCIA, SCC, AAA and UNCITRAL Rules in relation to M&A, private equity, banking, technology, real property and other commercial disputes.