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John Cunningham

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John Cunningham is a partner of Baker McKenzie’s North America Litigation & Government Enforcement Practice Group. Previously, he was a senior trial attorney with the US Department of Justice, where he investigated and prosecuted criminal and employment law matters. Before his tenure with the Justice Department, he practiced white collar criminal defense at a firm in Washington, DC, focusing on money laundering, counterfeiting, espionage, and asset forfeiture cases. He also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Gerald B. Lee in the Eastern District of Virginia and worked as an investigative analyst for the criminal division of the FBI. With the FBI, he prepared fraud, money laundering, and forfeiture matters for consideration by the Department of Justice and received formal commendations from the FBI, Justice Department, and IRS. He was editor-in-chief of the University of Richmond Law Review.

On April 30, 2019, the Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Brian Benczkowski, announced the publication of an updated version of the Department’s Guidance Document on Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs (the “Revised Evaluation Guidance”). This is an update to the original version of the Department’s…

The Fraud Section of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has retained Hui Chen as its full-time, resident Compliance Counsel. Ms. Chen has a significant background in compliance at various multinational companies. The retention of Ms. Chen and accompanying commentary from leadership of the DOJ’s Criminal Division last week highlight the U.S. government’s distinct expectations with respect to compliance. This development also sends a clear message about how important the DOJ considers compliance in the resolution of enforcement matters and how closely a company’s program will be scrutinized during that process.

U.S. enforcement authorities in FCPA matters place great emphasis on obtaining and analyzing relevant documents, data, and other reviewable information. For this reason, it is incumbent upon any company in a cooperative posture with the government to disclose as much relevant, non-privileged information as practicable.

The question of where a compliance department should reside within the corporate configuration is getting significant attention by companies and commentators alike. Indeed, news reports over the past year have underscored the trend of elevating Chief Compliance Officers (“CCOs”) in the company hierarchy, creating separation between compliance and legal within…

Recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) enforcement actions and related commentary from Commission leadership demonstrate the SEC’s intent to penalize companies paying commercial bribes for violations of the accounting provisions of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). This trend belies a commonly held misconception that the FCPA pertains…