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International Regulatory Enforcement

Details on Washington, D.C. COVID-19 Closure of Non-Essential Businesses Order
On March 24, 2020, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued an order requiring the closure of non-essential businesses and prohibiting gatherings of ten or more individuals (“Order”). The Order, issued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, went into effect at 10:00 pm on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 and will continue through April 24, 2020, unless further extended.
OECD National Contact Points: Lessons from VEON & ANZ
OECD National Contact Point (NCP) processes—discussed in a prior post and article—are an increasingly material source of ESG-related business risk. Two recent decisions illustrate how these processes are evolving to take on a broader mandate and harder edge.
Foreign Investment Control in France: A Strengthened Regime
The French foreign investment control regime has been recently adjusted. The list of “sensitive sectors” has been extended and criteria regarding the submission of a foreign investor to prior authorization have been clarified. Greater enforcement powers have also been granted to the French Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Navigating an OECD NCP Specific Instance
Over the last decade, the growing materiality of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks has been accompanied—and spurred—by the increasing prominence of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for ESG disputes. These institutions are one node in the tightening web of ESG-related business risk. This entry focuses on the most prominent non-judicial mechanism to resolve global ESG disputes, the OECD National Contact Point (NCP) process.
ESG and Mission-Critical Issues for Director & Officer Liability
Amidst a spirited debate around the duties of directors in relation to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks, two recent decisions from Delaware courts provide clarifying contours. The decisions are particularly significant since Delaware is the leading state for corporate law and the most popular jurisdiction of incorporation for publicly traded companies. Both decisions construe the scope of a board’s responsibility to monitor and oversee corporate risk under the standards set forth in In re Caremark Int’l, Inc. Derivative Litigation, 698 A.2d 959 (Del. Ch. 1996), and its progeny.
OFAC’s Mixed Signals Lead to Exxon Victory in District Court
Jason Fiebig, Jeremy Steed, Christina Ferma, Thomas Jordan
New German Act to Combat Corporate Crime
On 22 August 2019, the German Federal Ministry of Justice presented the draft bill for the introduction of the Corporate Sanctions Act (Verbandssanktionengesetz, the “Act"). Once the German Parliament enacts the Act, it will enhance enforcement against corporations against business-related crimes, facilitate punishment, promote internal investigations, and incentivize investment in compliance.
EU Adopted Regulation on Screening of Foreign Investments
In August 2019, the EU adopted the Regulation on the Screening of Foreign Direct Investments (“Regulation”), which will apply as of 11 October 2020 in all Member States.
U.K. Serious Fraud Office Issues New Cooperation Guidance
The U.K. Serious Fraud Office issued new "Corporate Cooperation Guidance" on 6 August 2019, setting out a range of different considerations the agency will use to assess a company's cooperation when making charging decisions or supporting a company's application for a Deferred Prosecution Agreement. The Guidance represents a shift in approach and an attempt to provide more clarity and specificity as to the factors that the SFO will take into account when assessing whether a company's management has adopted a "genuinely proactive approach" after learning about the offending. This more pragmatic position under new SFO Director Lisa Osofsky moves closer to the policies and practices of the U.S. Department of Justice. However, differences remain and companies ought to carefully consider their position before seeking to make a voluntary disclosure to the SFO or embarking on an internal investigation if an SFO investigation is already underway.
FATF Adopts New Anti-Money Laundering Guidelines for Virtual Assets and Related Providers
On June 21, 2019, the Financial Action Task Force—an independent intergovernmental body that develops and promotes policies to protect the global financial system from money laundering and terrorist financing—released new Guidance governing virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. The Guidance clarifies the obligations of member jurisdictions with respect to licensing, supervision, and enforcement of covered virtual asset activities and virtual asset service providers. The Guidance also clarifies the compliance obligations of private sector entities engaged in virtual asset activities, particularly with respect to the obligation to obtain, hold, and transmit required originator and beneficiary information.
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