Home WFLS Series: Issues and Trends in International Anti-Corruption Law (Part 1)

    WFLS Series: Issues and Trends in International Anti-Corruption Law (Part 1)

    The Washington Foreign Law Society


    WFLS Series: Issues and Trends in International Anti-Corruption Law  

    Part 1  

    “From Watergate to Biden — 43 years of international anti-corruption efforts since the birth of the FCPA”

    Thursday, December 10th, 2020
    5:30 P.M.

    Few people realize that the international anti-corruption movement grew out of the Watergate scandal. During the ensuing investigation into campaign financing by US companies, SEC investigators realized that much of the money came from overseas slush funds used by companies to pay bribes to foreign government officials. About 400 companies were found to be paying bribes. The moral outrage that followed led to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which criminalized foreign bribery (in contrast to domestic bribery which was outlawed already). Once the US was prosecuting transnational bribery, it encouraged its main trading partners at the time to do the same, which led to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

    Years later, the rest of the world followed suit with the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). In the international development world, anti-corruption started with a famous 1996 speech by the then World Bank President James Wolfensohn, who broke through the barrier of silence by calling “corruption” by its name (as opposed to the previously whispered “c-word”). The world’s largest anti-corruption NGO, Transparency International, had been founded several years before by some former World Bank staff who were very concerned about the levels of anti-corruption in international aid.

    The conversation will address the history of international anti-corruption and will discuss where things are now. We will also discuss what trends to expect in the future — especially in light of the large sums flowing to combat COVID-19 in developing countries and the incoming Biden administration.

    This talk will be the first in a series. The following talks will (i) focus on the plight of whistleblowers and anti-corruption fighters and how lawyers can help them; and (ii) do a deep dive of the implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and UNCAC in some selected member countries.

    Speakers: Pascale Dubois and Lucinda Low

    Pascale Dubois

    Pascale Dubois is an International Executive Advisor and Independent Expert who has been involved with anti-corruption efforts for two decades.

    She recently retired from the World Bank Group (WBG) where she was the VP of the Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), leading the WBG’s investigative efforts and the pursuit of sanctions in connection with allegations of fraud and corruption on WBG-financed projects, in addition to corporate compliance and prevention. Ms. Dubois previously served as the World Bank’s first ever Chief Suspension and Debarment Officer (SDO), and prior to that she managed the groundbreaking Voluntary Disclosure Program in INT and also worked as an operational lawyer advising the Africa region of the World Bank for seven years. Before joining the WBG, Ms. Dubois was in private practice in the USA and Belgium for 10 years.

    Ms. Dubois served as the Co-Chair of both the International Bar Association’s Anti-Corruption Committee as well as the American Bar Association Section of International Law’s Anti-Corruption Committee.

    She is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and has been an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center since 2009, where she teaches a course on international anti-corruption. Ms. Dubois received her Lic. Jur., cum laude, from the University of Ghent, Belgium, and her LL.M. from New York University.

    Lucinda Low

    Lucinda Low’s practice includes representing audit committees, boards of directors, and companies in internal, government, and international financial institution audits, investigations, and enforcement matters involving fraud, bribery, corruption, and other compliance issues. Lucinda is recognized by Chambers market commentators for her “incredible technical proficiency, spectacular advocacy skills, and cultural know-how.” She has particular authority in matters involving the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws, and other international business compliance issues. According to Chambers, clients concur that Lucinda is “very impressive” and credit her with “an attention to detail that is second to none.

    In the FCPA/anti-corruption realm, Lucinda helps clients develop and implement customized compliance programs tailored to their business risks that meet regulatory expectations, assists with due diligence in M&A and other transactions, provides risk-mitigation and risk assessment strategy, conducts internal investigations, and defends clients in government investigation and enforcement matters, including multijurisdictional investigations. She also has significant experience in investment disputes between foreign investors and host governments, and commercial arbitration, including serving as counsel, arbitrator, and an expert witness.

    Lucinda serves as a member of the firm’s Management Committee and heads the Compliance, Investigations, Trade and Enforcement Department. She also leads Steptoe’s Brazil-specific initiative incorporating a focus on FCPA/anti-corruption compliance and enforcement work. Lucinda’s FCPA/anti-corruption experience includes extensive work in Latin America, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, as well as several Caribbean countries.

    As a complement to her practice, Lucinda assists in the creation and supervision of the International Law Guides, a web-accessible compliance tool designed to provide corporate subscribers and their employees with detailed information on local anti-corruption laws around the globe.

    Lucinda is a member of the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Integrity (formerly known as Transparency International – USA), and also a member of the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law. She is a former president of the American Society of International Law and a former chair of the ABA Section of International Law. She was the 2003 recipient of the William Ray Vallance Award presented by the Inter-American Bar Foundation, presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution toward improving the law and jurisprudence of the Western Hemisphere.