News Release

DOJ and SEC Issue Non-Binding 'Guidance' on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Enforcement

Washington, DC (Nov. 14, 2012) – Today, the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission issued long-expected guidance concerning the enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ FCPA experts are still in the process of reviewing the 120-page Guide, but have already observed that it appears to provide some additional, important guidance on the government’s interpretation of this law.

 NACDL has been diligent in its efforts to achieve FCPA reform, including providing testimony before the U.S. Congress. In February of this year, NACDL joined the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform and more than 30 other trade and business groups, on a letter to the DOJ and SEC identifying several concerns regarding criminal enforcement of the FCPA in connection with official guidance that DOJ has promised to issue in order to bring clarity to the law. And in April, NACDL participated in a roundtable discussion concerning the FCPA, hosted by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform and including senior officials from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Department of Commerce, as well as numerous business groups and trade associations.

“NACDL is pleased that in response to the efforts of NACDL and many others, the DOJ and SEC today released their ‘Resource Guide’ to the FCPA,” NACDL’s FCPA Subcommittee Chair Mark Rochon said. “In several areas, NACDL notes that the government’s interpretations appear to have become more reasonable, and in other areas they seem to provide greater clarity. Of course, the Guide is not legally binding, and for defense attorneys and their clients, the most important issues still need to be addressed in legislation. There is no such thing as a Motion to Dismiss based on the government’s failure to live up to its non-binding guidance.” 

NACDL is committed to continuing in its efforts to further FCPA reform in order that companies and individuals can be more certain as to when and how this law might apply to their conduct.

For more information on NACDL’s work in this area, including NACDL’s Congressional testimony and coalition letter concerning FCPA guidance, as well as links to the DOJ and SEC guidance, fact sheet and press release issued today, please visit

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Ivan J. Dominguez, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, (202) 465-7662 or

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.