On March 14, 2017, France adopted a decree detailing the organization and functioning of its new anti-corruption authority, including its sanctions commission. The broad powers vested in this new agency are part of a series of sweeping measures adopted by the so-called “Sapin II” law of December 9, 2016. These measures strengthen France’s anti-corruption legislation, and have far-reaching consequences for French and foreign groups.
Continue Reading France Implements Sweeping Anti-Corruption Reform

On March 30, France released a draft bill (so-called “Sapin II” bill) aimed at strengthening its anti-corruption legislation. If adopted, this reform will have far-reaching consequences for French and foreign groups.

Under French law, corruption, including active and passive bribery (corruption) and influence peddling (trafic d’influence), is a criminal offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and fines of up to €1,000,000 for individuals and €5,000,000 for legal entities as well as ancillary sanctions. However, under the current regime, companies are under no obligation to take affirmative steps to prevent corruption. Furthermore, French authorities have limited legal means to prosecute acts of corruption committed outside of France. As a result, the current framework has long been viewed as being deficient, ineffective and generally below international standards, particularly when compared to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and UK Bribery Act (2010) (“UKBA”). In 2014, both the European Commission and the OECD invited France to adopt and enforce effective anti-corruption laws.Continue Reading France Introduces Sweeping Anti-Corruption Reform