Bonifassi and Chatelin: France has DPAs, but needs more guidance – The FCPA Blog

Victoire Chatelin and Stéphane Bonifassi share with The FCPA Blog their analysis of how France finally has a mechanism for corporate corruption settlements. Now the fine-tuning should start.

The French government enacted the law commonly known as Loi Sapin II, paving the way for out-of-court settlements, on December 9, 2016. And the French Ministry of Justice issued regulatory guidelines on the subject on January 31 this year.

To date, only four corporate criminal settlements have been signed in France. The most recent, concluded in June with Société Générale S.A. in coordination with the U.S. DOJ, was about international bribes paid to foreign officials. Read more

FCPA BlogNews and commentary about white-collar crime, enforcement and compliance – Wednesday, September 19, 2018

“Stéphane Bonifassi: French supreme court finds no double jeopardy based on foreign plea agreement”, The FCPA Blog – Thursday, April 5, 2018

In a case surprisingly ignored by the mainstream media, considering the matter and the parties at stake, France’s Supreme Court recently determined that double jeopardy isn’t a viable defense to prevent the prosecution of a company that had entered into a plea agreement for charges tried in another country.

The decision by the Cour de Cassation, rendered on March 14, involved Swiss oil trader Vitol, which allegedly bribed the government of Iraq to obtain oil under the United Nations’ Oil-for-Food program that ran from 1996 to 2003. Under that program, Iraq could sell oil on the open market to purchase humanitarian supplies for its citizens. Read more

FCPA BlogNews and commentary about white-collar crime, enforcement, and compliance – Thursday, April 5, 2018

A Look at the Debate Surrounding Judicial Review of Arbitration – Stéphane Bonifassi & Elena Federova for FCPA Blog – Monday, January 29, 2018

Stéphane Bonifassi has recently participated in a panel discussion at Basel University in Switzerland hosted by Mark Pieth about the role of courts in reviewing arbitral awards.

Facing a room with substantial representation by arbitrators, Stéphane Bonifassi views likely ran counter to their collective beliefs, but neither side can deny a trend toward state court review of arbitral awards, especially when criminal activity is alleged.

Traditionally, arbitral awards have been the subject of little scrutiny by courts because of a general trend in favor of arbitration. But this absence of scrutiny might eventually prove detrimental to arbitration as a whole.

In  this article for The FCPA Blog that Stéphane Bonifassi has prepared with his colleague Elena Fedorova, he explain why judicial review of arbitral awards makes more sense than some new legislation introduced in France and Belgium, doesn’t violate claimants’ rights and is, indeed, the right thing to do.


“Stéphane Bonifassi: Expanding involvement of courts in arbitration makes sense” – The FCPA Blog – Monday, January 29, 2018

Recently a trend toward state court review of arbitral awards has emerged, especially when criminal activity is alleged, and no matter what side of the debate you are on, there’s no denying a change is afoot.

This trend has revealed itself in French case law. In Belokon vs. Kyrgyzstan, for example, the Paris Court of Appeal early last year set aside an arbitral tribunal’s decision that had found the Republic of Kyrgyzstan liable for the unlawful expropriation of the assets of a Latvian investor, Valeri Belokon.

The French court ruled that Belokon’s acquisition and operation of Manas Bank in Kyrgyzstan in 2007 hid money-laundering practices and consequently set aside the arbitral award. Read more

FCPA BlogNews and commentary about white-collar crime, enforcement, and compliance – Monday, January 29, 2018