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Corporate Compliance and DOJ Guidance: Designing and Implementing Programs Tailored to Company Business and Culture

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will address the DOJ's June 2020 updates to its guidance on "The Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs" as well as the changes in the updated FCPA resource guide. This is the third version of the document, with the DOJ having issued its initial guidance in 2017 and revised it in April 2019. This further revision is another reminder of the DOJ’s heightened focus and increasing sophistication regarding evaluating compliance programs, including the program's design, implementation, and effectiveness, during government investigations.


The DOJ recently updated its "Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs" in a detailed "Guidance Document," which analyzes three general criteria for such programs (design, implementation, and effectiveness). The DOJ also outlined specific areas federal prosecutors will consider when investigating and deciding whether to charge corporate entities.

The DOJ intends that the Guidance Document will "assist prosecutors in making informed decisions as to whether, and to what extent, the corporation's compliance program was effective at the time of the offense, and is effective at the time of a charging decision or resolution, for purposes of determining the appropriate (1) form of any resolution or prosecution; (2) monetary penalty, if any; and (3) compliance obligations contained in any corporate criminal resolution (e.g., monitorship or reporting obligations)." Therefore, familiarity with DOJ expectations is of vital importance to in-house and outside counsel, as well as compliance, risk, and audit professionals.

While the overall structure of the new guidance generally remains consistent with the last version, the revisions provide additional insight into the DOJ’s expectations for corporate compliance programs. More specifically, the revisions highlight the importance of an adequately resourced and empowered compliance department, a constantly evolving compliance program based on the company’s current risk profile and relevant compliance issues, and the use of key compliance metrics to test the effectiveness of a compliance program.

Listen as our authoritative panel provides a detailed analysis of these DOJ materials and their significance in tying together and expanding on enforcement guidance previously released by DOJ. The panel will also discuss the aspects of a robust compliance program that can reflect a solid corporate culture, which helps protect officers and directors from individual prosecution.



  1. Program design
    1. Risk assessment
    2. Policies and procedures
    3. Training and communications
    4. Confidential reporting/investigations
    5. Third-party management
    6. Merger and acquisition issues
  2. Implementation
    1. Commitment by management
    2. Autonomy and resources
    3. Incentives and discipline
  3. Effectiveness
    1. Continuous improvement, testing, and review
    2. Investigation of misconduct
    3. Analysis and remediation


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What is the significance of the updated guidance relative to past versions of the guidance?
  • What do these DOJ insights reveal about DOJ's investigation priorities going forward?
  • How should compliance programs be designed and resourced to reflect an acceptable compliance culture?
  • What are compliance actions to protect officers and directors from personal liability?


Bell, Christopher
Christopher L. Bell

Greenberg Traurig

Mr. Bell represents clients in civil and criminal enforcement, litigation, compliance counseling and regulatory...  |  Read More

Mann, Michael
Michael D. Mann

Sidley Austin

Mr. Mann is a partner in Sidley’s White Collar: Government Litigation and Investigations practice, where he...  |  Read More

Tan, John
John Tan

Arnold & Porter

Mr. Tan focuses his practice on internal investigations and corporate compliance on behalf of clients in the life...  |  Read More

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