Regulatory & Criminal Enforcement

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Regulatory & Criminal Enforcement

Our clients entrust us with handling their most sensitive and complex regulatory and criminal defense matters and compliance and integrity issues. We counsel our clients every step of the process, ranging from legal crisis management, conducting internal investigations and public disclosures, to representation vis-à-vis regulators and criminal authorities or in criminal, administrative or civil court proceedings, and resolving investigations through declinations, settlement or litigation. Many of our cases are resolved without enforcement action being taken, and remain confidential.

We handle cases for our clients wherever they do business. In recent years, we have been involved in more than 30 countries and represented our clients before numerous authorities, including the Dutch public prosecutor, the AFM, DNB, the SEC, the DOJ, OFAC, BIS, the FCA, and MPF and CGU in Brazil. Our office in Shanghai is focused on investigations and enforcement, allowing us to conduct investigations effectively in China and the wider Asian-region, and giving us close proximity to local authorities and regulators. We have assisted clients in developing successful strategies to avoid or mitigate parallel investigations in multiple jurisdictions, and achieve a global resolution in cross-border matters.

We have consistently taken an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to handling regulatory enforcement and corporate crime matters. We combine the firm's expertise and experience in e.g. corporate governance, finance, data protection, financial markets regulation and civil litigation. We also work closely together with leading local law firms and e-discovery and forensic accounting consultancies where the matter so requires in addition to our in-house capabilities. This approach allows us to advise our clients holistically on all relevant aspects of the case.

Our work encompasses a wide variety of areas, such as bribery and corruption, fraud, financial markets regulatory issues, market abuse, money laundering, accounting irregularities, tax fraud, health and safety issues, environment, social and government (ESG), economic sanctions and export controls, cybercrime, corporate espionage and other compliance and integrity incidents. Our clients are active in various sectors, including financial institutions, energy (including oil & gas), manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, technology, chemical, automotive, life sciences, pharmaceutical and health care.

Insights

22 July 2021

EBA and ESMA publish new fit and proper AML knowledge guidance for the management level

Credit institutions and investments firms will need to meet new fit and proper AML knowledge requirements as of 31 December 2021. The European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) recently published joint guidelines on how these entities should assess the suitability of management board members and key function holders in accordance with the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD IV) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II). The revised guidelines provide that the suitability assessment should at least address whether the person in the management board who is responsible for AML implementation, has the required knowledge, experience and skills. The joint guidelines also contain a suitability requirement for the collective management body.
16 March 2021

China's new Blocking Rules - more conflicting requirements for international business

China recently enacted Rules on Counteracting Unjustified Extra-territorial Application of Foreign Legislation and Other Measures. These "Blocking Rules" are designed to block the extraterritorial application of foreign laws and measures that may endanger the fundamental national security and economic interests of China and of Chinese entities. For example, they may prohibit Chinese entities, including Chinese subsidiaries of foreign companies, from complying with US export controls and US secondary sanctions. While meant to protect against foreign legislation restricting Chinese business, the Blocking Rules may mean more conflicting requirements for Chinese companies and foreign companies operating in China. We recommend that multinational companies doing business in and with China closely monitor legislative and enforcement updates, assess the risks they may face, and take mitigation measures where necessary.
17 February 2021

Signed charter needed for foreign in-house counsel to have legal privilege

Can in-house counsel admitted to a non-Dutch bar invoke legal privilege in the Netherlands? The Rotterdam District Court has ruled that these "foreign in-house counsel'' can – if they have that right under the jurisdiction where they work. In addition, if they work in the Netherlands, they must also meet specific criteria set by the Netherlands Bar. According to the court, foreign in-house counsel practising in the Netherlands should be treated the same as Dutch in-house counsel. The latter are required to sign a professional charter – a document that guarantees their independence and is signed by both employer and in-house counsel – in order to invoke legal privilege. Although the ruling is not final, it is important to consider its implications. To err on the side of caution, we recommend that clients who employ foreign in-house counsel make sure that their charters are in order and signed and record that the standards required by this charter have thus far been upheld.