The FCPA Blog recently did a post, China dominates the corporate investigations list, in which it listed out the number of ongoing FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) investigations by country. This list appears to have been compiled using company disclosures so there are no doubt a number of investigations not reflected by it.

Nonetheless, it is a very useful list and what stands out (but is not the least bit surprising) is China’s dominance. The top five countries by number of ongoing FCPA investigations is as follows:

  1. China 37
  2. Russia 7
  3. Brazil 7
  4. Libya 6
  5. Poland 6

The post explains that Libya shows up so high simply because Ghaddafi’s recent overthrow allowed a review of government documents. The post calls Poland’s presence an outlier, but we disagree. Or should I say that one of my law firm’s lawyers disagrees. James Yrkoksi spent about twenty years as a lawyer in Poland and in his view Poland’s inclusion makes complete sense as so many American companies base their Central European operations there. Indeed, a growing number of American companies are basing their European operations there due to its educated and yet relatively inexpensive workforce. In other words, Poland makes the list simply because so many American companies are there.

And China makes the list for the same reason, along with the added reason that so many Chinese companies are embedded with government employees. Prevalence of corruption is obviously another factor.

If you are interested in your company not adding numbers to the above list, I urge you to read Doing Business In China Without An Anti-Corruption Compliance Program? Are You Crazy? and How To Do Business In China Without Jail Time? Kill A Chicken.

Photo of Dan Harris Dan Harris

Dan is a founder of Harris Bricken, an international law firm with lawyers in Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, China and Spain.

He primarily represents companies doing business in emerging market countries, having spent years building and maintaining a global, professional network.  His work has been as varied as securing the release of two improperly held helicopters in Papua New Guinea, setting up a legal framework to move slag from Canada to Poland’s interior, overseeing hundreds of litigation and arbitration matters in Korea, helping someone avoid terrorism charges in Japan, and seizing fish product in China to collect on a debt.

He was named as one of only three Washington State Amazing Lawyers in International Law, is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (its highest rating), is rated 10.0 by (also its highest rating), and is a recognized SuperLawyer.

Dan is a frequent writer and public speaker on doing business in Asia and constantly travels between the United States and Asia. He most commonly speaks on China law issues and is the lead writer of the award winning China Law Blog. Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Business Week, The National Law Journal, The Washington Post, The ABA Journal, The Economist, Newsweek, NPR, The New York Times and Inside Counsel have all interviewed Dan regarding various aspects of his international law practice.

Dan is licensed in Washington, Illinois, and Alaska.

In tandem with the international law team at his firm, Dan focuses on setting up/registering companies overseas (via WFOEs, Rep Offices or Joint Ventures), drafting international contracts (NDAs, OEM Agreements, licensing, distribution, etc.), protecting IP (trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and patents), and overseeing M&A transactions.