Navigant Q&A: Risk of Violating Anti-Corruption Laws Higher in Some Countries

The international business environment presents a growing challenge to stay within anti-corruption boundaries and deal with growing populism. Jim Vint, a managing director of Navigant who heads the firm’s e-discovery practice, offered his take on some of the key challenges to doing business abroad.

Hear more from Vint at the 2018 Bloomberg Law Leadership Forum on May 23 in New York, where corporate counsel from Fortune 500 businesses and leaders from top law firms will gather to discuss trends in trade, regulation, and technology.

What is the impact of the U.S.’s evolving position on NAFTA and how would you advise clients planning for their foreign operations?

The U.S. is seeking to balance the playing field to provide more advantages to the American worker and businesses. In doing so, the introduction of additional provisions (visibility, accountability, working conditions, anti-corruption, others) come with added costs to operate in the participating countries. This may or may not impact the attractiveness of those areas from a cost and/or risk perspective.

Each industry addressed has its own components that would impact planning. Clients should weigh the impact of the incentives to manufacture domestically against the costs of doing business or expanding business into other NAFTA-affected countries.

What are the most salient features of AI and predictive analytics on companies’ FCPA due diligence and compliance issues?

The ability to leverage AI and predictive analytics creates opportunity to increase the speed with which transactions of concern can be highlighted to legal and compliance for review. Additionally, with continuous active learning for certain AI platforms, as false positives are labeled as such, the machine will become more accurate or ‘smarter’ in its assessment of what is a true positive.

And applications for contract assembly and contract analysis will provide provisions to reduce exposing an organization to the risk of running afoul of corruption or compliance issues and provide consistency in development and review. Lawyers can then focus on the legal aspect of deals and contracts rather than the administrative burden of creating the ‘document.’

In light of growing global trends of populism and authoritarianism, how would you advise corporate clients about the relative attractiveness of major geographic areas or primary countries for expanding or pulling back on operations?

While many major markets for business are appealing, there are always concerns about the bifurcating desire of populism and the total control of authoritarianism. Proportional expectations for regions in which these political situations arise can dramatically impact business through consumer behavior, healthy competition, and workforce innovation. Under either trend, the ruling power can influence buying behavior, buying power, and/or influence the rejection of your product or service.

Additionally, the ability to compete in these spaces without risking violations of anti-corruption laws is a very real risk. Since many of the areas where these trends continue to emerge tend to be isolated or enclosed, the ability to bring the right level of local resources on board can be a challenge, and driving innovation and change within that group could be restricted as well. This could result in less education, low morale, forced working conditions, and other undesirable outcomes.


For the 4th year, the Bloomberg Law Leadership Forum is the premier event for legal industry leaders to gain insights and discuss how global economic and regulatory changes impact their business. Navigant is a sponsor of the event.

The 2018 Forum features an update on current regulatory priorities, a look at where corporate risk is rising, and an exploration of the technology and management tools legal counsel need to respond effectively.

Click here to request an invitation to the 2018 Bloomberg Law Leadership Forum.

Leadership Forum Speakers Include:

  • Chairman Jay Clayton, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Marcy Cohen, Managing Director and Chief Legal Officer, ING Americas
  • Noah Perlman, ‎Global Head of Financial Crimes, Morgan Stanley
  • Katherine Choo, Chief Investigative & Anti-Corruption Counsel, GE