The Philadelphia Inquirer has a interesting piece on the rise of “exotic white collar defenses” for lawyers. It traces the “enormous profit center” of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other international fraud defenses to the Siemens case. In 2008, the German-based engineering giant paid $1.6 billion in fines to authorities in the U.S. and Germany for its role in an international bribery scandal.
Writes Inquirer staff writer Chris Mondics:
“The investigation struck terror in the hearts of business executives in the U.S and Europe who came to realize that they faced both the prospect of huge criminal and civil fines and that they might also go to jail if it could be shown their employees or agents engaged in overseas bribery.
“Yet, as traumatic as such cases are for private companies, defending against them have become enormous profit centers for lawyers and accountants.
“The legal fees for the Siemens defense alone, handled by Debevoise & Plimpton L.L.P., based in New York, were in the hundreds of millions.”