The FCPA Report

The definitive source of actionable intelligence covering the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

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By Topic: Litigation Holds

  • From Vol. 1 No.12 (Nov. 14, 2012)

    Strategies for Preserving Data Before and During an FCPA Investigation

    Companies operating in today’s international marketplace create and distribute mass quantities of electronically stored information.  On any given day, a multinational company’s employees may write and distribute thousands of e-mails, letters, text messages, instant messages and other electronic documents.  If not handled properly, such information can create significant risks for global organizations, potential subjects of FCPA (and other) investigations.  Failing to create and implement a comprehensive data preservation policy prior to the start of an investigation or inquiry can have dire consequences, particularly if documents are inadvertently destroyed after a preservation duty develops.  Handling data correctly – both before and during an FCPA investigation – is straightforward in theory but challenging in practice.  This article provides insight on how best to deal with the mountain of data relevant to an investigation, including how a company can insulate itself proactively from the risks caused by poor data management; the importance of creating, implementing and enforcing a comprehensive data preservation plan prior to the triggering of a preservation obligation; how to determine when a preservation obligation arises; and best practices for implementing a litigation hold after the obligation has arisen.

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