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Smith Pachter Hosts ACC NCR Procurement Collusion Strike Force Program

Smith Pachter McWhorter Members John S. Pachter and Cormac T. Connor will lead a webcast panel discussion with G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Virginia, and Patricia Becker, Deputy General Counsel of Chemring Group PLC, on the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF) and implications for government contractors.

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Smith Pachter McWhorter Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers® List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that seven attorneys have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021 Edition in the areas of Arbitration, Construction Law, Construction Litigation, Mediation and White-Collar Criminal Defense. 
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Amanda DeLaPerriere Joins Smith Pachter McWhorter as Associate Attorney

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that Amanda C. DeLaPerriere has joined the firm as an associate attorney, focusing her practice on government contracts, construction and white collar law. 

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: DOJ and OFAC Sanctions Enforcement Actions Highlight New Sanctions Risks for Non-U.S. Companies Based on Use of U.S. Financial System

On July 16, 2020, the U.S. government announced criminal and civil enforcement actions against Essentra FZE Co. Ltd. (“Essentra”), a global supplier of cigarette products incorporated in the U.A.E., for North Korea Sanctions violations. Essentra entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”) with the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) for conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and defrauding the United States in connection with evading sanctions on North Korea. This DPA is noteworthy because it marks the DOJ’s first ever corporate enforcement action for violations of sanctions on North Korea. In the civil enforcement action, Essentra entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”). Under these agreements, Essentra admitted that it received payments in bank accounts operated by the foreign branch of a U.S. financial institution that were for the sale of cigarette products that Essentra knew were destined for North Korea. It is notable that Essentra was targeted for criminal enforcement for receiving U.S. dollar or other currency payments into accounts held at a non-U.S. branch of a U.S. bank. DOJ and OFAC make clear that, regardless of which way the money flows, the facts may support liability under U.S. sanctions regimes. These actions signal that OFAC and the DOJ may be adopting a broader approach to sanctions enforcement.

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: Takeaways from DOJ and SEC’s Recent Updates to the FCPA Resource Guide

On July 3, 2020, the Criminal Division of DOJ and the Enforcement Division of SEC released their first update to the Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act since November 2012. The FCPA Resource Guide is a one-stop reference manual for the statutory requirements of the FCPA, DOJ’s and SEC’s enforcement policies and practices, recent enforcement actions and declinations, and applicable case law and DOJ opinion releases. 

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: U.S. DOJ Announced Further Updates of Its Guidance for Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs

On June 1, 2020, the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) published an updated version of its Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs, an official guide for prosecutors on how to evaluate a company’s compliance programs.  “Today’s revised guidance on the Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs reflects additions based on our own experience and important feedback from the business and compliance communities,” Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski commented. 

Though most of the changes to DOJ’s prior Compliance Guidelines represent refinements of points in the prior versions, they nonetheless constitute significant trend indicators for evaluating compliance programs against evolving business realities. 

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GIR Analysis: Crisis-Driven Innovation in Brazilian Internal Investigation Practice

In the Global Investigations Review (GIR) article, "Crisis-driven innovation in Brazilian internal investigation practice," Francisco Petros and Thaís Folgosi Françoso at FF Advogados in Brazil and Iris Bennett and Carlos André Galante Grover at Smith Pachter McWhorter in the US examine innovations in internal investigation practices in Brazil spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic, the benefits of change, and provide tips to manage enforcement authorities' expectations. 

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DC Bar Panel Program: Preserving Client Privileges and Confidences During Internal Investigations

Iris E. Bennett and Cormac T. Connor will be speaking at the upcoming DC Bar Panel Program webinar, "Preserving Your Client’s Privileges and Confidences During Internal Investigations," on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Panel speakers include: Allison Barlotta, Booz Allen Hamilton; Iris Bennett, Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC; Cormac Connor, Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC; and Courtney Edmonds, Leidos.

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Chambers USA 2020 Recognizes Smith Pachter McWhorter as a Leading Law Firm

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business recognizes seven Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC lawyers as leaders in their field in its 2020 guide. Chambers USA 2020 has also ranked the firm’s government contracts and construction practice groups. Chambers USA is the preeminent legal ranking of attorneys and law firms with regional and national rankings driven by independent interviews of clients and peers.

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COVID-19 Client Alert: Preparing for Increased CARES Act Oversight

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) will provide more than $2 trillion in relief to those hardest hit by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the CARES Act, the federal government will provide checks to an estimated 150 million American households, set up loan programs for businesses, increase unemployment insurance programs, provide funds to hospitals and local governments, among other actions.  As the largest economic stimulus package in history, there is a natural focus in the CARES Act on making sure that funds are used for their intended purpose, thus creating three new oversight bodies: the Office of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery within the Treasury Department (“SIGPR”); the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (“PRAC”); and a Congressional Oversight Commission. Businesses benefiting from the much-needed relief the CARES Act provides should take the opportunity now to prepare for the increased scrutiny of a special Inspector General.  Both during the pandemic response and after it subsides, we can expect that the SIGPR will probe how CARES Act funds were deployed with the full benefit of hindsight. 

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Daniel A. Solomon Joins Smith Pachter McWhorter as a Member of its White Collar Practice

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that corporate and government investigation, compliance and white collar defense attorney Daniel A. Solomon has joined the firm as partner.  Dan adds extensive experience in a broad range of international regulatory compliance matters, in particular, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), corporate and government investigations, economic sanctions and export controls, and commercial transactions. 

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DOJ Prioritizes Fraud Investigations Related to Coronavirus Outbreak and Response

The Department of Justice has mobilized prosecutors and investigators to look for fraud related to the current COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.   On Monday, March 16, 2020, Attorney General William Barr directed all U.S. Attorneys nationwide to prioritize the detection, investigation, and prosecution of criminal conduct related to the current pandemic.

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FCPA and Corporate Compliance Best Practices: Frequently Asked Questions Primer

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC presents FCPA compliance resources in multiple languages including FAQs regarding FCPA compliance available in English, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish. 

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Federal Bar Association Qui Tam Conference Highlights Developments in False Claims Act Enforcement

The Federal Bar Association recently hosted its annual Qui Tam Conference, bringing together panelists and attendees from the government, relators’ bar and the defense bar to analyze developments in the False Claims Act (FCA) enforcement arena.  Several distinguished speakers presented at the panel, including Joseph H. (Jody) Hunt, Assistant Attorney General - DOJ Civil Division, and Michael Granston, Deputy Assistant Attorney General – DOJ Civil Division. 

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Smith Pachter McWhorter False Claims Act Practice Guide: 2020

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to present the 2020 edition of its False Claims Act Practice Guide. This Guide is intended to serve as a practical reference tool, providing general guidance about False Claims Act (“FCA”) legal standards, required elements of proof, common issues that give rise to FCA liability, and recent legal and enforcement developments.

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Update Regarding DOJ’s FCPA Priorities

Keeping abreast of developments in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) arena, Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC attorneys have been presenting at and attending ACI’s International Conference on the FCPA, which is took place this week near Washington, D.C.  Notably, one of the keynote speakers was Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski, who leads the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.  Benczkowski spoke and then responded to a question-and-answer session.  The substance of Benczkowski’s remarks are published on DOJ’s website.  Several comments are notable for our clients and potential clients.

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: SBA OHA Holds Three-Year Period for Calculating Receipts Continues to Apply

The Small Business Runway Extension Act of 2018 ("Runway Act") extended the period for calculating a business' receipts to determine size status from three years to five years.  Although the legislation became law in December 2018, the Small Business Administration ("SBA") did not issue proposed regulations adopting the new standard for notice and comment until June 24, 2019 and has not issued a final rule as of this date.  In the interim, SBA maintains that the five-year period established by the Runway Act is not binding until a final rule goes into effect.  The inconsistency between the Runway Act and regulations left contractors in doubt as to the proper period for calculating receipts in determining their size status.  Some clarity came in a decision last month by SBA's Office of Hearings and Appeals ("OHA") in Cypher Analytics, Inc. dba Crown Point Systems, SBA No. SIZ-6022 (2019).

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: DOJ Launches Procurement Collusion Strike Force (“PCSF”) to Investigate and Prosecute Antitrust Crimes in Government Contracting

On November 5, 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a new Procurement Collusion Strike Force, to be called “PCSF,” for the purpose of investigating collusion and anti-competitive conduct involving government procurement, grant, and program funding. The PCSF will be focused on antitrust crimes including bid-rigging agreements and other fraudulent conspiracies.  We understand that the strike force will train and educate federal, state, and local procurement officials as well as auditors and investigators across the country to recognize anti-competitive or collusive behavior in government funding processes. The officials will also be trained to identify and report potential concerns in the process of awarding contracts and grants. In addition, prosecutors and investigators from the various agencies will work together to investigate and prosecute cases that result from these targeted outreach efforts.

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: Temporary General License for Export to Huawei Extended, with More Restrictions Introduced

On August 19, 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a Final Rule (the “August TGL”) extending the Temporary General License (TGL) it previously granted to Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (Huawei) and 68 of its affiliates in May 2019 (the “May TGL”).  Besides extending the TGL by another ninety (90) days up to November 18, 2019, the BIS added numerous changes and clarifications that in effect further narrowed the already narrow scope of permissible transactions.  Furthermore, the BIS changed the certification requirements by requiring Huawei to provide certification statements vouching and demonstrating compliance with the TGL.  The burden to prepare those statements had previously been on the exporters/re-exporters/transferors.  Finally, the BIS concurrently issued another final rule adding an additional forty-six (46) Huawei affiliates to the Entity List, making the total number of listed Huawei entities 115.

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Named to 2020 Best Lawyers® List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that seven attorneys have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 Edition. Lawyers are selected for inclusion based on an exhaustive peer-review process. In addition, Val S. McWhorter was named 2020 Mediation “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers® in Washington, D.C. 

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Elizabeth N. Jochum has Joined Smith Pachter McWhorter as a Member of its Government Contracts Group and Haris Hadzimuratovic and Jacob Bolinger Have Joined the Firm as Associate Attorneys

NEW ATTORNEY ANNOUNCEMENT: Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that experienced government contracts attorney Elizabeth N. Jochum has joined the firm as a partner.  Ms. Jochum augments the firm’s existing capabilities, adding extensive experience in bid protests and other government contracts litigation, as well as government contracts-related investigations and white collar defense.

Smith Pachter McWhorter is also pleased to announce the addition of two associate attorneys: Haris Hadzimuratovic and Jacob Bolinger. 

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Iris Bennett Speaking at NACDL 2019 West Coast White Collar Conference

White Collar Partner Iris Bennett is scheduled to speak at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 2019 West Coast White Collar Conference on June 20, 2019, in Santa Monica, CA. 

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: U.S. Companies Caught in Limbo as Huawei and Sixty-Eight of Its Subsidiaries Were Added to the Entity List, Causing China to Retaliate

On May 16, 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a final rule amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to add Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (Huawei) and its sixty-eight non-U.S. affiliates to the Entity List.  Five days later, on May 20, 2019, BIS issued another final rule granting a 90-day Temporary General License (May 20, 2019 through August 19, 2019) for four categories of EAR-regulated transactions involving existing and fully operational networks/systems, handsets made available to the public on or before May 16, 2019, and 5G standardization.  China countered by furious rhetoric and threats of counter measures including an “Unreliable Entity List” targeting persons and companies stopping or disrupting supply to Chinese companies like Huawei “for non-commercial reasons.”  This article discusses the risks U.S. exporters may face in the context of the regulatory clash between the two economic giants and some of the coping strategies in light of regulatory uncertainties affecting the feasibility of ongoing business relationships with Huawei.

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: Supreme Court Addresses False Claims Act Statute of Limitations

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Cochise Consultancy, Inc., et al. v. United States ex rel. Hunt, addressing conflicting decisions on the False Claims Act statute of limitations and expanding the time allowed for private party relators to file whistleblower lawsuits.  The decision increases the risk that government contractors may be subject to qui tam claims brought as many as ten years after the alleged violation, including by relators who may have chosen not to act on their own knowledge, provided that the relator can prove that government agent had or should have had knowledge of the alleged false claim.

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Vincent Li has joined Smith Pachter's White Collar Practice Group

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that experienced corporate and government investigation, compliance, White Collar defense and commercial dispute attorney Vincent W. Li has joined the firm as a partner. Mr. Li most recently served as Counsel for Special Investigation and Compliance for General Motors, covering the company’s China and International Regions. Prior to his in-house service at GM, Mr. Li practiced law at Jones Day.

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: DOJ Issues Guidance on False Claims Act Matters

On May 7, 2019, the Civil Division of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) released guidance to its litigators related to the False Claims Act (“FCA”).  This guidance establishes DOJ policy regarding credit to defendants cooperating during an FCA investigation and is included in the Justice Manual at Section 4-4.112.  The new policy sets forth the factors long relied on by DOJ, describing voluntary disclosure, cooperation with a government investigation, and remedial action as the primary means through which an FCA defendant can obtain credit.  For government contractors that find themselves potentially subject to FCA liability – whether identified through an internal investigation or receipt of a subpoena – the guidance provides a useful framework to think through potential responses.

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Selected to 2019 Virginia Super Lawyers List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC congratulates eight attorneys who have been selected for inclusion in the 2019 Virginia Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars list for their achievements and expertise in their areas of practice.

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Law360 Expert Analysis: U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Case Involving FOIA Exemption for Commercial and Proprietary Information

In the Law360 Expert Analysis article, High Court May Defend Gov't Contractors Against FOIA," Edmund M. Amorosi previews a U.S. Supreme Court case involving FOIA Exemption for Commercial and Proprietary Information.

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu Appointed Chairwoman of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu Appointed Chairwoman of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski Promotes Transparency with the Business Community

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski recently emphasized DOJ’s plans to continue working with corporations to combat corporate misconduct, to regularly update DOJ policies to ensure they are clear, comprehensive, and up to date, to educate prosecutors on how to evaluate corporate compliance programs to ensure consistency across the country, and to provide the corporate community more transparency into DOJ’s decision-making.

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: DOD Issues Several Memos on Cybersecurity Compliance

The Department of Defense (DOD) issued four Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP) memoranda on cybersecurity compliance in less than three months, signaling DOD’s increased interest in validating contractor compliance with the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) cybersecurity rules. Many DOD contractors are subject to the cybersecurity requirements pursuant to the contract clause at DFARS 252.204-7012, Safeguarding Covered Defense Information & Cyber Incident Reporting.

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: GAO Issues Report on DCAA and DCMA Business System Audits

On February 7, 2019, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a Report (GAO-19-212) to Congressional Committees on the Department of Defense’s (DOD) effectiveness in monitoring and managing contractor business system evaluations. 

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Recent Decisions Bode Well For False Claims Act Defendants

In two articles, John S. Pachter and Todd M. Garland discuss recent False Claims Act trends.

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Smith Pachter McWhorter's False Claims Act Practice Guide: 2019

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to present the 2019 edition of its False Claims Act Practice Guide. 

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Michael Lowman has joined Smith Pachter McWhorter’s White Collar Practice Group

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that experienced white collar defense and government investigations attorney Michael K. Lowman has joined the firm as a partner in our White Collar defense, investigations and compliance counseling practice group. Mr. Lowman augments the firm’s existing capabilities, adding deep experience in SEC investigations, securities litigation and counseling, and complex litigation.

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: New Law Revises Small Business Size Formula

On December 17, 2018, President Trump signed the Small Business Runway Act of 2018 (“SBRA”), which revises the formula for calculating revenues to determine eligibility for small business set-asides to use a five-year average instead of a three-year average.

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: DOJ Provides Guidance on Corporate Compliance Programs and Monitorships

Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski provided new guidance regarding how DOJ’s Criminal Division will evaluate compliance programs and the selection of corporate monitors under deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements (“DPAs” and “NPAs”, respectively). A corporation under DOJ investigation may now be able to avoid the expense and burden of a monitorship if it can credibly show that changes to its compliance program and/or management team would prevent prior misconduct from happening again.

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Law360 Expert Analysis: A Defense Counsel's Guide To New DOJ Manual

Smith Pachter McWhorter's Cormac Connor and Iris Bennett provide expert analysis of DOJ's recent revisions to the United States Attorneys’ Manual in Law360.

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: Petrobras Reaches Global Settlement with U.S. and Brazilian Authorities

On Thursday, September 27, Brazil’s state-owned-and-controlled oil and gas company Petrobras and U.S. authorities announced a settlement to resolve U.S. government investigations into violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

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Iris E. Bennett to Present on Panel on Ethical Issues in Internal Investigations and in Responding to Government Investigations at the 2018 Women, Influence & Power in Law Conference in Washington, D.C.

Smith Pachter McWhorter Member Iris Bennett to speak on CLE panel on Ethical Issues in Internal Investigations and in Responding to Government Investigations at the 2018 Women, Influence & Power in Law conference, held in Washington, D.C. 

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LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS ALERT: Second Circuit Rebuffs DOJ’s Long-Held Theory on the Reach of Conspiracy Law to Prosecute Non-U.S. Persons Under the FCPA

Among other interpretations of the FCPA that DOJ has maintained over the years, one of the most aggressive has been DOJ’s view of its power to use the doctrine of conspiracy to prosecute non-U.S. persons in situations where DOJ could not charge that person with a substantive violation of the statute. Specifically, as expressed in DOJ’s FCPA Enforcement Guide and its enforcement practices, the DOJ’s view has been that it may prosecute non-U.S. individuals or entities who conspire to violate the FCPA, even if the non-U.S. party itself would not fall under the FCPA’s jurisdiction. This theory recently failed a direct challenge in federal court.

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Named to 2019 Best Lawyers® List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that six attorneys have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 Edition. Lawyers are selected for inclusion based on an exhaustive peer-review process.

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John Pachter Quoted in Bloomberg Federal Contracts Report

John Pachter quoted in article in Bloomberg Federal Contracts Report about U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

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Smith Pachter McWhorter Announces Cormac Connor Joins White Collar Practice

SPM is pleased to announce that experienced white collar defense and government investigations attorney Cormac T. Connor has joined the firm as a partner.

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EVENT: The World Bank Group and the Global Fight Against Corruption: Sanctions, Monitoring and Compliance Mentoring

SPM's Iris Bennett will speak at a DC Bar panel on World Bank sanctions, monitoring, and compliance mentoring on May 9, 2018.

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FCPA Compliance and Enforcement Trends Annual Guide: January 2018

Smith Pachter McWhorter has published its FCPA Compliance and Enforcement Trends Annual Guide: January 2018.

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CLIENT ALERT: FY 2018 NDAA Acquisition Reform Highlights

Each year, Congress specifies the annual budget, establishes funding levels, and sets spending policies for the Department of Defense (DoD) though the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

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Fifth Circuit Decision Reinforces Need for Anti-Kickback Act Compliance

Bloomberg Government Federal Contracts Report publishes,"Fifth Circuit Decision Reinforces Need for Anti-Kickback Act Compliance" authored by Smith Pachter McWhorter's John Pachter and Todd Garland. 

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NIST Publishes Guidelines for CUI Cybersecurity Compliance

On November 28, 2017, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) released a draft special publication on “Assessing Security Requirements for Controlled Unclassified Information.”

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Smith Pachter McWhorter Successfully Represents Five Individuals in Air Force Suspension and Debarment Proceedings

John S. Pachter represented five individuals faced three-year exclusions from U.S. government contracting with their names published in the System for Award Management. 

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Smith Pachter McWhorter's False Claims Act Practice Guide: 2017

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to present the 2017 edition of its False Claims Act Practice Guide.

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Fifth Circuit Reverses $663 Million Judgment Against Government Contractor Based on Escobar’s Demanding and Rigorous Materiality Standard.

Fifth Circuit Reverses $663 Million Judgment Against Government Contractor Based on Escobar’s Demanding and Rigorous Materiality Standard. A recent Fifth Circuit decision applying the False Claims Act’s (“FCA”) materiality requirement reinforces the “demanding” standard established by the Supreme Court in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 136 S. Ct. 1989 (2016).  In United States ex rel. Harman v. Trinity Industries Inc., 2017 WL 4325279 (5th Cir. Sept. 29, 2017), the government’s continued payment despite knowledge of alleged regulatory violations resulted in dismissal for want of materiality.

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Panel Discussion on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: 2017 Women, Influence & Power in Law Conference, Washington, D.C.

Iris E. Bennett, with co-panelists, will lead a discussion on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act at the 2017 Women, Influence & Power in Law conference, held in Washington, D.C.  

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Iris Bennett Elected Chair of the Public International and Criminal Law Subcommittee for the D.C. Bar, International Law Community

Iris E. Bennett will serve as Chair of the Public International and Criminal Law Subcommittee for the District of Columbia Bar, International Law Community, for 2017-2018.  

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Law360 Expert Analysis: FCPA Disgorgement: Putting SEC To Its Burden Of Proof

In the Law360 Expert Analysis article, "FCPA Disgorgement: Putting SEC To Its Burden Of Proof," Iris Bennett, Sean Hartigan and Lidiya Kurin discuss the ability to require disgorgement of ill-gotten gains in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases as a powerful enforcement tool for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Disgorgement orders are a staple of the SEC’s FCPA enforcement docket, and are often in the millions or tens of millions of dollars. In 2016, for example, out of 24 SEC FCPA corporate settlements, 20 of them imposed disgorgement. Many of those disgorgement orders were for amounts of more than $10 million, and several of them were more than $100 million.

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Federal Court Overturns 15-Year Debarment Arising from Affiliate’s Alleged Misconduct  

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia recently overturned the Defense Logistics Agency’s (the “Agency’s”) 15-year debarment from federal contracting of a Houston-based food exporter and its affiliates. 

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Ninth Circuit Issues Expansive Reading of Escobar

The broad reading of Escobar’s requirements reflects the increased risk for companies doing business with the government to be subject to FCA liability on an “implied certification” theory in the post-Escobar era.

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Smith Pachter McWhorter Hosts ACC National Capital Region Government Contractors Forum Presentation on Government Investigations

Smith Pachter McWhorter hosts the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) National Capital Region, Government Contractors Forum presentation on government investigations on July 12, 2017, in Tysons Corner, Virginia.

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Supreme Court Limits Powerful SEC Enforcement Tool, Holding that Disgorgement is Subject to Five-Year Statute of Limitations

Supreme Court Limits Powerful SEC Enforcement Tool, Holding that Disgorgement is Subject to Five-Year Statute of Limitations

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Chambers USA 2017 Ranked Smith Pachter McWhorter among the Top Tiers for Government Contracts and Construction Law

Chambers USA 2017 has ranked Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC among the Top Tiers Nationwide for Government Contracts and in Virginia for Construction law.  

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SPM Conducts Anti-Corruption Compliance Workshops in Brazil

SPM's White Collar practice group conduct anti-corruption compliance workshops in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 23-25, 2017,

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FCPA Compliance and Enforcement Trends Annual Guide: April 2017

Smith Pachter McWhorter presents its FCPA Compliance and Enforcement Trends Annual Guide: April 2017.

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Smith Pachter McWhorter is participating in the 2017 Legal Food Frenzy

Smith Pachter McWhorter is proud to participate in the 2017 Legal Food Frenzy, a food and fund drive sponsored by the Attorney General of Virginia, the Young Lawyers Division of The Virginia Bar Association, and the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. 

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Trump Rescinds Controversial “Fair Pay Safe Workplaces” Regulations

On March 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed a Congressional Review Act resolution permanently rescinding the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” regulations, dubbed the “blacklisting rule” by opponents.

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The Government Audit Process: Limitations and Considerations

The Government Audit Process: Limitations and Considerations presented by the Government Contracts Section of the Fairfax Bar Association

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Proposed Changes to the Bayh-Dole Act Will Alter Contractor Timelines for Protecting Patents to Subject Inventions, Other Requirements

The Patent and Trademark Law Amendments Act of 1980—better known as the Bayh-Dole Act (the “Act” or “Bayh-Dole”) — governs the ownership of patent rights developed under federal funding vehicles, including procurement contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements. The Act allows universities, small businesses, and non-profit institutions (“contractors”) to pursue ownership and commercialize inventions developed using federal funds. Proposed changes to the Bayh-Dole Act will alter contractor timelines for protecting patents to subject inventions and other requirements.

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SPM Attorneys to Speak at Jackson Lewis Government Contractor Employment Law Symposium

Smith Pachter McWhorter attorneys John Cook, Erica Geibel, Armani Vadiee, and Owen Walker will be guest speakers at the Jackson Lewis Government Contractor Employment Law Symposium on March 16, 2017.

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Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association Presents: The Executive Policy Forum on E-Discovery

Smith Pachter McWhorter hosts BCABA members for a conversation addressing current issues in E-Discovery at the Boards, including preservation responsibilities and the proportionality of discovery requests.

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Muddying the Waters: Six Years of Confusion in the Wake of Maropakis

Smith Pachter McWhorter's Richard C. Johnson and Ashley N. Barbera Amen discuss decision of the Federal Circuit in Maropakis Carpentry, Inc. v. United States, six years following the decision. 

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Kickbacks Result in Forfeiture of Claim

In Kickbacks Result in Forfeiture of Claim, John Pachter and Todd Garland discuss Laguna Construction Co., Inc. v. Carter, where Laguna Construction provides that where an employee accepts kickbacks and the contractor lacks knowledge of the kickbacks, the contractor may be barred from recovering any unreimbursed costs under that contract.

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Smith Pachter McWhorter's False Claims Act Practice Guide: 2016

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to present the 2016 edition of its False Claims Act Practice Guide. 

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Iris E. Bennett Presenting on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as a Panelist at the 2016 Women, Influence & Power in Law Conference

On September 22, 2016, Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC Member Iris E. Bennett, with co-panelists Rochelle (“Shelly”) Cooper, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for IAP Worldwide Services, Inc., and Maria E. Gomez, Regional Compliance Officer for Latin America for General Motors Corporation, led a workshop and panel discussion on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act at the 2016 Women, Influence & Power in Law conference, held in Washington, D.C. 

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When Does a Company ‘Knowingly’ Violate the Anti-Kickback Act?

in the Federal Contracts Report article published by Bloomberg BNA, "When Does a Company ‘Knowingly’ Violate the Anti-Kickback Act?," John S. Pachter and Todd M. Garland discuss a case currently pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and how it will increase the stakes for companies faced with Anti-Kickback Act allegations.  

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Smith Pachter McWhorter's FCPA Compliance and Enforcement Trends Annual Guide: April 2016

Smith Pachter McWhorter has published its “FCPA Compliance and Enforcement Trends Annual Guide: April 2016.”  This unique resource provides insightful analysis of recent FCPA enforcement trends and patterns, as well as helpful guidance on emerging best practices in FCPA and global anti-corruption compliance programs.

 


       

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Named to 2017 Best Lawyers® List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that five attorneys have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017 Edition. Lawyers are selected for inclusion based on an exhaustive peer-review process.

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A Sensible Outcome for False Claims in Universal Health Services

In the Federal Contracts Report article "BNA INSIGHTS: A Sensible Outcome for False Claims in Universal Health Services," published by Bloomberg BNA, John S. Pachter and Todd M. Garland discuss the Supreme Court’s recent Universal Health decision and its impact for trial courts and litigants.

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FAR Final Rule on Cybersecurity Safeguarding Requirements

On May 16, 2016 DoD, GSA, and NASA issued a long anticipated Final Rule on cybersecurity, by adding a new subpart 4.19 and contract clause 52.204-21, "Basic Safegaurding of Covered Contractor Information Systems".

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A Look at False Claims Act Cases Through Scalia’s Lens

Smith Pachter McWhorter's John S. Pachter and Todd M. Garland discuss pending False Claims Act cases in "A Look at False Claims Act Cases Through Scalia’s Lens," published by Bloomberg BNA Federal Contracts Report.

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Encouraging Signs for False Claims Act Litigation: Recent Decisions Aligned to Guide Supreme Court Review

Smith Pachter McWhorter's John S. Pachter and Todd M. Garland discuss recent False Claims Act decisions and their potential impact on Supreme Court review in "Encouraging Signs for False Claims Act Litigation: Recent Decisions Aligned to Guide Supreme Court Review," published by Bloomberg BNA Federal Contracts Report.

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Client Alert: DFARS Final Rule - Network Penetration Reporting and Contracting for Cloud Services

In response to the proliferation of cloud-based systems and networks by its contractors, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) issued an interim final rule on August 26, 2015 expanding cybersecurity requirements for all DOD contractors. 

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Named to 2016 Best Lawyers® List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that five attorneys have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2016 Edition. Lawyers are selected for inclusion based on an exhaustive peer-review process.

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Whose Burden Is It, Anyway?: Implications Of The Federal Circuit Determination That The CDA Statute Of Limitations Is Nonjurisdictional

Government Contract Costs, Pricing & Accounting Report has published an article on "Whose Burden Is It, Anyway?: Implications Of The Federal Circuit Determination That The CDA Statute Of Limitations Is Nonjurisdictional," by Richard C. Johnson and Ashley N. Barbera Amen in its January 2015, Volume 10, Issue 1. 

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Named to 2015 Best Lawyers® List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that four attorneys have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 Edition. Lawyers are selected for inclusion based on an exhaustive peer-review process.

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WMACCA Government Contractors Forum: Independent Monitors - How To Avoid Them and How To Live With Them

Iris E. Bennett and Sean J. Hartigan of Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC will be presenting on an upocming panel with an in-house panelist at the ACC WMACCA Government Contractors Forum: Independent Monitors - How To Avoid Them and How To Live With Them. The panel will be moderated by John S. Pachter of Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC.

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Attorney-Client Privilege Applies to Corporate Internal Investigations

John S. Pachter discusses the recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit published opinion that the attorney-client privilege applies to internal investigations concerning alleged fraud in the performance of government contracts, even if the investigation was conducted pursuant to a compliance program mandated by federal regulation. Case Note: In re Kellogg Brown & Root Inc., D.C. Cir., No. 14-5055, (slip op. June 27, 2014). 

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Department of Justice FCPA Opinion Procedure Release 14-01 Addresses Business Transactions Between Companies and Government Officials

On March 17, 2014 the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) published its first Opinion Procedure Release of the year.  Pursuant to 15 U.S. Code §§ 78dd-1(e) and 78dd-2(f), the DOJ is required to provide timely responses to specific inquiries made by issuers and domestic concerns seeking an opinion as to whether specified prospective conduct conforms with the DOJ’s present enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).  

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Smith Pachter McWhorter Announces New Partners in White Collar Practice

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that veteran white collar specialist Joseph P. Covington has joined the firm as a partner to lead a practice group dedicated to white collar defense, investigations and compliance counseling, augmenting the firm’s existing capabilities in these areas. Also joining Mr. Covington as partners are seasoned white collar attorneys Iris E. Bennett and Sean Hartigan.

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Smith Pachter Attorneys Named to 2014 Best Lawyers® List

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC is pleased to announce that four attorneys have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2014 Edition. Lawyers are selected for inclusion based on an exhaustive peer-review process.

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Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC Celebrates 25 Year Anniversary

Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC recently celebrated its 25th anniversary at a formal dinner held at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC.

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