Bribery & corruption enforcement is hardening says Hogan Lovells

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Regulators are getting tougher with those that breach bribery and corruption laws, meaning larger fines and other penalties.

Hogan Lovells has published its Global Bribery & Corruption Outlook 2019 and says that even higher fines and a focus on individual accountability are among this year’s trends.

Although the US saw the largest increases in total monetary value of fines imposed for bribery-related offences in 2018, there were also notable rises in Singapore (25%) where individual prison sentences for bribery and corruption offences in the city state more than tripled from an average of approx. one year in 2017 to four years in 2018.

While some jurisdictions saw lower total fine value (including Brazil, Hong Kong, and the UK) this was due to the record highs of fines seen in the previous year.

“It is clear that regulators outside the US are paying greater attention on bribery and corruption and looking to create a safer, more robust and more transparent system,” said Crispin Rapinet, Global Head of the Hogan Lovells Investigations, White Collar and Fraud practice. “Record fines highlight the need for continuous ABC compliance across a range of jurisdictions and industries."

Other trends that Hogan Lovells is seeing for 2019 include an increased concern from regulators regarding data, and new industries – such as energy, TMT, and life sciences - facing greater scrutiny.

Bird & Bird celebrates 10 years in Singapore
Bird & Bird has marked a decade since it first entered the Singapore legal market with an association with local firm Alban Tay Mahtani & de Silva LLP (ATMD).

The two firms operate as Bird & Bird ATMD and the Singapore office has grown significantly in numbers over the past 10 years with a total headcount of more than 130.

Lorraine Tay and Sandra Seah, joint managing partners of the Singapore office, note that the business and offering is constantly evolving.

"Our 10th anniversary as part of the Bird & Bird family comes along with exciting trends in our key practice areas, particularly in technology-related areas such as IP/IT and data protection, as well as transactional areas, such as M&A, real estate and project finance, and dispute resolution, and regulatory matters,” the duo said.

Lawyers outsell florists on Valentine’s Day
It’s not the most romantic gesture but lawyers may find today (14th Feb) provides a spike in clients wanting a divorce.

According to data from merchant payments provider Paymentsense, lawyers and legal services saw the largest increase in sales a year ago and are expected to beat other sectors again in 2019.

Based on sales in 2018, the firm’s Valentine’s Day sales forecast for 2019 is for a 549% rise for the legal services sector compared to 467% for florists in second place.

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