Brazilian Law Firm Angélico Advogados Explains What Brazil’s New Anti-Bribery Law Means to Corporations Doing Business in Brazil

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Before full enforcement of Brazil’s new Anti-Bribery Law begins in February 2014, the Brazilian law firm Angélico Advogados wants corporations to understand the new ethics law and how they can stay in compliance and avoid its strict penalties.

Angélico Advogados

Angélico Advogados

Now, corporations doing business in Brazil are exposed to significant liability for the unethical acts of their executives, employees, and agents.

Full enforcement of Brazil’s new Anti-Bribery Law begins in February of 2014. The Brazilian corporate law firm Angélico Advogados wants the executives of corporations doing business in Brazil to understand the provisions of the law, the stiff penalties for violating the law, and the reasons why corporations must have an effective ethics compliance program in place to guard against liability.

Brazil’s Anti-Bribery Law imposes strict civil and administrative penalties on corporations for the acts of its directors, officers, employees and agents for bribery of Brazilian and foreign public officials. Passage of the law is part of Brazil’s ongoing effort to raise its culture of business ethics up to international standards.

“Generally in the past, only individuals could be charged with bribery in Brazil,” explains Greg Barnett, American lawyer and foreign legal consultant with Angélico Advogados. “That has changed dramatically. Now, corporations doing business in Brazil are exposed to significant liability for the unethical acts of their executives, employees, and agents.”

The new law also makes parent corporations jointly liable for the actions of their subsidiaries and affiliates. Additionally, it establishes successor liability in the event of corporate changes, transformations, mergers, acquisitions, and spin-offs.

The penalties that corporations are subject to for violation of Brazil’s Anti-Bribery Law include:

  • Fines of up 20% of gross revenue
  • Loss of assets
  • Suspension of business activities
  • Compulsory dissolution
  • Banning from receiving government subsidies and loans
  • Withholding of government contracts for up to 5 years

“Having an effective ethics compliance program in place is extremely important,” says Barnett. “Not only is this a responsible business practice, but the Anti-Bribery Law also allows the courts to take internal compliance programs into consideration when determining what sanctions to impose.” While having an ethics compliance program is not a complete defense for violation of the law, it is expected that the existence of the program will lessen the severity of imposed penalties.

For more information about Brazil’s new Anti-Bribery Law and the legal services offered by Angélico Advogados, visit the firm’s website at AngelicoLaw.com, the firm’s blog at TheBrazilLawBlog.com, or contact the firm at 1-866-606-4118.

About Angélico Advogados
Angélico Advogados is a São Paulo, Brazil based boutique law firm that has been serving the legal and business needs of clients throughout Brazil for more than 20 years. Starting as a family operated law firm handling transportation legal matters, the firm has grown in recent years to include strong corporate, litigation, employment, and family law practices. Angélico Advogados also has a growing international law practice that assists foreign individuals, as well as small and midsize companies, with their business activities in Brazil.

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