Investigator's Guide to France

Investigator's Guide to France Available in digital and print versions

Investigator's Guide to France
GIR travelled to Paris to find out how the French investigative landscape has settled after the seismic shift in attitude towards investigations caused by Sapin II, the landmark anti-corruption law that came into force in July 2017.

Other Highlights

HSBC awarded landmark French settlement despite minimal cooperation

French prosecutors offered HSBC a "DPA" that appears to lack a deferred prosecution aspect, and despite the bank’s negligible cooperation during the investigation.

European oil companies argue it’s impossible to bribe an entire government

Payments in contravention of the UN oil-for-food programme were legal in Iraq and so do not count as bribes, the defence counsel for Total and Vitol told a Paris appeals court.

The Investigator’s Guide to France

With a new financial prosecutor and moves towards extending plea bargaining to major white-collar crimes, internal investigations may soon take off in France. GIR’s investigator’s guide gives the lowdown on everything from the country’s wide-ranging data protection laws to its lax attitude towards foreign bribery.

France's investigations bar

With the presence of multiple major international law firms and the ever-present threat of US enforcement against French companies, internal investigations are gradually becoming accepted among Paris’s white-collar lawyers.

Éliane Houlette: France’s super prosecutor

Éliane Houlette talks with Rahul Rose about the need for more plea bargains in France, difficulties in bringing successful foreign bribery prosecutions and why she hasn’t yet relied on an internal investigation report in a case.

France appeals against Vitol and Total’s foreign bribery acquittals

The prosecutor-led appeal against a decision in which double jeopardy protections were extended to companies facing trial in France has begun in the Paris Court of Appeals.

French companies face €10 million fine for compliance failings under proposed law

The French Senate is considering a law that would for the first time oblige companies based in the country to introduce an effective anti-corruption compliance programme.

French trial on hold until US DPA expires

The pending trial of Total, which is accused of paying bribes in Iran, has been postponed by French authorities until the oil company’s related DPA with US enforcers has expired. This will allow the company to put forward a double jeopardy argument against prosecution, according to a source with knowledge of the case.

US DPAs bar future prosecution in France, Paris court rules

A French court has acquitted 14 companies accused of paying bribes to Iraqi officials, and for the first time has recognised that businesses cannot be prosecuted in France again if they have already entered into a deferred or non-prosecution agreement in the US.

France enforces strict controls on evidence sent to the US, lawyers say

Monitorship and internal investigation reports are sent to the French government for screening before being passed on to the US authorities - a process that France’s Ministry of Justice takes very seriously.

Get unlimited access to all Global Investigations Review content