France legislates against corruption

Author: Lizzie Meager | Published: 24 May 2016

Whistleblower protections will be introduced for the first time
Lawmakers in France are tackling white collar crime by introducing the country’s first dedicated anti-bribery and corruption law. Counsel have expressed disappointment, however, that deferred prosecution agreements (DPA) have been eliminated from the most recent draft text.

The Transparency and Modernisation of Economic Life bill introduces a dedicated national agency in charge of monitoring implementation, as well as protection for whistleblowers and new accounting control systems to prevent fraud, including acts of concealment.

France has more companies in the US’ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) top ten enforcement actions list than any other country, at three. Alstom paid the second-largest fine of all time in 2014 at $772 million, while BNP Paribas was fined just short of $9 billion last year for violating US sanctions.

“The big FCPA fines are one of the drivers behind this,” said Amélie Champsaur, partner at...