Anti-Corruption News September 2014 - From the Co-Chairs

From the Co-Chairs

Simmons & Simmons, London

Miller & Chevalier Chartered, Washington, DC

Welcome to this Summer edition of our newsletter, the first under the editorship of our new Communications Officer, Saskia Zandieh, so thank you very much to Saskia for putting together such a strong first edition. And thank you to all those who have contributed.

We are also very pleased to announce the re-launch of the Committee’s webpages on the IBA website: AntiCorruption_Committee/Default.aspx. We would encourage you to visit the site and take a look. You will see that it includes details of our past publications, our ongoing project in relation to the anti-corruption strategy for the legal profession and details of upcoming events. There is also a resources section as well as photographs of all the Committee officers (opinions are divided on the wisdom of the latter step… but many thanks to Eoin O’Shea, our new Website Officer, for pulling this all together). If you have any suggestions for website content, please contact Eoin at

And so to Tokyo: our Committee has a very strong line-up of sessions in Tokyo, starting with the showcase event on Tuesday 21 October. This will be a debate entitled ‘Corruption – the problem is the givers, not the takers (or is it?)’. We have some excellent panellists for this debate:

  • Bishop Dr Peter Selby, Co-Director of The St Paul’s Institute, London, United Kingdom
  • Alain Sham, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Dept of Justice, Hong Kong, SAR, China
  • Joon Kyu Kim, retired Prosecutor General for Japan, Tokyo, Japan
  • Misuru Claire Chino, Executive Officer and General Counsel, Itochu Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
  • John Garnaut, Asia Pacific Editor and China Bureau correspondent, Fairfax Media, Melbourne, Australia
  • Michael Ahrens, Chief Executive Officer, Transparency International Australia, Sydney, Australia
  • Ken Arahari, Japan Area Leader, Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services, EY Japan

On Wednesday 22 October we have a full day starting in the morning with our usual global update, which will be chaired by James. In the afternoon, we have our joint session with the rest of the Criminal Law Section and the Sports Law Committee on ‘Corruption in Sport’. Again, we have some excellent panellists for that session:

  • Jonathan Calvert/Heidi Blake, The Sunday Times, London
  • Honourable Michael Beloff QC, Chairman of the IAAF Ethics Commission; Chairman of the International Cricket Council’s Code of Conduct Commission; Ethics Commissioner for London 2012; Member of Court of Arbitration for Sport
  • Takuya Yamazaki, Board Member, Japan Sports Law Association; Member of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber; Member of the FIFPro Integrity Committee; Deputy Chairman, FIFPro Division Asia; Managing Partner, Field-R Law Offices
  • James M Klotz, Former Member, FIFA Independent Governance Committee; Miller Thomson, Toronto, Canada; IBA Management Board Member
  • Cameron Taylor, Deputy Chair, Board of Athletics of New Zealand; Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, New Zealand; former international track athlete

Finally, we will be holding the usual get together with our fellow committees in the Criminal Law Section for a dinner on the Tuesday evening. Tickets, flights and accommodation are all selling out fast, so if you have not yet signed up or booked your travel and accommodation, please do so quickly. We look forward to seeing you in Tokyo.

Meet the Officers

Nick Benwell, IBA Anti-Corruption Co-Chair, Simmons & Simmons, London

How has your role changed post-financial crisis?

While I don’t think it is as a result of the crisis, the most notable change over the last few years has been the rise of the investigation. Working on large-scale, sensitive investigations has become a specialism in its own right. This seems to have been driven by increased investigation and enforcement activity by criminal and regulatory authorities in a number of jurisdictions, increased awareness within organisations of business crime issues and the coming of age of the whistleblower. The work tends to be demanding, challenging and fascinating both from a legal perspective and on a more personal level, working with clients at what is often a time of crisis for them.

What advice would you give to someone new to your area of practice?

I suspect that this question has never been answered in the history of the profession without the words ‘you must be prepared to work hard’ featuring somewhere in the response. That is certainly true of investigations work, given the importance and time-critical nature of much of it. My main recommendation would be to enjoy the relationships that you will develop with clients, colleagues and other professionals along the way, through the heat of the process.

If you were not a lawyer, what would you do?

Become a drummer. Those with whom I have played will vouch for the fact that it is a great opportunity for me to be freed from the rigours of accurate time-keeping.


James Tillen, IBA Anti-Corruption Co-Chair, Miller & Chevalier Chartered, Washington DC

How did you get into your area of practice?

Pure serendipity. When interviewing during law school, I was attracted to Miller & Chevalier because of its reputation and culture but I did not have a clear understanding of its practice areas. I was fortunate that one of the first matters I worked on was a large Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigation. At that time, in 1999, Miller & Chevalier was one of the few firms with a dedicated FCPA practice. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of uncovering and preventing corruption and sought out additional work in the area. Thanks to the uptick in FCPA enforcement during the 2000s, I have been able to focus almost exclusively on FCPA work ever since.

What area of your work do you enjoy the most/least?

Although it is difficult to be away from my family, I very much enjoy travelling internationally for my FCPA matters. I often visit countries that are not tourist destinations, and it is fascinating to experience a culture that others rarely visit. I particularly enjoy conducting compliance assessments in other countries because of the opportunity to meet a cross-section of the client’s employees and learn about their jobs in a non-confrontational manner. My least favourite tasks are administrative – for example, time-keeping, sending out bills, addressing conflicts, etc. Such tasks are an unavoidable part of being a lawyer.

What do you do in your free time? How do you relax?

I have a six-year-old and a four-year-old, and my free time is spent creating Lego sculptures, providing horsey rides and arbitrating fights over toys. I must say that having children has made me understand bribery much better; my wife and I are constantly making ‘facilitating payments’ to get the kids to go to bed, eat their vegetables and stop hitting each other. I also enjoy cooking because, unlike law, it involves a discrete task with little mental energy. Plus you can eat the end product.

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