With TechnipFMC nearing a global settlement to resolve foreign bribery allegations, GIR looks at the US, Brazilian and French legal teams assisting on the negotiations.
TechnipFMC, an engineering company that provides services to the energy industry, announced in February (link) that it was negotiating a possible $280 million settlement with authorities in the US, Brazil and France.
The case concerns potential violations of anti-corruption laws (link) in Brazil, Equatorial Guinea and Ghana, the company said. TechnipFMC was formed in May 2016 from a merger between Paris-based Technip and Houston-based FMC Technologies.
Authorities have also been investigating Technip and FMC’s past relationship with embattled oil consultancy Unaoil, which has been accused of facilitating bribery in North Africa and the Middle East. Unaoil has previously denied wrongdoing.
Spearheading settlement negotiations in the US is Paul Hastings partner Robert Luskin, along with partner Jay Darden, of counsel Jennifer Riddle and associate Chris Wenger.
The legal team was confirmed by TechnipFMC’s chief compliance officer Natalia Shehadeh, who joined the company in April 2018 after previously working in-house for almost nine years at Houston-based oil and gas services company Weatherford International.
Latham & Watkins’ Douglas Greenburg, who recently helped guide information technology company Cognizant Technology Solutions to an FCPA declination and related SEC settlement, has also been working on the case, handling legacy matters concerning FMC.
Among a team of lawyers advising TechnipFMC on a potential settlement with Brazilian authorities – Brazil’s Ministry of Transparency, Office of the Attorney General and Federal Prosecution Service – is Salim Saud Neto of Saud Advogados and Luís Wielewicki of Sampaio Ferraz Advogados.
Astrid Mignon Colombet of Soulez Larivière & Associés and Christophe Ingrain of Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, meanwhile, are working on negotiating a final settlement with French authorities. Colombet worked on Société Générale’s 2018 settlement with US and French authorities that resolved an investigation into allegations that the bank bribed government officials in Libya.
While TechnipFMC has been able to estimate the probable final settlement amount, the company has been coy on other possible terms in a global deal.
Asked by an analyst (link) in February whether the company will be required to appoint a compliance monitor, TechnipFMC’s CEO Douglas Pferdehirt said it was too early to say. But he also sounded hopeful, according to a transcript of an earnings call. “Although I have to say we’re very pleased with the level of cooperation and discussion that we’re having, and we will continue to work in a very collaborative way to resolve these historical issues,” he said.
Counsel to TechnipFMC
Partners Robert Luskin and Jay Darden, of counsel Jennifer Riddle and associate Chris Wenger in Washington, DC
Latham & Watkins
Partner Douglas Greenburg in Washington, DC
Partner Salim Saud Neto, assisted by Bernardo Viana and Caroline Rosa in Rio de Janeiro
Sampaio Ferraz Advogados
Partners Luís Wielewicki and Rodrigo Maia, assisted by Marina Regalino and Giovanni Beraldo in São Paulo
Soulez Larivière & Associés
Partner Astrid Mignon Colombet in Paris
Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier
Partner Christophe Ingrain in Paris