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ACC Middle East Hosts Seminar on Anti-bribery and Corruption

T he ACC Middle East Chapter, Control Risks Middle East, and Ince & Co Middle East LLP hosted a practical seminar run by Anita Barker, partner, Control Risks, and Anna Fomina, practice development lawyer, Ince & Co, which focused on anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) laws and issues in the Middle East region.

The event, held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, covered a broad range of topics that were of particular interest to in-house legal and compliance teams. It provided an opportunity to discuss some of the challenges and risks facing general counsel in the Middle East region and addressed recent developments in regional regulations, common forms of bribery, and how a company can manage corruption and bribery risks. The seminar took attendees through real life examples of companies in the region that have fallen foul of ABC laws and provided practical guidance with regards to dealing with common ABC issues and was followed by a Q&A session. The seminar attendees came from a wide variety of sectors, including banking and finance technology, retail, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals.

“A consequence of today’s interconnected globalized marketplace is that many businesses are operating in complex environments and therefore placing an increased reliance on the role of general counsel. As such, they are exposed to a far greater array of risks, which, if unforeseen or unaddressed, can cause major disruption to their business operations. By providing insight into common ABC risks we know companies face in the region and how these can be mitigated and navigated to control reputational impact, we can help them minimize business disruption and avoid additional costs,” Baker commented.

This was echoed by Anna Fomina, practice development lawyer, Ince & Co Middle East, who added, “The questions that we received from the audience both during the talk and in subsequent discussions indicate that this is an area that general counsel in the region are rightly paying close attention to. There are still some areas (e.g., whistleblowing regulations) that the regional legislation needs to address in more detail and the events, such as this one, are helpful to exchange views on these common areas of concern and to share best practices for addressing them.” 

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