Close X
Attorney Spotlight

Learn about Richard Arnholt's diverse government contracts practice and why he chose to pursue a career in the legal field. Read more>

Search

Close X

Experience

Search our Experience

Experience Spotlight

In June 2017, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: PNFP) closed a $1.9 billion merger with BNC Bancorp (NASDAQ: BNCN) pursuant to which BNC merged with and into Pinnacle. With the completion of the transaction, Pinnacle becomes a Top 50 U.S. Bank. The merger will create a four state footprint concentrated in 12 of the largest urban markets in the Southeast. 

Bass, Berry & Sims has served Pinnacle as primary corporate and securities counsel for more than 15 years and served as counsel on the transaction. Our attorneys were involved in all aspects related to the agreement, including tax, employee benefits and litigation. 

Read more details about the transaction here.

Pinnacle Financial Partners logo

Close X

Thought Leadership

Enter your search terms in the relevant box(es) below to search for specific Thought Leadership.
To see a recent listing of Thought Leadership, click the blue Search button below.

Thought Leadership Spotlight

Regulation A+

It seems that lately there has been a noticeable uptick in Regulation A+ activity, including several recent Reg A+ securities offerings where the stock now successfully trades on national exchanges. In light of this activity, we have published a set of FAQs about Regulation A+ securities offerings to help companies better understand this "mini-IPO" offering process, as well as pros and cons compared to a traditional underwritten IPO.

Read now

GovCon Blog: When Intern Season Gets Hot: the Perils of Improper Hiring Under the FCPA

Publications

August 25, 2015

On August 18, the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (BNY Mellon) agreed to pay $14.8 million to settle allegations that it had violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by providing internships to family members of foreign officials affiliated with a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund the bank sought to manage.

According to the settlement order, which is available here, BNY Mellon provided the internships at the request of the foreign officials, even though the prospective interns failed to meet the bank's hiring criteria and were less than exemplary employees. In so doing, the bank violated the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions and demonstrated that it lacked internal controls sufficient to ensure its hiring process would not be used to improperly obtain or retain business.

This settlement highlights two essential FCPA-compliance points.

First, a payment under the FCPA can include things other than the typical cash, gifts, travel or entertainment expenses that often get companies in trouble. A prohibited payment can be anything of value, including – as in BNY Mellon's case – relaxation of typical company standards for the benefit a foreign official.

Second, a company's compliance policy should specifically address hiring anyone, or taking any particular action, that is a benefit to a customer – particularly a customer who happens to be a foreign official. A company that elects not to outright prohibit hiring candidates recommended by a customer should, at the very least, implement strict controls to ensure that such candidates are subject to the same evaluation criteria as all other applicants. And hiring decisions about such candidates should require specific management approval; the decision should not be left to the discretion of sales staff or relationship managers involved with the customer.

The BNY Mellon case is a useful reminder that companies should reevaluate the myriad opportunities for personnel to provide improper benefits in violation of the FCPA. An effective compliance policy must reflect and impose controls to protect against those risks.

Read more about government contracts on www.BassBerryGovCon.com.


Related Professionals

Related Services

Notice

Visiting, or interacting with, this website does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Although we are always interested in hearing from visitors to our website, we cannot accept representation on a new matter from either existing clients or new clients until we know that we do not have a conflict of interest that would prevent us from doing so. Therefore, please do not send us any information about any new matter that may involve a potential legal representation until we have confirmed that a conflict of interest does not exist and we have expressly agreed in writing to the representation. Until there is such an agreement, we will not be deemed to have given you any advice, any information you send may not be deemed privileged and confidential, and we may be able to represent adverse parties.