Infringements of competition law cover a wide range of practices (cartels, abuse of dominant market positions, vertical restraints, horizontal price fixing, etc.), and companies that are found to have entered into anti-competitive agreements or concerted practices now face significantly high penalties. Indeed, sanctions imposed by national authorities (Department of Justice/US, Office of Fair Trading/UK, Competition Authority/France, Bundeskartellamt/Germany, European Commission, etc.) can reach record levels with companies subject to fines of up to 10 per cent of their annual worldwide turnover.
In addition to the different forms of administrative sanctions that can be imposed, individuals who engage in cartel activity can be investigated for committing a criminal offence, prosecuted and sentenced to up to five years imprisonment and/or be subject to fines while directors can be disqualified from managing a company for up to 15 years, thus inflicting lasting reputational damage on the organization in the eyes of its stakeholders.
Due to its highly-skilled team of senior executives specialized in competition law and cartel dismantling, IKARIAN helps you ensure your business is compliant with competition laws and regulations and that you instill a compliance culture within your business in a systematic and effective way.
Our expertise is derived from more than 20 years of experience in the implementation of corporate compliance processes in cooperation with competition lawyers.
IKARIAN’s services can be grouped into three key areas:
IKARIAN manages the whole compliance process from its conception to its implementation and provides its customers with a comprehensive range of services ranging from risk assessment to investigative assistance.
To ensure that your company is well-protected
IKARIAN assists you in :
- Raising awareness of competition law issues, anti-trust laws and their implementation among your Board of Directors, Management teams, COMEX and other key actors.;
- Analyzing your structure and business models to identify potential risks of competition law infringements;
- Conducting a risk assessment and a risk mapping to determine whether your existing compliance measures are efficient or not;
- Assessing or auditing your Compliance processes to determine whether they are appropriate for competition law compliance and are adapted to your risks, up to date, effective and effectively applied;
- Devising, developing, improving and implementing a compliance policy tailored to your needs (structure, industry, size, risks, etc.) and in line with international best practices.
- Improving specific aspects of your processes, for example:
- Obtaining assistance when your company comes under investigation for a competition law infringement;
- Advising you in the case of recruitment by competitors;
- Assisting you in drafting appropriate documented policies and procedures, for example on staff participation in professional associations and trade shows / interaction with competitors;
- Helping you create effective online training sessions accessible to all your operational staff worldwide.
IKARIAN will assist you in implementing customized training programs for your executives, risk managers, regional or national directors, HR managers, compliance officers, logistics departments, project and supply chain managers, legal staff, marketing teams, sales and procurement directors etc. All of our training programs are adapted to the specificities of your company in its industry, its sector of activity and its countries of operation.
Our training programs :
- Understanding the competition law legal framework (national legislation, European legislation, extraterritorial laws), including the scope of potential penalties (fines, criminal sanctions, etc.) and extra-legal risks
- Understanding and assessing the competition law risks
- How to build a compliance culture
- How to train your operational staff, on a regular and systematic basis
- How to prepare for an investigation conducted by competition authorities
- How to behave during an investigation conducted by competition authorities
- How to minimize exposure to future violations.
To assist you in the detection of infringement of the law
IKARIAN assist you in :
- Conducting an undercover internal or external investigation once a potential problem has been identified or suspected;
- Performing Due Diligence and Background Checks on your trading partners, distributors, consultants. Various levels of Due Diligence can be performed, ranging from a quick scan of public documents to requests for field information from reliable sources;
- Performing an anti-corruption Due Diligence on the target company during M&A operations;
- Examining contracts and payments made to consultants and other third parties;
- Reviewing and analyzing evidence of consultants’ services;
- Testing your existing procedures.
To help you prepare your defense against prosecutions or civil actions
IKARIAN advises you on :
- The strategy to implement with the parties involved (employees, partners or business associates);
- The policy and procedural changes to effect in order to minimize the risk of future violations;
- Relationships with authorities, including for cases of self-reporting;
- The strategy to adopt during the investigation or pre-investigation period.