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FRA Paris Gains a Specialist in Global Regulatory Investigations and Settlements

October 18, 2023

The FRA team in Paris is growing its offer to European companies and law firms with the recent transfer of FRA veteran Ash Klass. Having risen from senior associate to director over 10 years in our global forensic accounting team, Ash brings an outstanding background in anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) investigations, and in FRA’s niche expertise in disgorgement and ability-to-pay calculations for regulatory settlements.  

Six years since the law Sapin II came into force in France, the country’s anti-corruption enforcement has been making its mark on the international regulatory landscape. Ash has been on the frontlines witnessing these developments, working with clients on matters involving the Financial National Prosecutor (PNF) and French Anti-Corruption Agency (AFA).  

In the earliest stages of FRA’s work on Airbus’ multijurisdictional bribery investigation – which culminated in a landmark €3.6bn settlement (2020) with the PNF, US and UK authorities – Ash was part of the core FRA investigations team that launched FRA’s longstanding support of the European aerospace giant. More recently, he worked with TechnipFMC and its French counsel to help the company conclude a Judicial Public Interest Agreement (CJIP) with the PNF.  

Having left behind his home office in Montreal over the summer, Ash found the time was right for new challenges: “The French enforcement scene is quickly evolving, making it a dynamic environment for me to join my FRA colleagues and our clients in navigating complex matters. Although relatively new, the AFA and PNF have been steadily establishing their expectations and modus operandi. In some ways, I see parallels with other jurisdictions, but overall, the French framework is rightly taking its own shape. I look forward to helping companies work closely with regulators to tailor effective solutions and strategies.”

Yousr Khalil, FRA partner in charge of the Paris office, said “I am thrilled to have Ash return to Paris. With his unique track record of regulatory matters involving the US, UK, as well as emerging jurisdictions like France and Brazil, he is a prime example of how FRA works across borders to bring all of our clients the best of international standards with local sensitivity and knowledge. Our Paris team has continued to grow since we opened our doors in 2006, largely in tandem with the strengthening of French and European enforcement. I have no doubt Ash will be a further asset to our clients navigating overlapping regulatory demands.”

On his ten years in FRA, Ash said “My work with FRA has taken me across continents and sectors working with clients and colleagues of many different cultures – every engagement is unique. Even in my junior years at the firm, FRA’s nimble staffing approach allowed me to be hands-on and learn directly from founders and experts. This move to Paris is yet another opportunity to grow professionally, and enjoy world-class food and wine in my free time (or maybe, just all the time!)”.

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