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Le Figaro's Itinéraire Entreprise features FRA Paris

September 11, 2023

Since opening in 2006, FRA’s Paris office has been pivotal in extending our global expertise to French companies and counsel. With extensive prior experience working with multinational French corporations like Alstom, we recognized the growing need for independent forensic advisors adept at balancing international regulatory expectations with expectations of local stakeholders and French culture. Today, with the emergence of France's own regulatory landscape in fraud, bribery, and corruption, our team is well-positioned to guide clients like Airbus and prominent national brands through these changes, aligning with international best practice.

LeFigaro.fr's Itinéraire Entreprise - a top site for business news in France - has featured FRA Paris, including insights from our experts Arnaud Collombet and Rim Belaoud in the video above, and an article translated below.


The following article featured originally on Itinéraire Entreprise has been translated by FRA.

Forensic Risk Alliance: The Risk Analysis Experts Protecting French Businesses in the Face of Constantly Evolving Regulations

FCPA, FESA, or the Cloud Act may not be familiar to everyone, but they have a significant impact on French businesses operating in an international context. The complex evolution of international regulations related to corruption and fraud, in addition to local regulations like Sapin 2, has prompted many French companies to seek the assistance of specialized risk and compliance firms. These firms provide them with robust expertise to better shield themselves from legal developments.

A Complex Evolution of Regulations Critical for French Businesses

For several years, all French businesses operating abroad have grappled with the extraterritoriality of American law. In a context marked by the increasing enforcement of international laws in France concerning corruption, money laundering, and international sanctions, many French actors struggle to adapt to the intricate evolution of regulations. To ensure optimal protection of their interests and clients, French companies must become more aware of applicable international laws and develop tailored compliance policies.

However, this endeavor requires significant resources and expertise for implementation. Consequently, an increasing number of French companies are engaging international experts whose role is to guide them through this complex legal landscape.

An International Firm with Recognized Expertise in Multi-jurisdictional Investigations

Forensic Risk Alliance (FRA), a specialized firm primarily focusing on investigations, litigation, arbitration, compliance, and data analysis, was founded in London in 1999. In 2006, it established a subsidiary in France. FRA is renowned for its expertise in managing international investigations to assist companies in achieving compliance and preparing for potential risks of sanctions or fines.

Its value lies in combining global expertise with specific local knowledge. It also stands out for the deep integration of its teams and their expertise in forensic accounting and data analysis and governance. Through structured data (e.g., transactional) and unstructured data (e.g., paper documents, professional emails, instant messages, etc.), FRA provides its clients and their lawyers with solid evidence and reconstructs the sequence of events while quantifying the amounts involved.

For example, over a span of three years, FRA worked with ABB, a Swiss-based multinational technology company, during an investigation into allegations of foreign bribery. An international, multidisciplinary team assisted the company throughout the investigation, and FRA also reviewed the company's anti-corruption control environment. The firm also emphasizes foresight, helping companies implement and evaluate internal control systems or compliance programs, enabling a proactive and preventative approach.

Collaborating with Companies of All Sizes and Sectors

As an independent specialized firm, FRA collaborates directly with companies and their lawyers, regardless of size or sector. Working closely with them, FRA establishes the facts in investigations and quantifies them so that lawyers can rely on tangible elements to support their case.  

One example is FRA’s involvement in the 2016 investigation against Airbus for allegations of fraud and corruption in Asia, an investigation that involved several law firms across several countries. The aerospace giant’s defense benefited from diverse expertise across multiple countries. FRA assisted in identifying key documents for the investigation, provided insights into regulatory implications, and assessed the risks in terms of fines and sanctions.  

FRA's expertise ultimately helped the European giant prepare a clear and concise response to judicial authorities, optimizing its defense and refining the calculation of potential penalties and fines.  

Additionally, in its preventative role, FRA advised Airbus on best practices to limit the risk of violating anti-corruption laws and assisted in implementing new compliance policies and procedures.

A Combination of International and Local Expertise for French Businesses

Thanks to its multidisciplinary approach combining various areas of expertise, the firm provides a comprehensive and integrated service to assist clients in handling complex and long-running investigations.  

A major differentiator is the complementarity of its financial and accounting expertise with data analysis and governance.

The former enables FRA to offer precise analysis of financial documents and transactions, as well as identify irregularities and inconsistencies that may indicate fraudulent or criminal activities.  

Their data expertise leverages advanced analysis techniques to identify patterns and anomalies in financial and transactional data.  

These techniques allow for the analysis of large volumes of complex data and uncovering key evidence that can be used in investigations of fraud, corruption, or other regulatory violations.

The firm is meticulous about data usage, implementing a data governance framework to ensure ethical, compliant, and secure data handling. This further underscores their strong dedication to compliance, the principle they champion most.

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