By: Eduardo Campelo - Winter Carvalho Avogados & Consultores, Patricia Redig - Rolim, Viotti & Leite Campos Advogados

In January 2014 Brazil adopted a new strong anti-bribery law. The Federal Law no. 12.846/2013, known as the “Anti-Corruption Law,” introduces severe civil and criminal penalties (including the possibility of sanctions) for corruption of public officials and other fraudulent practices. The law is applicable to Brazilian and foreign companies conducting business in Brazil. The law provides for both corporate and individual liability. Formerly, only individuals could be punished for bribery. There is strict liability for corporate acts of bribery specified under the new law.

It is expected that the new anti-bribery law will cause companies doing business in Brazil to review their internal compliance programs to take the new law into account. Regulations are expected which will define how compliance mechanisms adopted by companies doing business in Brazil can lessen penalties under the new law.