On Aug. 1, 2013, the President of Brazil, Dilma Roussef, signed the country’s new anti-corruption law: Law No. 12.846/2013 (Anti-Corruption Law). The law became effective on Jan. 29, 2014 and, for many, may indicate a new era in the ways of doing business in the country. Brazil, long-believed to be a country with significant issues arising from corruption, was ranked 69th out of 176 countries and territories in Transparency International’s 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index. The Anti-Corruption Law, which applies to business organizations, foundations, or associations and foreign companies with an office, branch or subsidiary in the Brazilian territory, signals a shift from Brazil’s previous focus on individuals and for the first time creates potential strict liability for companies who participate in acts of bribery. In other words, those prosecuting the law will not need to prove that the company had a specific intent with regard to violation of the law.
Liability under the law can be premised on the following “wrongful acts”: