Ira Raphaelson, Executive Vice President and Global General Counsel of Las Vegas Sands Corp., discussed the challenges for multinational corporations entering foreign markets and what to look out for regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) during his presentation at the 2014 Chief Legal Officer Leadership Forum in Chicago on Sept. 17. In his presentation, Raphaelson pointed out the FCPA’s controls provisions, conflict of laws and U.S. imperialism are major challenges for many general counsels today.
According to Raphaelson, master ingprivacy law is key for legal professionals that deal with multinational corporations that are entering foreign markets. Collaboration also is important, Raphaelson said, because a general counsel and his or her organization need to work together to succeed in foreign markets: “You want your collaborative relationship with the business. You need that in every department you’ve got, on every contract that you’ve got, if you’re going to be a successful multinational corporation around a world that has laws that are different than ours.”
Education is vital for general counsels and their organizations as well, Raphaelson said. If general counsels understand foreign regulations, they can explain how these rules work to various members of their respective organizations and avoid conflicts down the line: “My job is to tell the emperor that that’s a fig leaf and not a suit. At the end of the day, that’s my job, and that’s the job of every in-house and outside lawyer. Where lawyers get themselves in trouble in every case I’ve seen is when they’re more worried about keeping their jobs than doing it.”