The U.S. Corporate Leniency Policy: It is Time for a Renaissance

By Donald C. Klawiter – 

This article reviews the history and success of the Leniency Policy and the actions that have caused the apparent decline in leniency and antitrust criminal enforcement. It then offers three recommendations to revive and renew the Policy: (1) establishing a constructive dialogue between the Division leaders and cartel defense bar leaders to harmonize existing controversies in the Division’s Frequently Asked Questions and the Leniency Policy generally, so that all potential leniency applicants are confident in the transparency of the Division’s actions; (2) requiring, for the first time in its history, and consistent with federal criminal enforcement trends, that the leniency applicant establish an antitrust compliance program; and (3) promoting the great value and transparency of the renewed Policy to business and the bar, and, in word and deed, creating and sustaining a welcoming partnership with the leniency applicant. These modest steps will go a long way to create a renaissance in US cartel enforcement.

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