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Allen & Overy’s Political Law team publishes guide on corporate political activity in the United States

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04 February 2020

Allen & Overy Publishes Guide on Corporate Political Activity in the United States

The FEC Practice Guide for corporations and their PACs is intended to provide a “user’s manual” for companies that are politically engaged in the U.S. or seeking to increase their electoral participation.

U.S. companies and foreign companies with operations or subsidiaries in the U.S. increasingly need to engage in the U.S. political and electoral process to remain competitive. Regulatory developments and public procurement, directed both in Washington, D.C. and in state capitols, can have a significant impact on revenue and profitability.

The Guide is designed to help these companies understand and comply with federal campaign finance laws to mitigate the potential risk of enforcement from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ has actively pursued criminal federal campaign finance cases in recent years, particularly straw donor and foreign national contribution ban cases. Although the FEC does not currently have a quorum to vote on enforcement matters, public disclosure reports must still be filed and any person can still file a complaint, meaning that although enforcement risk before the FEC may be delayed, other agencies can rely on information disclosed to the FEC to identify potential violations of law. The DOJ may pursue a criminal case without any action from the FEC and where the FEC has elected not to pursue enforcement.

The Guide provides legal, compliance, and government relations professionals with a practice-oriented overview of the key legal issues, as well as real-world practice tips. This Guide will be particularly useful for foreign companies with U.S. operations or subsidiaries that are politically engaged or that are seeking to increase their participation in the political process.

This Guide is organized into discrete modules intended to allow the reader to focus on the issues of most relevance. 

Detailed information about Allen & Overy’s political law practice is available here.

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