Changes to Organizational Sentencing Guidelines to Take Effect on November 1, 2010: U.S. Sentencing Commission Adopts New Requirements for Effective Compliance Programs and Reduced Penalties for Criminal Conduct Involving High-Level Personnel

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - October 29, 2010

On November 1, 2010, the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s amendments to the Organizational Sentencing Guidelines—including the definition of what constitutes an effective corporate compliance program—will go into effect. Because the Sentencing Guidelines serve, among other things, as a principal reference point under federal law for minimum standards in the design and structure of compliance programs, corporations should examine their programs to determine whether they comply with these standards.

As described in the attached publication, the amendments address two important areas: (1) the steps that a corporation should take when responding to the discovery of criminal conduct; and (2) the governance of the corporate compliance function.