Isabelle De Smedt

Isabelle De Smedt focuses her practice on the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the U.K. Bribery Act (UKBA), and related anti-corruption and fraud matters. As a licensed practitioner in Belgium and working primarily in Brussels, Isabelle has extensive regulatory compliance experience crucial to guiding multinational clients through complex transactions and government enforcement actions. She has substantial experience working with clients in the United States, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

Isabelle is licensed to practice in Belgium and is a member of the Brussels Bar (List A). She is not admitted to practice in New York or licensed to practice law in the United States.

What do you focus on?

A large part of my international practice involves assisting clients with respect to the FCPA, the UKBA, and other anti-corruption laws. This includes offering compliance advice in relation to compliance issues when they arise. I work with clients to develop and implement effective anti-bribery and anti-corruption compliance programs, and to provide training sessions to their personnel located throughout the world. I conduct and supervise anti-corruption due diligence into prospective and existing third-party agents, distributors, and other business partners, as well as in connection with cross-border mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. I regularly lead risk assessments and internal investigations. I also guide clients through enforcement proceedings and government investigations when they arise.

My practice also involves cross-border transactions for multinational companies. I work with numerous international corporations, including many Belgian companies, on complex mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate restructures and reorganizations. I also counsel clients with respect to complex contract and corporate disputes.

I have a deep understanding and knowledge of, among others, the health care and life sciences industries, including contract research organizations (CROs), which I use to tailor my work to individual client’s needs and preferences.

What do you see on the horizon?

The Department of Justice (DOJ) remains focused on prosecuting FCPA violations. Recent updates to DOJ enforcement policy and guidance, as well as newly announced settlements with FCPA violators, show that the DOJ is intently focused on how companies are developing, implementing, and managing their anti-corruption compliance regimes. The clear takeaway from the current enforcement climate is that anti-corruption policies that exist on paper only are inadequate. The DOJ expects companies to actively manage and customize their compliance programs.

Representative Experience

  • Assisted clients in developing and enhancing anti-corruption compliance policies and procedures, as well as business ethics compliance programs
  • Provide ongoing counseling with respect to third-party due diligence, interactions with government officials and related matters
  • Personally led various risk assessments for multinational companies with respect to operations throughout the world
  • Conducted numerous multi-jurisdiction, cross-border internal investigations in respect of allegations of anti-corruption violations
  • Managed teams of lawyers conducting global compliance due diligence for global companies with respect to operations in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Australia

2nd Circ.'s Seminal Rejection of FCPA Conviction Challenge

Law360 | August 28, 2019

New York City partner Isabelle De Smedt (CORP), Manchester partner Mark Knights (GIWC), Boston counsel Robert Fisher (GIWC), Manchester associate Michael Strauss (CDPG) and Boston associate Scott Seitz (GIWC) authored this column about the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s recent decision regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’s anti-bribery provisions and what the decision means for companies needing to comply with the law.

One more arrow in the government’s anti-corruption quiver: the Global Magnitsky Act

The Anti-Corruption Report | May 29, 2018

Corporate partners Alexandra Lopez-Casero and Isabelle de Smedt are quoted in this article discussing the business consequences of the Global Magnitsky Act, a new anti-corruption statute.


Isabelle De Smedt


New York

Phone: 212-940-3145

Fax: +32 (0)2290-1505

Fordham University School of Law, LL.M.

Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Law, cum laude





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