Threats to Non-U.S. Companies from the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

By David Smyth, Brooks Pierce

Among the international business community, few law enforcement matters in recent years have attracted as much interest as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA"). Enforcement of the FCPA – conducted by both the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") – has been intense and increasing over the last decade. As Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said late last year, "FCPA enforcement is stronger than it's ever been – and getting stronger." And while the FCPA is a United States law, it poses great risks for non-United States companies and individuals; severe liability can follow from disregarding it.

I. Brief Overview of the FCPA

Very briefly, the FCPA is divided into two sets of provisions, the anti-bribery
provisions, and the accounting provisions. On the anti-bribery side, the statute forbids paying any "thing of value" to a foreign government official in order to corruptly influence the official in an official act or secure any improper advantage to obtain or retain business. The FCPA also forbids such payments to intermediaries while "knowing" that the payments will be directed to foreign government officials.

On the accounting side, the FCPA requires companies whose securities are traded in U.S. markets to "make and keep books, records, and accounts, which, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of [its] assets." The accounting provisions also require such companies to devise and maintain accounting controls sufficient to provide "reasonable assurances" that four objectives are met: (1) transactions are executed in accordance with management's instructions; (2) transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; (3) access to assets is controlled according to management's instructions; and (4) records are reconciled with existing assets at reasonable intervals. In essence, this means that publicly traded companies must install safeguards to ensure that corrupt payments are not made on their behalf.

II. Jurisdiction over Non-U.S. Companies

United States law enforcement authorities can acquire jurisdiction over non-U.S. companies in a number of different ways. First, the FCPA applies to "issuers" – that is, publicly held companies that are subject to either the registration or reporting provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Critically for non-U.S. corporations, these include companies issuing American Depositary Shares that are registered and traded on a U.S. exchange. Second, the FCPA applies to "domestic concerns." A domestic concern is any business that has its principal place of business in the United States or is organized under the laws of the United States or its territories. Citizens and residents of the United States are also considered domestic concerns, as are employees, agents, and stockholders of issuers and domestic concerns. Finally, the FCPA applies to "foreign persons," natural and legal persons that are not issuers or domestic concerns. Officers, directors, employees, agents, and stockholders of foreign persons are also subject to the FCPA if they violate the statute while in the United States.

A. Issuers

U.S. authorities have brought actions against a number of non-U.S. issuers in recent years. For example, in July 2011, the SEC brought an administrative action against London-based Diageo plc, a leading producer and distributor of premium alcoholic beverages. Because Diageo's ADRs are registered with the SEC pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act and trade on the New York Stock Exchange, the company is an "issuer" and thus subject to the FCPA. The SEC found that Diageo and its subsidiaries paid more than $2.7 million to foreign government officials to obtain lucrative sales and tax benefits relating to its Johnnie Walker and Windsor Scotch brands, among others. According to the administrative order, the payments were made to high-ranking Thai government officials as well as Korean customs officials. Even without anti-bribery charges – the order found violations of the accounting provisions only – Diageo was forced to pay disgorgement of $11.3 million, prejudgment interest of another $2 million, and a civil penalty of $3 million.

Diageo is hardly an isolated example. In a more complex case filed in 2010, the SEC charged an Italian company, ENI, S.p.A., and its Dutch subsidiary, Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V., with a bribery scheme that included deliveries of cash-filled briefcases and vehicles to Nigerian government officials to win construction contracts for liquefied natural gas facilities. The two companies were part of a joint venture including a number of other corporations that banded together to plan and pay hundreds of millions in bribes to Nigerian officials. Because ENI had registered a class of securities with the Commission in 1995, and the company's ADRs traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the company was an issuer and therefore subject to the FCPA. Snamprogetti, itself not an issuer, is addressed below. The Justice Department took no action against Diageo or ENI.

Other recent cases against issuers have included actions against Technip (based in Paris), Tenaris, S.A. (Luxembourg), and Alcatel-Lucent, S.A. (Paris). All of these companies had ADRs that were registered with the SEC and traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

B. Persons Acting on U.S. Soil

Since 1998, another way for non-U.S. companies to fall within the statute's
clutches is to commit an FCPA violation "while in the territory of the United States." The U.S. Attorney's Manual interprets this provision "as conferring jurisdiction whenever a foreign company or national causes an act to be done within the territory of the United States by any person acting as that company's or national's agent." This position has lent itself to quite broad application of 15 U.S.C. § 78dd-3, and has reached companies that might not have expected to find themselves subject to the FCPA. At times, the Justice Department has penalized activity that did not happen within the United States at all, but merely included requests from actors that are in the United States.

1. SSI International Far East, Ltd.

For example, in a case brought against SSI International Far East, Ltd. ("SSI"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Portland, Oregon-based Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., the Justice Department alleged a long-running scheme to pay cash bribes and other gifts to managers at government-owned steel mills in China and Korea. SSI, on behalf of its parent Schnitzer, engaged in long-standing transactions with these steel producers, making payments to induce these managers to purchase Schnitzer's scrap metal. While jurisdiction as to Schnitzer, an issuer, was clear, it was less so as to SSI. The jurisdictional statement in the criminal information said that SSI "transmitted requests to the United States for approval and wire transfer of funds for payment to managers of Schnitzer Steel's customers in South Korea and China in connection with sales of scrap metal to those customers. Accordingly, defendant SSI acted within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States." Though SSI or its agents never physically stepped into United States, making requests to others in the United States was enough to compel a settlement with SSI.

2. Daimler AG

In another recent matter, the SEC settled FCPA claims with Daimler AG in early 2010 based on the company's issuer status. But the Justice Department's case extended to Daimler's foreign subsidiaries based on their alleged actions taken within United States territory. In those cases, jurisdiction hinged on:

  • wire transfers . . . sent from Daimler accounts in Germany to financial institutions in the United States . . . in furtherance of corrupt payments to Russian [and Chinese] government officials;
  • payments to third party agents, including shell companies established in the United States knowing that such payments would be passed on . . . to Russian government officials; and
  • enter[ing] into sham consulting contracts with shell companies incorporated in Delaware and Wyoming for the purpose of making improper payments to Croatian government officials.

Again, the foreign Daimler subsidiaries never walked into U.S. territory, but the threat of litigating FCPA allegations was too much to bear, and a settlement followed.

3. A Judicial Limitation on Section 78dd-3

In June 2011, though, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia put what could be a substantial limit on the reach of Section 78dd-3. In a group of matters known as the Africa Sting cases, jurisdiction over one of the individual defendants, Pankesh Patel, was based on that provision. Among the counts against Patel was a charge that he violated the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions by sending a DHL package "containing one original copy of the purchase agreements for the corrupt Phase Two deal" from the U.K. to Washington, D.C.. At the close of the Justice Department's evidence, Patel moved for a judgment of acquittal as to this charge. The government's problem was that Patel never violated the FCPA while he was actually in the United States. As Judge Richard Leon noted in open court, "I would think the more cautious, conservative interpretation would be that each act has to be while in the territory of the United States, wouldn't it?" The court granted Patel's motion for acquittal, and seemingly put the brakes on this aggressive theory of territorial jurisdiction.

4. And Disregard of That Limitation

A recent settlement by Japan-based Bridgestone Corporation, however, seems not to have slowed the Justice Department down with respect to its approach under Section 78dd-3. There, Bridgestone allegedly engaged in a scheme to bribe foreign officials in Latin America in attempts to increase sales of marine hose and other products. The Justice Department based jurisdiction solely on e-mails and faxes that were sent between Japan and the United States in connection with the bribery scheme – exactly the sort of conduct that Judge Leon held not to fall within Section 78dd-3. FCPA liability based on territorial jurisdiction therefore remains a substantial threat.

C. Alternative Theories and Curious Cases

Still other potential avenues for non-U.S. person FCPA liability exist.

1. Aiding and Abetting

Both the Justice Department and the SEC have aiding and abetting statutes that
further expand those agencies' jurisdictional reach. The Justice Department can bring charges for aiding and abetting criminal FCPA violations where a person willfully causes a violation by another person. So, when a non-U.S. person acts outside the United States, but "willfully causes an act to be done" that is in violation of the FCPA and within the territory of the United States, the Justice Department may be able to assert jurisdiction. For SEC matters, "any person that knowingly or recklessly provides substantial assistance to another person in violation of a provision of the [Securities Exchange Act of 1934 or underlying rule]" is deemed to be liable to the same extent as the primary violator. Both agencies have recently used these provisions to bring charges against non-U.S. persons.

2. Panalpina World Transport

In late 2010, the SEC charged the U.S. subsidiary of Panalpina World Transport (Holding) Ltd. ("PWT"), a global freight forwarding and logistics services provider based in Switzerland, with violating the FCPA by bribing foreign officials around the world on behalf of its customers. The SEC's complaint alleged that the subsidiary, Panalpina Inc. ("Panalpina"), together with other PWT subsidiaries and affiliates ("Panalpina Group"), bribed officials to obtain preferential customs, duties, and import treatment for its customers in connection with international freight shipments. The Justice Department alleged that PWT and its subsidiaries engaged in a long-standing practice of paying bribes to foreign officials for their own benefit and for the benefit of their customers.

The two agencies' jurisdictional theories differed. The Justice Department alleged that PWT was simply a "person" within the meaning of Section 78dd-3(f)(1). That is, PWT operated within the territory of the United States, and its actions thus fell within the scope of the FCPA. As for Panalpina, the Justice Department contended that it was a domestic concern under Section 78dd-2. Panalpina had 38 branches in several states, including Texas, New Jersey, and Michigan and kept its primary base of operations for its oil and gas customers in Houston. The SEC's theory of liability was novel. Although PWT, Panalpina, and the Panalpina Group were not issuers for purposes of the FCPA, many of their customers were. By paying bribes on behalf of issuers, Panalpina – again, the U.S. subsidiary of a foreign non-issuer company – both violated and aided and abetted violations of the FCPA. The SEC did not charge PWT, the parent company.

3. JGC Corporation

In April 2011, the Justice Department settled FCPA charges against JGC
Corporation, the last member of the joint venture including ENI/Snamprogetti and Technip, discussed above. JGC, a Japanese engineering and construction firm, agreed to pay a $218 million criminal penalty arising out of a decade-long scheme to bribe Nigerian government officials to obtain liquefied natural gas construction contracts. Perhaps sensing jurisdictional difficulties, the SEC did not bring a parallel action.

In the Justice Department's case, JGC was not alleged to be a domestic concern or an issuer, and territorial jurisdiction was not claimed explicitly. Instead, the criminal information based the two counts on (1) conspiring to execute the bribery scheme with the other joint venture partners, who were domestic concerns or issuers, and (2) aiding and abetting a domestic concern. The information also stated at the end that JGC wired payments from a Dutch bank account to Swiss bank accounts via New York bank accounts, but does not appear to have relied solely on those wires as a jurisdictional hook.

4. Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V.

Also as part of the Nigerian joint venture, the SEC charged Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V., a Dutch subsidiary of issuer ENI, S.p.A., for violating the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA. The SEC based jurisdiction on Snamprogetti's having acted as ENI's agent, but did not actually allege facts establishing that Snamprogetti was ENI's agent. The very fact of the parent-subsidiary relationship was, again, enough to compel a settlement with the SEC that escaped close judicial scrutiny. While a litigated matter might yield a different result, the SEC's inclination to pursue such charges is enough to concern to the international business community.

III. Conclusion

Enforcement of the FCPA is at a fever pitch, and not going away in the near
future. Indeed, the jurisdictional theories of the SEC and Justice Department seem only to be expanding and becoming more creative. Companies falling within any of the categories discussed in this article would be wise to consult with competent FCPA counsel to assess the risk of non-compliance and prepare for action if suspicious activity arises.

SmythDavid Smyth's practice focuses on financial services litigation and representation in response to government enforcement proceedings by federal and state authorities. Mr. Smyth also conducts internal corporate investigations and advises individuals and corporations, including broker-dealers, on compliance with securities laws.

Mr. Smyth served on the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for six years, ultimately as Assistant Director in the Division of Enforcement. While at the SEC, he led a team of attorneys in the investigation and litigation of cases involving the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In doing so, he coordinated SEC actions with related criminal investigations by the Department of Justice, including those by the U.S. Attorney's Offices for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

David Smyth, Of Counsel
Brooks Pierce, Raleigh Office, 1600 Wells Fargo Capitol Center, 150 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27601, T: (919) 573-6218, F: (336) 232-9218, E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., W:

GGI Logo 70x50px

GGI Geneva Group
International AG

Schaffhauserstrasse 550
P.O. Box 286
8052 Zurich


T: +41 44 2561818
F: +41 44 2561811
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Legal Disclaimer & Privacy Statement

Legal Disclaimer

This website is managed by Geneva Group International AG Zürich (hereinafter referred to as "GGI") on behalf of the member firms of GGI, a worldwide organization of independent Law, Accounting and Consulting Firms. GGI provides information and documentation on World Wide Web sites, such site(s) being known as the GGI Internet (hereinafter referred to as the "Website"). If you make any use of this Website, you confirm that you agree to each of the terms and conditions set forth below. You shall not be authorized to use this Website if you do not agree with any of the terms and/or conditions set forth below.

GGI, a company incorporated in accordance with the laws of Switzerland, provides no legal, audit or other professional services to clients. Such services are provided solely by GGI member firms in their respective geographic areas. GGI and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, partners, joint ventures or agents. No member firm of GGI has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind GGI or any other GGI member firm in any manner whatsoever.

No action should be taken or omitted to be taken in reliance upon information contained in this Website. The information contained and accessed on this site is provided by the member firms of GGI for general guidance and is intended to offer the user general information of interest. The information provided is not intended to replace or serve as substitute for any accounting, legal (in those jurisdictions where GGI member firms are permitted to practice law), tax or other professional advice, consultation or service. You should consult with a professional from a GGI member firm in the respective legal, accounting, tax or other professional area. Based on specific facts or circumstances, the application of laws and regulations may vary.

Based on the fundamental universal condition of the electronic communication process, GGI does not guarantee, warrant and/or offer any assurance that this Website (including its functions, contents, downloadable files, software etc.) will be uninterrupted, without delay, error-free, omission-free, or free of viruses, free of Trojan horses, similar destructive software and/or free of harmful codes which may impair the proper functioning of any software, hardware or other equipment and/or materials of the user. GGI does not guarantee, warrant and/or offer any assurance that this Website is compatible with any user's computer equipment (hardware and/or software) or network through which access to this Website is gained. GGI does further not guarantee, warrant and/or offer any assurance that the use of this Website will not lead to viruses, Trojan horses and/or similar destructive software accessing any user's computer equipment.

Access to this Website may be interrupted or unavailable at any time, in particular during maintenance or upgrade procedures. Therefore, the information is provided "as is" without warranties of any kind, express or implied, including accuracy, timeliness and completeness. In no event shall GGI or partners, executives, principals, agents or employees of its member firms be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other losses and/or damages of any kind (including, but not limited to, liability for loss of use, data, profits, other intangibles, the costs of procurement of substitute goods and/or services), without regard to the form of any action, including but not limited to contract, negligence or other tortuous actions, arising out of or in connection with this Website, any content on or accessed by use of this Website, or any copying, display or other use hereof even if GGI has been notified of the possibility of such loss and/or damage. All statements, information, downloadable data and files etc. on this Website are made available without liability or guarantee for their correctness, completeness, accuracy, durability, assurance of features, reliability, workability, merchantability, quality, fitness for a particular purpose, achievement of results, non-infringement of proprietary rights, absence of any deficiencies or something similar. GGI shall not be liable for any damage which a user may suffer as a result of any errors in content or arising from any virus or other destructive software. Users are responsible for ensuring that their computer equipment has appropriate security and virus protection features.

All intellectual property rights (in particular copyrights, trademark rights, design rights and patent rights) to the contents of this Website shall be reserved. As content on the site is protected by intellectual property laws (such as for instance copyright, trademark, patent laws) as well as by unfair competition laws, any unauthorised use of any materials on the site may violate copyright, trademark, patent and other laws. Pictures, texts, graphics, computer software etc. which are contained, featured and/or downloadable on this Website may not be copied, downloaded or used in any other way unless indicated otherwise on this Website. Should a user download and/or print the materials on this Website for personal or non-commercial use, the user must retain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained in the original materials on any copies of the material and the source must be indicated completely. The complete and/or partial reproduction, transmission (electronically and/or otherwise), modification, public display, performance, distribution, linking, framing or other use of this Website for any public and/or commercial purposes shall not be allowed without the prior written consent of GGI and the complete indication of the source. GGI does not grant the users of this Website any rights (in particular no intellectual property rights), except for the rights that are necessary to use this Website for purposes permitted under these conditions.
Some links on this Website refer to other websites which have been set up and are operated by third parties. Such links are provided only as a convenience to users. GGI does not control and is not responsible for any of these sites or their content. GGI explicitly disclaims any endorsement or recommendation of and guarantee or liability for such websites of third parties.
This Website is not intended for persons who are subject to a jurisdiction that prohibits the publication of and/or access to this Website (be it because of the nationality, their age, the domicile or for any other reason). If you are affected by such restrictions, you may not access this Website.

Privacy Statement

Geneva Group International AG Zürich, a joint-stock company incorporated under Swiss law with Swiss company registration number CH- whose registered office is at Schaffhauserstrasse 550, CH-8052 Zurich, Switzerland, (hereinafter referred to as "GGI") is in charge of the data supplied to this Website and the processing of such data. This website is managed by GGI. The goal of this target group is to develop additional sustained and diversified business opportunities on the basis of these relationships.

For the purposes of this Privacy Statement, member firms, correspondent firms, associated firms of GGI and other companies assisting GGI in running and maintaining this website are together described as Partners.

GGI provides information and documentation on World Wide Web sites, such site(s) being known as the GGI Internet (hereinafter referred to as the "Website"). This page contains the information gathering and use policies adopted by GGI in connection with the Website. These policies are subject to periodic review and any changes will be included within this section of the Website.
GGI is not responsible for the privacy policies of third party sites to which links are provided (including sites of Partners of GGI). The privacy policies on these sites should be checked before providing any personal information to these sites.

GGI is committed to the protection of personal information supplied by clients and prospective clients and other users of this Website. GGI provides further support and specialised services for Partners most of whom are situated outside Switzerland in countries which may not afford an adequate level of protection for personal data. Personal information submitted to the Website may be transferred to other Participant Firms outside of Switzerland to the extent necessary to meet the purpose for which the information was submitted. In submitting personal data to this Website in connection with a request for support and specialised services, the individuals concerned consent to the transfer of their personal data outside Switzerland to the extent necessary to comply with the request.

Collection of information

GGI will only collect and use personal data voluntarily and openly provided to this Website. Authorised users are able to browse the Website without disclosing any personal information. An authorised user of this Website may choose to provide GGI with limited personal data as required in order to register for certain services; once registered the information will only be used for the specified purpose(s). If you provide any data by completing the appropriate spaces on this Website or by sending a message to GGI by any means (particularly e-mail) you confirm that you agree that GGI may save, analyze and/or use the date for any purposes, including, but not limited to sending information and brochures to you. You may revoke your consent to the further use of the transmitted data by GGI at any time by sending an e-mail to GGI.

GGI reserves the right to save information regarding the domain name and/or IP-address of users of the GGI Website or their providers' for administrative, statistical and/or other purposes. The IP address indicates the location of the authorised users' computer on the Internet. GGI does not require registration for access to the Website.

It will normally be clear when personal information is being collected. The information required is the minimum necessary to enable GGI to deal with the services requested, but additional information may be requested in order for GGI to provide the most appropriate response. If such additional information is requested it is highlighted and its provision is voluntary.

We do not solicit sensitive personal data through the Website except where legally required to do so, e.g. for the purposes of retaining information for inclusion in the GGI directories of Partners, their principals and their professional expertise. We would suggest information of this nature is not provided except where such data is for inclusion in GGI directories of Participating Firms, their principals and their professional expertise.

At the present time, the standard technology known as "cookies" is not used on the GGI Website. Cookies are small text files placed on the authorised user's hard drive that allow the Website to store tokens of information in connection with use of the Website by allocation of an identifier to an authorised user while the Website is in use. However, GGI reserves the right to start using cookies at any moment without prior notice. Use of cookies would enable GGI to analyse the operation of the Website, thus permitting continuous improvement of the service that it provides.

Use of information

Information is used only for the specific purpose for which it was provided except where there has been an explicit selection to receive other information from GGI. Personal data provided through the Website will be made available to the provider of the information on request as any individual whose personal data is held on the Website is entitled under the Swiss Privacy Act to the information constituting his or her personal data. Personal information may be deleted from the Website at any time. Requests for copies or deletion of information may be made by e-mailing the Geneva Group International Head Office in Zurich at any time.

Provision of Information to Third Parties

GGI will provide personal information to third parties in the following circumstances:
  • where the transfer is necessary to fulfil the requirements of the operation for which the information was provided, and the third party is a Partner;
  • in order to fulfil a request which involves other Partners;
  • so as to assist GGI's professional advisors regarding matters referred to them concerning the operation of the Website:
  • where requested explicitly by an authorised user of the Website;
  • or as required by a court order or any other legal or regulatory requirement.
GGI does not collect or compile personal data or information obtained by the Website for dissemination or sale to outside parties not Partners for the purposes of marketing or mailing by or on behalf of third parties. GGI does not undertake marketing activities for third parties.

Accuracy of information

GGI assumes responsibility for keeping an accurate record of personal data once it has been submitted, but not for confirming the ongoing accuracy of the personal information. If GGI is advised that the personal data is no longer accurate, it will be amended (where practical).

Retention of information

Information collected from authorised users of the Website will be kept in order to provide the required services as well as for statistical purposes. Once the service has been completed all information will be destroyed in accordance with GGI's data retention policies. Where the information has been collected in connection with an expression of interest in working for GGI or a Partner it is agreed that GGI may use, hold and destroy personal data supplied in connection with the initial expression of interest in accordance with GGI's standard recruitment procedures:
  • details may be retained for up to the next twelve months for the purpose of notification of suitable vacancies that might arise;
  • details may be used for the purpose of research and analysis designed to improve recruitment and human resources policies and practices.
Where the authorised user of the Website has provided additional information, personal details will be retained for a period of time reasonable in the context of the nature of the request.

If these conditions are not acceptable the site should not be further used.

Security of information

GGI has implemented accepted standards of technical measures and security policies that are aimed at protecting the personal data it has under its control from:
  • unauthorised access;
  • improper use or disclosure;
  • unauthorised modification;
  • unlawful destruction or accidental loss.
All GGI personnel are required to keep personal information confidential and only authorised persons have access to such information.

Please note that the Website contains links to other sites (including sites maintained by Partners) which are not governed by this privacy statement.

Additional general conditions governing the Legal Disclaimer and the Privacy Statement

The rejection of any liability and/or responsibility regarding the Website and its content and other terms and/or conditions contained in this legal information are also applicable to all companies associated or affiliated with GGI, particularly GGI member firms (Partners).

GGI reserves the right to change all and/or any of the regulations mentioned above at any time without any prior announcement. Unless explicitly indicated otherwise, the new regulations shall immediately apply to all information, indications etc. featured on the GGI Website. By continuing to use the GGI Website, you accept all changes of such regulations.

The invalidity or unenforceability in any jurisdiction of any of these terms shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other of these terms. If any term is held to be invalid or unenforceable it shall be deemed to be amended to the minimum extent required to render such term valid or enforceable, such amendment to be determined by GGI.

The Legal Disclaimer and the Privacy Statement indicated above shall be governed by and are construed in accordance with Swiss substantive laws (excluding the rules of the conflict of laws) and the courts of Zurich, Switzerland shall have exclusive jurisdiction in any possible dispute.

Copyright pictures
The copyright of the photos is published here or under the articles.

Geneva Group International; Rieder Media - Uwe Rieder Kurhan; lagom; Abou Jaoude, Siegmar; Jürgen Effner; magcom; Maksim Šmeljov; Gilles Paire; david hughes; clayllama; robynmac; Dan Marsh; daphot75; Suzanne E.; Pierre-Yves Babelon; QQ7; Fotokon; reinobjektiv; cienpies; Alterfalter; Mark Yuill; Flying-Tiger; Katja Wickert; sk19; fazon; Andy Dean; Immo Schiller; Pavla Vanicka; jamesdavidphoto; sysiphus; Kirill_M; Herbert Esser; djama; Rafael Ben-Ari; ollirg; bruder jakob; soleg; Kobby Dagan; Chris Boswell; Hagit Berkovich; Ruzanna Arutyunyan; lilufoto; zybilo; Esther Wagner; pixelfux; Jim Parkin; Zacarias da Mata; Martina Berg; Konstantin Yuganov; Gail Johnson; maudanros; auremar; swisshippo; tobago77; rudi1976;; detlef menzel; Luftbildfotograf; FotolEdhar; Temistocle Lucarelli; ErnstPieber; synto; ZINQ Stock; Tupungato; Barbara Helgason; Aleksey Khripunkov; Lucian Milasan; Gabriela; JonaSanpo Tokyo; Leonid Tit; Sven Hoppe; sborisov; denys_kuvaiev; G.J. Prozee; Andrey Burmakin; Digitalpress; gemenacom; arsdigital; deusexlupus; travelwitness; Alison Cornford; gena96; anyaivanova; spiritofamerica; G. Mönks Photografie; Moreno Novello; Picture-Factory; Galyna Andrushko; endostock; Thomas Röske; carlos; Mezzalira Davide; griangraf; laur7410; simon gurney; sborisov; ChantalS; th-photo;kbuntu; maudanros; apops; JR Photography; Josemaria Toscano; luanka; Tyler Olson; Jörg Hackemann; drubig-photo; AlfaSirius; arenaphotouk; vvoe; rolffimages; Ross Kummer; dabldy; silver-john; Wimbledon; nitroshoprod; Moreno Soppelsa; piccaya; Hawkeye; Horváth Botond; motodan; fazon; Minerva Studio; Digishooter; Mapics; TMAX; Fanchy; JFL Photography; kichigin19; Nmedia;  fotofuerst; Henri FRONTIER; Marcin Kubiak; pitrs; goldencow_images; habrda; nattanan726; dmitrydesigner; PackShot; swisshippo; michaeljung; Friedberg; Rawpixel; bluedesign; Ralf Gosch; Forgiss; Frankix; Jörg Hackemann; Gilles Paire; JaimeP; peresanz; lumen-digital; Stefano Garau; AlexF76; industrieblick; sborisov; chris2766; mitifoto; kamonrat; Rainer Plendl; peresanz; Vojtech Vlk; scabrn; Luftbildfotograf; Andrew Kazmierski; bruno135_406; pressmaster; vandertens; Tom-Hanisch; Alexey Stiop; Patrik Stedrak; Jiri Foltyn; kosmos111; Tomfry; S.Alias; beerkoff; Peter Marble; forcdan; Henryk Sadura; TTstudio; samott; Nordreisender; QQ7; imagineilona; 072618; aroberlin; lunamarina; whitelook; Pavel Parmenov; Jeff; jcfotografo; Jiri Foltyn; JS; Robert Wilson; SNEHIT; Sergii Figurnyi; mandritoiu; tilialucida; rabbit75_fot; IRStone; stockphoto mania; saiko3p; zoltangabor;  E. Adler; lovegtr35; kiravolkov; davidevison; Kruwt; alexandro900; Rafael Ben-Ari; Frédéric Prochasson; Halfpoint; fotoherkules; eddygaleotti; mandritoiu; Mik Man; ALCE;  LUNYANSKIY; Sondem; heyengel; forcdan; IRStone; gianliguori; Henryk Sadura; .shock; SNEHIT; alex9500; mpodrucki; KarenDMartin; mimadeo; SNEHIT; IRStone; lena_serditova ;  Friedberg; pixelABC; peshkov; Klaus Heidemann; photofang; frakala; Beboy; vacant; Noppasin; : Leonid Andronov; surangaw; dennisvdwater; Chris Lofty; Robert Kneschke; Gajus; chrisdorney; samografy; DOC RABE Media; vichie81; everythingpossible; Rafael Ben-Ari; Eisenhans; bakerjarvis; stokkete; hankimage9;