Roughly a year following a federal appeals court ruling against the DOJ in Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group Ltd., the DOJ revised its guidelines and model letters for its conditional leniency program. In Stolt-Nielsen, the DOJ revoked the applicant’s conditional leniency after it had discovered that Stolt-Nielsen had continued to meet with competitors and engage in anticompetitive behavior for months after the company’s general counsel had discovered the unlawful conduct. Stolt-Nielsen’s immunity was predicated on a promise that it “took prompt and effective action to terminate its part in the anticompetitive activity being reported upon discovery of the activity.” Nonetheless, the court dismissed the indictment, finding that the government had failed to produce credible evidence that Stolt-Nielsen had breached the agreement.  

In response to this ruling, which ended the DOJ’s first-ever attempt to revoke an offer of conditional leniency, the DOJ amended its model guidelines to include a proviso that reserves the DOJ “the right to grant conditional leniency only up to the date the applicant represents it terminated its participation in the activity” when “there [has been] a significant lapse in time between the date the applicant discovered the anticompetitive activity being reported and the date applicant reported the activity to the Antitrust Division.”