Auditors evaluating a recent transaction for a Brazilian energy firm held up the deal for more than six months. The delay wasn’t the result of malice, ineptitude or efforts to bill more hours. Rather, the investigation into the company’s operations—an effort to root out potential corruption—was so thorough, it merited more time.

“They were working hard to get to the bottom of corruption issues—that can be time-consuming,” recalls Steven Sandretto, a corporate law partner in Paul Hastings’ São Paulo office with knowledge of the deal.

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