Bribery Act & compliance

Bribery Act & compliance

New UK bribery legislation is amongst the toughest in the world, and came into force on 1 July 2011.

The Bribery Act 2010 introduces four offences, with the new Corporate Offence causing the most concern to commercial organisations, and which can be caught by the Act simply because they carry out business in the UK.

Organisations can be responsible for acts of bribery committed on their behalf, by agents or others, and without their knowledge.

It should be remembered that all the prosecution needs to prove is that bribery occurred or that an offer has been made to someone who acted in anticipation of receiving an advantage.

The individual does not need to be prosecuted in order for there to be a prosecution against an organisation.

The burden will then shift to the organisation to prove that it had in place 'adequate procedures' designed to prevent employees or others associated with it from engaging in such conduct. If so, there will be a full defence to the Corporate Offence.

There is recognition under the legislation that no bribery prevention regime will be capable of preventing bribery at all times. The defence exists to encourage commercial organisations to put procedures in place to prevent bribery by persons associated with them.

Our team has provided numerous clients with sensible and pragmatic advice on how the Act will affect their business, and has worked with them to devise realistic compliance plans to ensure they can demonstrate 'adequate procedures', should the need arise.

The regulatory team can help you with:

  • risk assessments
  • drafting/reviewing your anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) policies
  • drafting/reviewing your gifts, hospitality and promotional expenses policies
  • developing a public statement of commitment
  • developing an accounting check list to identify possible infringements
  • drafting standard terms and conditions for third party contracts
  • reviewing/amending employment contracts
  • drafting/reviewing your whistle blowing policy
  • anti-bribery training, including a bespoke online training course which includes an assessment section to prove knowledge and understanding of the course
  • advising on dealing with potential breaches of the legislation
  • internal investigations and defending UK prosecutions for anti-corruption offences
  • self-reporting to the Serious Fraud Office

Work highlights

  • Rolling out a tailored client branded online e-learning training course for the staff of dozens of clients in relation to anti-bribery compliance (more than 7,500 users)
  • The provision of anti-bribery training to boards, senior management and international compliance teams at a number of global companies
  • Advising on Sponsorships Agreements integral to an organisation's current business structure. Advising major manufacturers on controls required to be put in place with reference to third party sales incentive schemes
  • Undertaking global risk assessments for multi-national organisations
  • Advising on the treatment of facilitation payments for organisations operating in 'high risk' countries and drafting appropriate policies and procedures for handling them, as well as advising on necessary disclosures to be made to the relevant authorities