The Bribery Act came into force on 1st July 2011. It has a dramatic impact on the criminal exposure of corporations, partnerships and senior personnel that do business in the UK. Companies and individuals found guilty of any of the offences in the Bribery Act 2010 will be liable for significant fines, which may be unlimited in respect of the corporate offence. Individuals will also be liable to a term of imprisonment up to a maximum of 10 years.
The Bribery Act provides for:
- offences of giving and receiving bribes, in both the public and private sectors;
- an offence of bribing a foreign public official;
- corporate liability for failing to prevent bribery;
- personal criminal liability for senior officers of a company that commits a bribery offence with the consent or the connivance of that senior officer - this includes, for example directors, managers and company secretaries.
The Bribery Act firmly places the responsibility on organisations to ensure that their anti-corruption procedures will protect them from potential criminal liability and unlimited fines. Companies will not only be responsible for the activities of their employees, but also of their agents and affiliates. This will require enhanced due diligence and systems and controls of those working with you. Protecting yourself and your company demands a robust approach to corporate governance to address the new changes to the law. Areas of particular concern include corporate hospitality, facilitation and payments and commissions.
The team of fraud lawyers at Kingsley Napley are established experts in defending bribery and corruption inquiries, whether acting for individual agents, contractors or corporations. We frequently advise on conducting internal investigations where a company suspect’s bribery and corruption may have been perpetrated by its employees, agents, subsidiaries or other associated person. We are experienced in conducting cross border investigations and have a network of experienced lawyers who can advise on the law and customs in other jurisdictions. We provide due diligence and risk management advice to corporations and individuals involved in contracts and making payments abroad, and specifically to those working in countries which score poorly in the corruption perceptions index, as collated by Transparency International. Our lawyers can help ensure an outcome which is proportionate and commercially realistic for your organisation.
Our briefing note provides further information on the two sets of guidance related to the Bribery Act: the Prosecution Guidance and the Ministry of Justice Guidance on "adequate procedures".
We provide invaluable training for in-house lawyers, directors and senior personnel to help avoid the pitfalls of this new legislation.
If you would like to speak to our criminal defence solicitors, please contact Stephen Gentle
- Ongoing representative of senior executive of Innospec
- David Mabey
- Acted for individuals in relation to the Metropolitan Police investigation into political donations in return for the award of a peerage (Cash for Honours)
- Acting in relation to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into the BAE Systems/Al Yamamah deal
- Acted for an individual in the Jubilee line extension fraud trial
- Acted for an individual in relation to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into corruption involving a major Norwegian oil company (Statoil)