Bribery and Corruption

"Multi-disciplinary, multi-jurisdictional, high profile, long established practice, perhaps the most famous firm in the field.”

Legal 500 UK 2021

We have a long track record of defending and advising in bribery and corruption investigations, acting for both individuals and corporates

Our experience encompasses internal company investigations, through to investigations by enforcement agencies. As well as cases involving the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), National Crime Agency (NCA) and the police, we often advise on cross-border investigations involving agencies such as the US Department of Justice (DoJ), US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), among others.

The global nature of business relationships and supply chains and the extra-territorial reach of legislation like the UK Bribery Act, US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other notable anti-corruption laws, means that it is not unusual for investigations to involve multiple jurisdictions and multiple overseas agencies.

Investigating bribery and corruption is high on the agenda for authorities around the world, hence the very real risk that individuals and corporates may find themselves targets or called as witnesses in related investigations. Facilitation payments and improper business or hospitality expenses can all fall under the spotlight and no sector is immune.


We have acted in most of the well-known bribery and corruption cases of recent years and understand the need for individuals to be independently represented at the earliest stages of an investigation.

How we can help


Since the introduction of the Bribery Act 2010, companies can be prosecuted and convicted for failing to prevent bribes paid on their behalf by employees, agents, intermediaries or subsidiaries, whether in the UK or overseas. The burden of proof is on companies to demonstrate they have adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery.

How we can help

  • We can act with your existing lawyers or independently to advise on how to conduct an internal investigation into bribery and corruption allegations.
  • We also carry out both domestic and cross-border investigations.
  • We are experienced at advising corporates whether and when to self-report, as well as advising on subsequent negotiations with the relevant authority(ies) to mitigate any sanction that may follow.
  • Where a company is exposed to the risk of prosecution, we can advise on the merits of the case, the possible financial penalties, the risks of debarment from public contracts, the prospects of a settlement in the form of a deferred prosecution agreement, and the benefits or otherwise of accepting a monitorship.
  • We also regularly advise on the design and roll-out of company compliance programmes (from policies to training) to help organisations reduce the risk of falling foul of ‘failure to prevent’ clauses.

Our approach

We understand the potential reputational and financial risks of becoming embroiled in bribery and corruption cases.  That is why we combine our knowledge of the law with a strategic and practical approach to navigate a path in clients’ best interests.

A successful outcome might involve negotiating with the authorities so no criminal charge is brought, entering into an immunity or plea agreement, or helping a client mount a robust defence at trial.

We have a broad team of highly experienced lawyers, as well as a trusted network of lawyers and investigation firms that we work with globally who can assist with investigations and advise on the law and customs in other jurisdictions.

If you need advice on a bribery or corruption issue, please contact our specialist team.


They have an excellent reputation, they have a very broad team and they have strength in depth."

Chambers UK 2020 - A Client’s Guide to the UK Legal Profession

Straddles the overlap between contentious regulatory work and financial crime."

Chambers UK 2020 - A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

They are a really excellent firm and they have very talented people. They provide an excellent service."

Chambers and Partners, 2019

The firm has very good criminal lawyers with strength and depth throughout the department."

Chambers and Partners, 2019

They guide you expertly through the criminal and regulatory landscape in a very effective, practical way."

Chambers and Partners, 2018

Kingsley Napley are collegiate and easy to work with. You know you could give work to any of the partners, it wouldn't matter because you know they would all give good advice." 

Chambers and Partners, 2018

First-class reputation for representing company directors and other high-profile figures in criminal investigations into bribery and corruption. Prominent cartel defence practice."

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession

The criminal litigation department at Kingsley Napley LLP is instructed in several SFO investigations. The group has ‘a very strong stable of partners'"

Legal 500

The criminal litigation department at Kingsley Napley LLP continues to ‘hold its own against the Magic Circle firms’."

Legal 500

...'Pioneers in the area, with a wealth of expertise'."

Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession


definitely a go-to firm for financial crime matters,"

Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2021

Universally respected by its peers, many of whom look enviously at its happy workforce, media profile and public standing.”

Legal 500 UK 2021

They have a fantastic team."

Chambers UK 2021

They are responsive, imaginative and dedicated professionals.”

Legal 500 UK 2021

Always a strong, gold star firm."

Chambers UK 2021

Regarded as one of the best financial crime firms."

Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2020

One of the premier white collar defence teams in London."

Legal 500 UK 2020

They're one of the firms that is right at the top of the scale. They're very experienced in handling the big cases. They're extremely well resourced and I've never had anything other than a good experience with them."

Chambers UK 2020

Bribery and Corruption Insights

View all


10 years of the UK Bribery Act: Compliance enough to define law’s success? - Alun Milford quoted in Compliance Week

Alun Milford quoted in various sources following the UK Supreme Court limiting the territorial reach of the SFO

Reform of corporate liability: two ways about it - Louise Hodges & Alun Milford write for PLC Magazine

Corporate criminal liability review could yield “radical and seismic” changes - Louise Hodges quoted in GIR

Alun Milford quoted following UK Governments "fence sitting" approach to reforms of corporate criminal liability laws

4 Takeaways From UK Review Of Mostly Untested Bribery Law - Louise Hodges quoted in Law360

Brexit ‘will slow bribery policing’ - Louise Hodges quoted in The Times

Sanctions regulator forces banks to tighten up compliance - Rebecca Niblock quoted in Law360

Louise Hodges gives evidence to House of Lords Bribery Act 2010 Committee

Kingsley Napley named as ‘Best law firm for financial crime, fraud & regulatory 2019’ by The Times

Dirty money: why can't banks clean up their act? - Nicola Finnerty quoted in The Telegraph

First anniversary of the new Anti-Money Laundering Regime – is it working? Nicola Finnerty writes for Compliance Monitor

High Court grants first unexplained wealth orders - Ed Smyth quoted in Spear's

House of Lords: Extradition report published

Procurement and outsourcing: UK Government's anti-corruption initiatives in 2015

Britain Releases Guidance on New Anti-Bribery Law

The Bribery Act is a case of 'right idea, wrong time' for the Government

View all


SFO guidance on co-operation: more carrot than stick?

Crunching the numbers: is the National Crime Agency right to seek additional funding?

Will the US College Bribery scandal reach our shores?

SFO v ENRC: what did the Court of Appeal decide and what does it mean for lawyers?

No deal Brexit and financial crime: proposed regulations published

Diamonds are (not) forever: NCA keeps up pressure on unexplained wealth

Working in partnership: a new public/private approach to tackle economic crime

Reform of corporate liability – renewed calls for change

Unexplained Wealth Orders – can you prove the legitimate provenance of all of your significant assets?

Media focus on first 'McMafia law' challenge

Multi-agency co-operation to tackle bribery and corruption

Bribery Act 2010: under scrutiny

Litigation privilege: the Court of Appeal endorses ENRC

What you need to know about Unexplained Wealth Orders

Tackling Corruption: Unexplained Wealth Orders now in force

Spotlight on UK’s Anti-Corruption Track Record

Privilege, Confidentiality and the Challenge of Modern Technology

Joining forces in the fight against Grand Corruption

Tough action against solicitor who laundered proceeds of bogus investment scheme

Tackling overseas corruption: Committee recommendations for Department for International Development.

FCA uses criminal powers for first time against alleged unlicensed lender

Corporate Criminal Liability – Consultation opened over need for reform

Iso publishes standard on anti-corruption measures: independent certification or gentle reassurance?

Anti-Money Laundering: European Commission seeks further change

How the Yates memo has brought the ‘long arm of the law’ stiflingly close

Home Office desire for new anti-money laundering powers ahead of Anti-Corruption Summit

Reducing sentences for guilty pleas – a new proposed Guideline

Spotlight on worldwide corruption

Court of Appeal Rules on Bribery under 1906 Act

Bribery and corruption: 2015 - a year in review

Lessons learned from the first resolution under s7 of the Bribery Act

Corporate liability extension rejected: “failure to prevent” offence confined to the Bribery Act

Rugby World Cup: tackling corruption

Unexplained Wealth Orders: A legitimate and legal approach to corruption?

Transparency International shine light on lack of progress in international anti-bribery action

Bribery and Corruption: judge opens window to FCPA challenge by UK citizen

UK ramps up fight against international corruption

First DPA now eagerly awaited

Senior Managers Regime: Tougher regulation of senior bankers and non-executive directors (NEDs) confirmed

Personal commitments: Benefits and risks of signing an attestation with the FCA

Is the Bribery Act finally fit for purpose?

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