The Bribery Act 2010 finally came into force on 1 July
Under the new law, companies which carry on any business in the
UK can be prosecuted for their failure to prevent the corrupt
actions of their employees and agents, even if the company had no
knowledge of what those individuals were up to. Although blameless
and innocent, the directors could see their company prosecuted if a
maverick within the organisation engages in bribery. It doesn't
matter where the alleged bribery takes place - it can be anywhere
in the world.
A company has only one defence to the strict liability offence of
failing to prevent bribery: that it has 'adequate procedures' in
place to prevent bribery. This amounts to things like internal
conduct rules, whistle blowing procedures and due diligence on
employees and third party agents who represent the company. If ever
a problem arose, a company would need to demonstrate that it had
adopted and implemented these internal procedures in order to use
the 'adequate procedures' defence.
Government guidance has made it clear that proportionate and
reasonable corporate hospitality and gifts are very unlikely to be
considered as bribery.
If you would like to receive a copy of our extended brieing on the
Bribery Act please contact us on email@example.com.