Skip to content

Bribery Act Update

The Bribery Act 2010 finally came into force on 1 July 2011. 

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 briefing on the Bribery Act please contact us on bh@boodlehatfield.com.

How to find us:
London Bankside

Bankside Office

240 Blackfriars Road
London
SE1 8NW
DX 53 Chancery Lane

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

London Mayfair

Mayfair Office

6 Grosvenor Street
London
W1K 4PZ

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

Oxford

Oxford office

6 Worcester Street
Oxford
OX1 2BX

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

Bankside Office

240 Blackfriars Road
London
SE1 8NW
DX 53 Chancery Lane

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

Get directions

Contact us