The Bribery Act officially came into force on 1 July 2011 and requires companies to look very carefully at their anti-corruption procedures to ensure they have firm and transparent policies which comply with the legislation. The penalties for non-compliance are severe, including hefty fines and even lengthy jail terms.
The four offences contained in the Act are:
- offering a bribe;
- taking a bribe;
- offering a bribe to a foreign public official; and
- failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery.
Organisations need to ensure that their anti-bribery procedures are adequate to meet the requirements of the Bribery Act. We have provided advice and seminars to numerous organisations both before and following the implementation of the Bribery Act.
Our specialist solicitors can offer Bribery Act advice and training to board members and staff, as well as a review of current procedures for compliance. We have advised high profile clients including major sporting bodies, public sector organisations, housing associations and large companies on the likely impact of the Bribery Act on their business and what action needs to be taken to ensure adherence. The department has also advised a large multinational with its headquarters in the US on the potential cross-border impact of the Bribery Act on its operation.