quick guide to the Bribery Act 2010
The Bribery Act 2010 comes into force on 1 July 2011, it creates
four new offences.
paying or receiving a bribe
An offence will be committed if person A offers person B a
financial or other advantage if B is carrying out a function on
behalf of an organisation where B is in a position of trust, good
faith or expected to act in an impartial way and A has the
intention of getting B to perform his function in an improper
bribing a foreign public official
An offence will be committed if person A offers a foreign public
official a financial or other advantage with the intention of
influencing the official and obtaining an advantage in the conduct
of business. There is no requirement for the official to perform
his function in an improper way.
corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery
A company C will commit an offence if a person A associated with
it bribes person B with the intention of obtaining or retaining
business for C or obtaining an advantage for C.
who will this affect?
All companies who do business in the UK whether incorporated
here or not should be aware of the issues but in particular
- with an international aspect to the business
- who do business with large international companies or public
- work in a sector or country with high levels of
what are the main issues that companies need to be aware
A company has a defence to the offence of failing to prevent a
bribe if it can show that it has put in place adequate procedures
to prevent bribery. What is considered adequate will depend on what
was proportionate given the facts and circumstances of the company
and the bribery risks that it faces. Our team have prepared a
flowchart to assist in understanding what "adequate procedures" may
A "financial advantage" could include corporate hospitality. The
statutory guidance suggests that it will not amount to a bribe
provided that the hospitality: has a legitimate business aim
(including developing relationships) is reasonable, proportionate
and appropriate in the circumstances (including with reference to
what is normal in the particular industry).
It is now an offence to make what are also known as grease
payments, fees, fines, compensation or contributions to foreign
public officials that in some countries are the normal way of doing
business. The only exceptions are if the person making the payment
does so under threat of violence or if the payment is permitted by
local written law.
View our ten reasons why businesses need to
act now to assess and mitigate the risks associated with the
introduction of the Act.
Blake Lapthorn is advising businesses on the impact of the Bribery
Act and assisting with the adequate procedures defence. Even
organisations with existing anti-bribery policies and procedures
should review these to ensure compliance with the Act. If you
require any training, assistance or
on what the Bribery Act means for your
business, please contact Lara Robson in the Business Regulatory
on 020 7814 5491 or by
email at firstname.lastname@example.org