Bribery and Corruption Solicitors
Bribery and Corruption solicitors Birmingham
The introduction of the Bribery Act 2010 significantly altered the landscape. Companies and individuals must now ensure that they have robust anti-bribery and anti-corruption measures in place to avoid severe legal and reputational consequences.
If you are facing allegations of bribery or corruption under the Bribery Act 2010, it is vital to have an expert bribery and corruption defence solicitor on your side.
What are the four offences against the Bribery Act
Failure to Prevent Bribery
Companies can be held accountable for not preventing bribery unless they can demonstrate the implementation of “adequate procedures” to deter such behaviour. This means that without appropriate anti-corruption measures, a business may be found guilty of an offence committed without the knowledge of its management.
Prosecution of Senior Officers
Senior officers of a company can be prosecuted if they are found to be involved in an act of bribery.
Bribery of Foreign Public Officials
This offence occurs when a person attempts to influence a foreign public official to secure or retain business.
Companies must carefully assess the appropriateness of corporate hospitality to avoid violating the Bribery Act.
These payments, often requested by officials to expedite their duties, can result in criminal prosecution if made.
What agencies investigate and prosecutes bribery and corruption allegations in the UK?
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) plays a key role in combating bribery and corruption. It encourages organizations to self-report instances of bribery and corruption to avoid the consequences of a criminal conviction. In addition, the SFO can issue Section 2 notices under the Criminal Justice Act 1988, requiring individuals or businesses to provide documentation or attend compulsory interviews. We have experience of dealing with section 2 interviews.
Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) are a notable aspect of the SFO’s strategy. Through self-reporting and negotiation, companies can potentially avoid prosecution in exchange for meeting specific requirements, such as paying fines or implementing stringent compliance measures.
Preparing for Dawn Raids
Bribery investigations can lead to unannounced visits by the authorities, often referred to as “dawn raids.” Companies and individuals must be prepared to handle these situations effectively. This includes knowing your legal rights, having a pre-established protocol for employees, and seeking expert legal counsel to navigate the complexities of such investigations.
Implementing Anti-Bribery Measures
To protect themselves from potential liability, companies must establish and maintain comprehensive anti-bribery policies and procedures. This includes:
- Conducting regular risk assessments to identify and mitigate bribery risks.
- Implementing clear and easily accessible policies that outline the company’s stance on bribery and corruption.
- Providing regular training to employees at all levels to ensure they understand their obligations under the Bribery Act.
- Establishing robust reporting mechanisms that encourage employees to report suspicious activity without fear of retaliation.
- Conducting due diligence on business partners, suppliers, and clients to ensure they adhere to the company’s anti-bribery policies.
Defences under the Bribery Act 2010
Under the Bribery Act 2010, a commercial organisation can successfully defend itself against bribery allegations by proving that it had sufficient procedures in place to prevent bribery by associated persons. To establish this defence, the organization must demonstrate, on the balance of probabilities, that its anti-bribery measures were comprehensive, effectively implemented, and regularly reviewed to ensure ongoing compliance and prevention.
In today’s increasingly regulated environment, businesses and individuals must remain vigilant and proactive in preventing bribery and corruption. By understanding the legal landscape, implementing effective anti-bribery measures, and seeking expert legal advice when necessary, companies can protect their reputation and avoid severe legal consequences.
If you need assistance with any aspect of bribery or corruption allegations, our team of experienced corruption and bribery defence lawyers are here to help. We have a clear understanding of the Bribery Act and can assist you in navigating the complexities of the law to safeguard your business and personal interests.
Contact our Bribery and Corruption Defence Solicitors
The Bribery Act 2010 is a complex area of law and it is important to work with a solicitor who has experience and understanding of both the legal position and the processes involved. We have the expertise to represent you and your business in investigations and against corruption or bribery charges.