Corruption & Bribery
EBR Attridge’s Serious Fraud team understands the need for proactive business advice in this complex area of ‘Bribery and Corruption’ legislation. There are currently over a dozen different acts which outlaw Bribery and Corruption, some of which date back to the nineteenth century.
In order to define what amounts to Bribery and Corruption is a difficult task but with the help of one of our dedicated team members you can be assured that you will be given the best advice at the earliest opportunity.
The new Bribery Act came into force on 1st July 2011 and has had a considerable impact on the criminal exposure of corporations, partnerships and senior personnel that do business in the UK. Companies and individuals found guilty of any of the offences in the Bribery Act 2010 will be liable for significant fines, which may be unlimited in respect of the corporate offence. Individuals will also be liable to a term of imprisonment up to a maximum of 10 years.
The Bribery Act provides for:
- Offences of giving and receiving bribes, in both the public and private sectors;
- An offence of bribing a foreign public official;
- Corporate liability for failing to prevent bribery;
- Personal criminal liability for senior officers of a company that commits a bribery offence with the consent or the connivance of that senior officer – this includes, for example directors, managers and company secretaries.
The above new Act firmly places the responsibility on organisations to ensure that their anti-corruption procedures will protect them from potential criminal liability and unlimited fines. Companies will not only be responsible for the activities of their employees, but also of their agents and affiliates. This will require enhanced due diligence and systems and controls of those working with you. Protecting yourself and your company demands a robust approach to corporate governance to address the new changes to the law. Areas of particular concern include corporate hospitality, facilitation and payments and commissions.
At EBR Attridge we understand that having substantial experience in representing individual suspects and witnesses of interest to UK and foreign agencies investigating alleged corruption and bribery is key. The firm also handles internal company investigations, acting for witnesses as well as for companies, sometimes in conjunction with teams of other lawyers in the UK and internationally.
UK investigations are usually undertaken by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in conjunction with the police. In other cases, the Crown Prosecution Service or the Financial Services Authority may also be involved. We have acted in many of these investigations either for witnesses compelled to assist the SFO or for suspects.
It is therefore vital to take expert legal advice from a specialist firm of fraud solicitors skilled in dealing with these complex and intimidating allegations, charges and prosecutions involving Corruption and Bribery. We at EBR Attridge can confidently say we are familiar and versed with the investigatory practices of organisations such as HM Revenue and Customs, National Crime Agency, Serious Fraud Office, City of London Economic Unit, Financial Conduct Authority, Trading Standards and many more.
If you are being investigated or prosecuted, please make an appointment to see a specialist fraud Solicitor who can attend upon you by telephone, face-to-face or online.