I mentioned briefly in my report of IQPC in Munich the lucid explanation given by Vivian Robinson QC, General Counsel of the Serious Fraud Office, of the implications of the UK Bribery Act 2010. The aspect which interests me in particular is the defence in paragraph 7 (2) of the Act that a company “had in place adequate procedures designed to prevent persons … from undertaking such conduct”. I suggested in my Munich article that companies who had hitherto felt able to ignore the costs and risks inherent in inadequate information management procedures might like to think again.
I will write more fully about this in due course. I thought it might be helpful for now to collect together some of the resources which have come my way about the Bribery Act and its implications.
An article by Ben Kerschberg in the Huffington Post is called Why corporate counsel must implement stringent corporate anti-corruption policies in 2011. It refers to both the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and the UK Bribery Act and describes the latter as “the new international gold standard in anti-corruption”. The article also summarises six principles set out by the UK Ministry of Justice in an easily digested form. I have not seen the detail behind this, but Fulbright & Jaworski apparently suggest that 11% of US respondents believe that the UK Bribery Act will impact the way that companies operate.
One of the best sources of constantly updated information about the Bribery Act is a website called thebriberyact.com maintained by Barry Vitou of Winston & Strawn’s London office and Richard Kovalevsky QC. You can follow them on Twitter as @theBriberyAct and can subscribe to their newsletter from the website.
I am booked to do a breakfast seminar for Iron Mountain with Barry Vitou in mid-February – more details to follow.