Are You Prepared For The UK Bribery Act?
March 30, 2011
The UK Ministry of Justice has published the long-awaited government guidance on the new anti-corruption legislation on public and private bribery offenses in the UK (the “Guidance”). The Bribery Act 2010 (the “Act”) received Royal Assent on April 8, 2010 and will now, after extended delay, come into force on July 1, 2011. The Act has far-reaching territorial scope, and international clients should note that these new provisions may impact businesses which have, on the face of it, limited nexus to the UK. The Act is more stringent, in certain ways, than the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977 (“FCPA”). For example, unlike the FCPA the Act does not provide a safe-harbor for “facilitation payments”. It also catches bribery of private sector employees.
This memorandum summarizes the Ministry of Justice’s Guidance on the scope of the bribery offenses and steps that businesses should take to avoid falling foul of the far-reaching Bribery regime.