The UK government’s Anti-Corruption Newsletter for Summer 2019, supported by ‘Anti-Corruption Champion’ John Penrose, MP for Weston-super-Mare, covers the latest developments in anti-corruption over
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Written by Kara M. Bombach | Lisa Navarro

Since the UK’s Bribery Act 2010 came into force (on July 1, 2011) the last 18 months have not been filled with the enforcement activity some expected or hoped for. Rather than headline-grabbing dawn raids by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), or big name take-downs, the first case to reach prosecution was of a much lower profile. The lack of big name cases does not mean, however, that the enforcement authorities have been lax, nor that the Bribery Act is toothless.

Initial Prosecutions under the Bribery Act

The first prosecution under the Bribery Act involved a magistrates court clerk, the subject of a “sting” reporting operation by the Sun newspaper. Caught (and filmed) accepting cash bribes of around £500 in return for not recording driving offences in the court database (thereby helping people to avoid driving bans), the clerk was convicted in October 2011 of bribery and misconduct in public office. A three-year prison term was imposed for the bribery offence. Although the clerk was found to have been accepting the bribes since 2009, the prosecution was based on the one 2011 offence that occurred after the Bribery Act entered into force.
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Written by Andrew Briggs and Lisa Navarro

As the foreword to the Ministry of Justice’s (“MoJ”) recently released guidance on the Bribery Act 2010 (the “Act”) reminds us, one of the Government’s aims in pushing forward with this legislation is to create “a level playing field” with regards to the eradication of bribery. The Government recognised that by taking a more stringent approach to certain issues, such as facilitation payments, than other regimes (e.g. the US’ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or “FCPA”), it ran the risk of placing UK companies at a competitive disadvantage when operating in foreign countries. To minimise those risks, it became important to ensure that the Act had as broad a jurisdictional scope as possible. In the run up to the publication of the MoJ’s guidance, however, there was some heavyweight lobbying in favour of restricting, or at least clarifying, the jurisdictional provisions. This Alert considers, therefore, to what degree do foreign companies need to pay heed to the Act.
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