Written by Andrew Briggs and Lisa Navarro

The UK’s Bribery Act 2010 (the “Act”) will come into force on 1 July 2011. The accompanying guidance from the Ministry of Justice (“MoJ”), Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) and Director of Public Prosecutions (“DPP”) was published on 29 March 2011. Many companies’ minds will, therefore, now focus on its implications for day-to-day business. In order to prepare suitable guidelines for employees, and to establish a consistent policy for compliance, it is inevitable that much discussion has focused on what can truly be considered unacceptable conduct under the Act. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the area causing the most consternation, and creating the most column inches, is the issue of corporate hospitality or, more precisely, at what point does a beer become a bribe? Some reassurances as to what is acceptable, and what might attract enforcement action, have been included in the MoJ’s final guidance. As this alert will show, however, the MoJ’s comments simply confirm the position as it has always been based on the wording of the Act itself.
Continue Reading Bribery Act 2010: Corporate hospitality – or when is a beer a bribe?