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Bribery Act 2010

20 December 2010

Andrew Shipley

Want to know about the Bribery Act 2010 from emita Director & Partner at Roythornes Solicitors Andrew Shipley?

New rules impose important obligations on all businesses and have particular relevance to those who work in areas where bribery is used in the course of business.


Under the Bribery Act 2010 (which is due to come into effect in April 2011), all businesses must put in place adequate measures to stop third parties that they are associated with using bribery to benefit their business.


Bribery is widely defined and includes, over generous hospitality, rebates that have no justification, and the small payments to oil the wheels of bureaucracy that are very common in many parts of the world.


These new rules shouldn't deter you from your efforts to export to markets such as those covered in emita’s forthcoming North Africa event but they do mean that you have to take additional steps to protect yourself.


Specifically you need to:-


  • Adopt a clear and unambiguous anti corruption and bribery policy.
  • Carry out risk assessments that relates both to the market you are dealing with, and the transactions you are about to take.
  • Put in place measures to stop bribery being used in those markets and transactions by companies that are associated with you.
  • Ensure that your policy is comprehensive and enforced.

Turning a blind eye to the activities of local agents is no longer an option.  High profile prosecutions are likely to be brought in the New Year.  The Act applies to businesses of all sizes and not only those who are dealing with foreign governments, though they are particularly vulnerable.  The indications are that construction, minerals extraction, pharmaceuticals and defence are the areas of activity that are most likely to be scrutinised, but all businesses are required to comply with the Act.


Should you have any specific queries or require any further information on the Bribery Act, please contact Andrew Shipley at Roythornes LLP on 0115 948 4555 or email 


Alternatively, Andrew will be available for free one to one meetings prior to the North Africa event on Wednesday 19 January. To book an appointment, please contact Elizabeth at emita on 0115 947 1767 or email




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Andrew My less formal take on the situation in my blog.regards Fred Parker The UK Bribery Act 2010 At a time when Britain more than ever needs a strong export culture as a driver for growth The Bribery Act 2010 is poised to put obstacles in the way of trade. Smaller firms are finding that instead of encouragement there is a climate of uncertainty and the troublesome possibility of finding themselves on the wrong side of the law .This is not to say that British companies wanting to export products or services gain unfair advantage over their competitors by bribing their customers to favour them with their business. It is that the Act as drafted that simply does not allow for customer expectations of a meal or small gift to be met. Norton Rose LLP the International commercial Law firm in their publication “UK Bribery Act Ten Things You Should Know” points out the strict guidelines of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act allows for small facilitation payments to officials to smooth the pathway of official procedures. The UK ‘Act makes no such exceptions causing confusion, frustration and consternation. The Act now delayed a second time is “Not fit for purpose” says John Cridland Director General of the CBI says and he is right, but for the smaller companies wishing to export the climate looks far from favourable. At the very time our government is looking for growth with Exports as the driver. This ill constructed, delayed, draconian legislation, stifles the process before growth through exports for the smaller firms can get up and running.

Fred Parker MentorEx
2011-02-02 16:39:06

Andrew, Fred's comment contains one of the key issues in this legislation that will have a negative impact on UK businesses: namley the issue of "facilitation payments". Even the US Administratiuon recognised that these represent the reality in certain markets and are inevitable if you wish to ensure clean customs clearance etc. The issue of gifts and meals is less important: cetainly my understanding is that a company can continue to entertain clients, but within a strict guidance policy - which we should all have in place anyway.

Andy Gibson
2011-02-07 12:06:46

Good point. I hadn't tohguht about it quite that way. :)

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