The Bribery Act What your Business Needs To Know

8th February 2013
The Bribery Act What your Business Needs To Know image

The Bribery Act

The Bribery Act 2010 came into force on 1st July 2011. It principally created 4 new offences as follows:-

1. Paying a bribe

It is an offence to offer, promise or give a financial or other advantage for the purpose of bringing an improper performance of a function or activity.

2. Receiving a bribe

It is also an offence to request, agree to or receive a financial or other advantage for the purpose of bringing about an improper performance of a function or activity or to request, agree to or receive a reward for having done so.

3. Bribing a foreign public official

It is an offence to offer, promise or give a financial or other advantage to a foreign public official where such advantage is not permitted under the written law applicable to that foreign official, and it is done with the intention that this would influence the foreign official in the performance of his duties as a public official and must intend to secure business or to obtain a business advantage.

4. The corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery

A business commits an offence if a person associated with it bribes another person with an intention of obtaining or retaining either business or a business advantage for that organisation.

It is a defence if the business can show that they have put in place “adequate procedures” to prevent bribery.

First Prosecution

In November 2011 the first prosecution under the Bribery Act 2010 took place when a Court Clerk (Munir Yakub Patel) was jailed for three years for bribery. He admitted receiving £500 in exchange for “getting rid” of the details of a traffic summons.

The sentence clearly showed the intention of the act to be a powerful deterrent to bribery, for both individuals and businesses.

In July 2012 a report by Ernst & Young suggested businesses may have been getting complacent about the risks of prosecution under the Bribery Act as no corporate prosecution had commenced. However the Serious Fraud Office in October 2012 made an announcement that it was radically changing its guidance on prosecution, suggesting that it would be more inclined to bring prosecutions against businesses than previously had been the case. Hence we believe that it is essential that you have proper procedures against bribery in place now, especially as for example corporate hospitality could amount to a bribe unless it has a legitimate business aim, is reasonable, proportionate and appropriate in the circumstances.

What does your business need to do to avoid the risk of a prosecution?

If your business does not have “adequate procedures” in place, then it faces the risk of unlimited fines if it fails to prevent bribery. What will be considered as adequate will depend upon what is proportionate given the facts and circumstances of the business and the bribery risks that it faces.

At Maples we can advise you on how to ensure that your existing procedures (if any) can be adjusted (if required) to maintain a statutory defence for your business against bribery, or if you have no procedures we can draft a procedure that is bespoke to your business.

Daven Naghen, part of our Litigation Team, says “It is absolutely essential for every business, no matter how small or large or whatever its line of business, to have an anti-bribery procedure in place and then not only follow it but monitor and review it regularly to ensure that the business does not end up facing untold damage to its reputation and an unlimited fine causing financial ruin.

We can sort out your procedures and advise you as to implementation, monitoring and review in such a manner that is most suitable to your business.”

If you require guidance on the Bribery Act 2010 then please contact Daven on 01775 722261 or email daven.naghen@maplessolicitors.com or write to Daven at 23 New Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 1DH.


How Banks are Cashing in on Wills image

How Banks are Cashing in on Wills

Recent headlines have reported how banks are now cashing in on Wills.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, banks offered customers low cost Wills (or sometimes even free Wills) but the small print allowed the bank to charge extortionate rates to act as Executors. It is reported that banks are expecting billions of pounds of revenue from their Will writing services and administering estates and in some cases their fees have been over £12,000 to administer an estate as they look to charge a fixed fee PLUS a percentage of the deceased’s wealth.

If you or a loved one has made a Will through a bank we would urge you to check who you have appointed as Executors and check any small print which you may have signed. If you are unsure then please speak with one of our lawyers in the Wills and Probate team who can look at your existing Will with you. It may be appropriate to make a new Will which revokes any previous Will you have made which could save your family thousands of pounds when your estate needs to be administered.

In the majority of cases, when someone has passed away we can provide the family with a quote of how much the legal fees will be so that there are no nasty surprises once the administration is complete.

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Testimonials

Gemma Mayer LLB

"I would highly recommend Maples Solicitors, especially Gemma Mayer, for any conveyancing work. The level of support and professionalism was excellent at all times. I also felt if I needed to ask or clarify anything that it was not an issue. Buying and selling a house is stressful enough, but Gemma helped me through it step by step."

Anita Toal LLB BA

"I think you are brilliant. You can use my comments above. You are efficient, friendly and quite clearly very good at what you do. Mainly you don’t leave people hanging around too long for." "So easy to talk to her and she understood what I wanted. She put me at ease and I cant thank her enough"

Daven Naghen LLB

"Daven provided an excellent service, from attending the first interview with me to the final court appearance. He filled me full of confidence that he would defend me to which he did and come out with an excellent outcome in view of my position that I had put myself in."

Faye Blair LLB

Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional.

Jamie Dobbs ACILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

Mike Pepper gave us excellent advice. He was always most helpful and accommodating giving lucid explanations every step of the way. Thank you Mike.

Claire Smith FCILEx

Claire Smith has been amazing in every way. I highly recommend her and I am so grateful for all her help. She’s professional on all levels, reliable, extremely organised and I will be recommending her to everyone. I’m very lucky to have had her representing me and I can’t thank her enough. She is an asset to Maples. Thanks so much Claire!