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.


Who Will You Be Entrusting With Your Conveyancing? image

Who Will You Be Entrusting With Your Conveyancing?

WHO WILL YOU BE ENTRUSTING WITH YOUR CONVEYANCING WORK?  THE CHOICE IS YOURS!

Are the selling agents or perhaps the mortgage broker pushing or trying to persuade you to use a particular conveyancing firm? If so, we would strongly recommend that you ask the following pertinent questions so that, armed with all relevant facts, you are better able to make a reasoned decision:-

Why?

Are the agents receiving a kickback or referral payment from the firm concerned? Using a firm in cahoots with an estate agency inevitably leads to a potential conflict of interest. Will such firm be working in your best interests or simply those of the introducer? Here at Maples we pride ourselves on being completely independent and we consider the idea of a referral fee both abhorrent and unethical. We much prefer to obtain our work based on past performance and recommendation.

How Much?

Do not be misled by a seemingly attractive basic figure initially quoted but be sure to enquire about and read the small print for add ons for so called “extras” (such as mortgage costs, preparation of a stamp duty land tax return, telegraphic transfer fees and the like) which suddenly spring up at a later date and only become apparent in the firm’s final statement. Ensure that you are comparing like for like. Here at Maples, we give you a complete and all inclusive rundown of our professional charges and all disbursements at the outset, with no hidden extras.

Where?

Is the firm local or, as is more likely, based in a completely different part of the country? If the latter, then the transaction will, without a doubt, be dealt with by post, phone or email and lack any personal contact. Here at Maples we are fully accessible, like to meet our clients to discuss and advise upon the transaction face to face and share with you the benefit of our wealth of local knowledge and experience.

Who?

Will you actually be aware as to who will be dealing with the matter for you or will you simply be a reference or matter number at the end of a phone in a firm dealing with volume conveyancing? Here at Maples, you will be assigned to your own experienced and dedicated conveyancer who will be responsible for and deal with the transaction for you from beginning to end, with a high level of personal service throughout.

Making a hasty and bad appointment could seriously prejudice or delay your transaction and cost you dearly. Getting honest answers to these four simple questions at the outset could make all the difference.

To discuss any Conveyancing matters please contact either Claire Smith or Anita Zaborniak of our Conveyancing Team or telephone the office 01775 722261.

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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

"I felt the service I got from Maples was excellent and was very honest all through the process. I would recommend Maples as a first class Solicitors group"

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

This is the second time we have used Mike Pepper at Maples Solicitors in the sale of our house. We cannot praise Mike enough for the highly efficient and professional service that he has provided us with. He is by far the best solicitor we have ever worked with, and the service that he has provided us with has gone far and beyond anything we have ever experienced. We have found the whole process to be a very relaxing experience.

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!

Anita Zaborniak

We found it a pleasure to deal with Anita Zaborniak, she was most helpful and informative and kept us up to date with the progress of the purchase of our new home. If we were to move again we wouldn’t hesitate to use Maples again.