Bribery Act

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The spectre of the Bribery Act casts its long shadow over the business landscape, with the news that oil company agents allegedly paid bribes to officials. The company in the firing line was exploring opportunities and feasibility studies, and attracted the attention of undercover investigators who filmed the alleged bribes.
Agents and sales staff are under pressure to generate business opportunities in third world emerging markets — where local customs and Western business values don’t necessarily dovetail. Add the fact that agents and staff may be on commission, and the mix becomes toxic. The fallout is that companies at home are liable for the actions of parties acting on their behalf outside the jurisdiction!
The Bribery Act does contain defences; where a company adopts correct procedures to ensure compliance, prosecutions can be avoided.
As with most things regulatory in nature, it is easier to ignore them, and focus attention and resources on money generating activities. When it comes to the criminal law, though, burying your head in the sand is not an option: “ignorance of the law is no defence’ — particularly where there are undercover reporters recording the evidence for the prosecution.
Contact Andrew Henley for advice. He is Surrey’s own barrister, specialising in all matters crime and regulatory. Plus – he is very recently authorised to conduct litigation, so he is a one-stop shop for all your legal concerns.

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