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Anti-Bribery & Corruption

Pinsent Masons can help you understand the UK Anti-Bribery and Corruption laws and comply with them in the jigsaw of your worldwide compliance obligations.

What is it?

If your business has connections with the UK you probably need to comply with broad new UK anti-corruption laws.

Bribing, receiving a bribe, bribing a foreign public official and importantly failing to prevent bribery are offences wherever they take place worldwide.

Whether you know about it or not on top of your own obligations your business is likely to be criminally responsible for bribery by business partners providing services to your business worldwide if your business was intended to benefit, or benefits, directly or indirectly.

There is a defence. Businesses which put in place ‘Adequate Procedures’ to prevent bribery are shielded from successful prosecution under the Bribery Act for failure to prevent bribery. The UK's Serious Fraud Office has identified their long arm jurisdiction and the new failure to prevent bribery offence as the most important features of the new law. Politicians and prosecution authorities have signalled a tough new enforcement approach.

What happens if you get it wrong?

Individuals risk prison. Businesses risk unlimited fines, blacklisting from EU contracts and forfeiture of proceeds of illegal deals.

Let us help you

We can help you comply and put in place policies, systems and controls to prevent bribery and corruption and provide a defence to a criminal allegation of bribery.

The law may be black and white but we understand that from time to time businesses need help navigating the grey areas. We can advise and guide you.

What happens if you uncover an issue or you are subject to criminal investigations?

We routinely provide pragmatic, commercial and strategic advice on these sensitive issues. We defend criminal prosecutions and we also liaise and negotiate with regulators and prosecution authorities to achieve the best possible outcome. With the right advice criminal prosecution may be averted.

How do we do that?

  • Review and updating compliance programmes.
  • Providing training and awareness courses to management, employees and business partners, including e-learning solutions.
  • Advising on monitoring compliance systems and controls.
  • Due diligence on existing operations. We can deploy large teams worldwide on short notice.
  • Due diligence on M&A deals. We can also liaise with prosecution authorities in order to obtain comfort that past crimes will not come back to haunt buyers.
  • We carry out independent investigations into suspected bribery and corruption which assist you in quickly establishing facts, taking action and laying the foundations for a constructive dialogue with regulators. In some cases our investigation can be instead of a criminal investigation.
  • Liaison and negotiation with prosecution authorities in order to obtain the best outcome.
  • Defending criminal prosecutions.

Key Contacts