The Impact of the UK Bribery Act on U.S. Companies

Securities Docket put on another fantastic webcast on topics relevant to compliance professionals. Today’s focused on the upcoming Bribery Act in the United Kingdom. If your company has operations in the United Kingdom, you need to pay attention to this law.

The upcoming law applies to individuals and companies and outlaws bribes to public officials and private individuals. That makes it broader than the US FCPA. There is also a new corporate offense for failure to prevent bribery. Conviction can have jail sentences up to 10 years and provides for unlimited fines.

Webcast Presenters:

  • Vivian Robinson QC, general counsel to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office
  • Barry Vitou, partner in Winston & Strawn’s London office
  • Richard Kovalevsky QC, 2 Bedford Row
  • David Childers, CEO of EthicsPoint

For compliance professionals, the key will be putting “adequate procedures” in place inside the business to prevent bribery. We are still waiting for the UK government to publish guidance on that standard.  One recommendation from the panel was to look at Transparency International’s Adequate Procedures – Guidance to the UK Bribery Act 2010.

It’s not an offense if you lack “adequate procedures.” It is merely a defense to the charge against the company for violation of the Bribery Act.

You can watch a rebroadcast of the webcast and download the materials