Bribery Act 2010 Update

February 2011

March 31st 2011 Addendum: Please note that a date has now been set for the Bribery Act to come into force (July 2011) and government guidance is now available. Simply-docs will be publishing guidance during April 2011.

The original date for the implementation of the Bribery Act 2010 (the “Act”) was April 2011. However, the government has recently indicated that this deadline is now to be postponed.

The government is also obliged, by virtue of Section 9 of the Act to publish illustrative guidance. This guidance, when published, will define the “adequate measures” that a business should have in place in order to prove that it is taking relevant steps to prevent acts of bribery as defined by the Act. Following pressure from UK businesses, the publication date for this has also been delayed and the Ministry of Justice have not yet confirmed any publication date.

Once the Bribery Act 2010 is in force it will supersede the current UK anti-corruption laws. There has been some debate regarding the clarity of the Bribery Act, particularly with regard to the definition of a bribe. Others suggest that this legislation is more draconian than in any other jurisdiction. US laws concerning bribery, for example, at least view facilitation payments as tolerable.

It has been suggested that the impact on individuals will be minimal however the pressure on corporate bodies to monitor their business practices will increase significantly.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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