Anti-bribery—establishing adequate procedures—law firms
Anti-bribery—establishing adequate procedures—law firms

The following Practice Compliance guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Anti-bribery—establishing adequate procedures—law firms
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Assessing the risk of bribery
  • Who is responsible for anti-bribery procedures?
  • Key features of an anti-bribery policy
  • Implementing your anti-bribery and corruption policy
  • Monitoring and reviewing your anti-bribery and corruption procedures

It is an offence to pay or receive a bribe under the Bribery Act 2010 (BA 2010). Companies and partnerships will also commit an offence where a bribe is paid on their behalf. See further: The Bribery Act 2010—an introductory guide and Failing to prevent bribery.

It is a defence to have adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery.

This Practice Note explains how law firms can put in place those procedures.

Regulatory requirements

The Law

The Law relating to bribery and corruption is found in the BA 2010 (see: The Bribery Act 2010—an introductory guide).

SRA Handbook

The SRA requires you to:SRA Principles 2011

  1. uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice

  2. act with integrity

  3. behave in a way that maintains public trust, and

  4. comply with your legal and regulatory obligations—including any legislation applicable to your businessSRA Code of Conduct 2011, O(7.5)

Taking anti-bribery and corruption legislation seriously plays a key role in achieving these regulatory requirements.

Guidance

The Ministry of Justice issued guidance on adequate procedures, as it is required to do under the BA 2010.MoJ The Bribery Act 2010 guidance

The guidance is intended to help firms understand the types of procedures they can put in place to prevent bribery. It's formulated around six guiding principles, each followed by commentary and examples.

The guidance is not prescriptive and departures from the suggested procedures contained in the guidance will not of itself give rise to a presumption that an organisation does not have adequate procedures.

The Law Society also issued guidance in the form of a practice note on the Bribery Act 2010. The practice note explains the provisions of