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 Standards and Regulations (StaRs)

As well as complying with BA 2010, we also have SRA regulatory obligations.

The SRA Standards and Regulations 2019 (StaRs) set out the standards and requirements it expects firms to achieve and observe, for the benefit of clients and in the public interest.

The SRA requires you to:

  1. act in a way that upholds public trust and confidence in the solicitors’ profession and in legal services provided by authorised persons

  2. act with independence, and

  3. act with integrity

  4. have effective governance structures, arrangements, systems and controls in place that ensure you comply with all the SRA’s regulatory arrangements as well as other regulatory and legislative requirements that apply to you, and

  5. report promptly to the SRA any facts or matters we reasonably believe are capable of