Hospitality and promotional expenditure
Produced in partnership with Joanna Dimmock of White & Case

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with Joanna Dimmock of White & Case provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Hospitality and promotional expenditure
  • Corporate response
  • Offences
  • Government and prosecutorial guidance
  • Norms and standards
  • Lavish expenditure
  • Connection with legitimate business
  • Timing
  • Concealed expenditure
  • If you suspect an offence has been committed

Hospitality and promotional expenditure

Almost every business and everyone involved in the carrying on of a trade incorporates an element of hospitality to existing or potential business partners in some form or other.

Hospitality and promotional expenditure encompass a range of activity from providing pens marked with company logos to charter flights to foreign countries followed by expansive (and expensive) meals and entertainment.

The problem is that the Bribery Act 2010 (BA 2010) itself does not provide any statutory assistance as to what is acceptable and what is not. Knowing what you can and cannot properly do can therefore be difficult and is a matter of judgment.

Assistance has been provided from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the prosecuting authorities in the following documents:

  1. the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) document, ‘Bribery Act 2010: Joint Prosecution Guidance of the Director of the Serious Fraud Office and the Director of Public Prosecutions’ (the SFO/Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidance) (available here). Note this guidance is jointly produced with the CPS and is also available on the CPS website, and

  2. the MoJ document, ‘The Bribery Act 2010—Guidance about procedures which relevant commercial organisations can put into place to prevent persons associated with them from bribing’ (the MoJ guidance) (available here)

The SFO/CPS guidance states on p 10:

‘Hospitality or promotional expenditure which is reasonable, proportionate and made in good faith is an established and

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