R&I spotlight on bribery law
Produced in partnership with Philip Ryan, Hayley Saunders and Aaron Harlow of Shoosmiths LLP
R&I spotlight on bribery law

The following Restructuring & Insolvency guidance note Produced in partnership with Philip Ryan, Hayley Saunders and Aaron Harlow of Shoosmiths LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • R&I spotlight on bribery law
  • Principal legislation
  • Relevance of bribery legislation relevant to insolvency practitioners
  • Insolvency situations where bribery issues arise
  • Identifying a bribery issue
  • Protective steps

Principal legislation

The main legislation governing this area is:

  1. the Bribery Act 2010 (BA 2010)

  2. the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002)

  3. the Fraud Act 2006 (FA 2006)

Bribery Act 2010

BA 2010 came into force on 1 July 2011. It sets out four bribery offences which can be committed by corporations and individuals, has wide territorial jurisdiction and imposes severe sanctions. A bribe is defined as ‘a financial or other advantage’ so is not confined to monetary payments.

Penalties for a corporation are an unlimited fine and for an individual they are up to ten years imprisonment. Companies convicted under the legislation can be permanently barred from tendering for public sector contracts under the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, SI 2006/5. In addition to any criminal penalty, a company can also be fined by a sectoral regulator (eg the Financial Conduct Authority). Individuals convicted of an offence can be disqualified from being a statutory director in the UK for up to 15 years.

The four offences under BA 2010 are:

  1. an offence covering the offer, promise or giving of a bribe (active bribery)

  2. an offence covering the requesting, agreeing to receive or acceptance of a bribe (passive bribery)

  3. a separate offence of bribing a foreign public official (with the intention of influencing or intending to obtain/retain business)

  4. a corporate offence where