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Financial Sector set for new UK Bribery Act shake up

The Bribery Act 2010 was given royal assent in April 2010 and is expected to come into force in April 2011. With it comes a wave of changes which renovate the previous anti-bribery legal framework to the extent that many city ‘fat cats’ will be left standing on thin ice.

Of particular concern will no doubt be the criminal sanctions available to prosecuting authorities which will allow them to bring criminal charges against both multinational organisations and individual executives. A marked change is the relative ease at which prosecutors will be able to bring such prosecutions when considering the previous anti-bribery/corruption laws.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has recently articulated its stance that those firms persistently flouting the law to gain business return will be met with their sword. On the face of it, this revolutionary act shows all the key tenants to empower a legal massacre.

Amongst some of the key changes that the act brings in is the fact that it creates new offences such as bribing or being bribed, bribing foreign public officials, failure of a commercial orgainsation to prevent bribery as well as defining exactly how much criminal liability can be attributed to “senior officers” who “consent or connive” in the commission of an offence.

The Jurisdictional powers of this act even extend to offences which have taken place entirely outside of the United Kingdom (UK) provided the offender has a “close connection” with the UK.

At MPR Solicitors, we have experienced Fraud and Litigation lawyers who can advise and assist executives on the intricacies of new financial legislation. Our lawyers have experience of handling major financial misconduct matters and offer a first rate service for high profile clients by providing diligent representation and maintaining the strictest confidentiality at all times.

Contact our experts for further advice