The Bribery Act has transformed the UK law on combating bribery, replacing a number of historically fragmented and complex offences and creating a unified and extended law that carries heavy penalties for wrongdoers.
The new Act signals a fundamental change in the UK’s approach to prosecuting corruption and the authorities have already made significant investment in enforcement capabilities. This change in approach is underlined by a growing number of high-profile actions taken against corporates recently.
The Act goes significantly further than the provisions of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), in particular covering all bribery, whether or not it involves a public official. With the Bribery Act comes an urgent need for business to re-examine its approach to managing bribery risk and to ask whether its current procedures are adequate.