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Bribery Act: When are 'adequate procedures' adequate enough?

Five years after the introduction of the Act, it has become clear that compliance is far more than just a box-ticking exercise, write Jonathan Pickworth, Deborah Williams, and Rebecca Findlay

4 August 2016

Love it or loathe it, the Bribery Act 2010 has put anti-corruption compliance on the boardroom agenda like nothing has done before.

When the Act was introduced into the UK in 2011, the most significant change to the pre-existing law was the establishment of the corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery. An organisation is now liable to prosecution if an associated person (who performs services for or on behalf of the company) bribes another, intending to obtain or retain business or an advantage in the conduct of business for that organisation.

Significantly, where organisations can prove that they have 'adequate procedures' in place designed to prevent such unlawful conduct, a full defence is available. But five years on, the question remains - how can a company ensure its 'adequate procedures' are adequate? What has become clear is that this is far more than just a 'box-t...

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