The UK Bribery Act 2010 establishes company liability for corrupt acts committed by persons acting on behalf of the company. The Act prohibits bribery of public officials and business-to-business bribery. With global jurisdiction, companies can be held liable in the UK for acts of corruption committed by employees, agents or subsidiaries anywhere in the world. Unlike the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Bribery Act does not distinguish between small and large bribery payments, meaning facilitation payments are prohibited.
The Bribery Act provides a full legal defense where a company has implemented ‘adequate procedures’ prior to an offense. This can be established through adherence to the Six Principles (see our Compliance Guide for detailed information):
Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPA) fall between full prosecution and no prosecution. DPAs are at the discretion of the prosecution and require a number of considerations to be fulfilled (see the DPAs Code of Practice).