Guidance on the delayed UK Bribery Act 2010 has now been published. The guidance sets out what procedures a commercial organisation should adopt to prevent persons associated with it from committing offences under the Act. The breadth and importance of this legislation means that companies and their senior officers would be well advised to familiarise themselves with the effects of this new law.
In particular, the Act provides that "senior officers" (including non-board level managers) can "individually be held criminally liable" for a company’s bribery offences. The Act also includes extensive extra-territorial powers of prosecution similar to those found in the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") and the offences apply to acts of bribery in both the public and private sectors (unlike the FCPA).