Law expert warns firms over new UK Bribery Act

BUSINESSMEN concerned that they may fall foul of the UK Bribery Act are probably right to be thinking that way.

John MacDonald

BUSINESSMEN concerned that they may fall foul of the UK Bribery Act are probably right to be thinking that way.

That was the message from lawyer John MacDonald, pictured, at a presentation to the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.

Mr MacDonald, an associate in the litigation and insolvency department at Appleby in Guernsey, said the new law came into force in the UK in July 2011 to replace old laws ‘riddled with uncertainty’ and created three main offences – offering bribes, not necessarily in the form of cash, receiving a bribe and bribing a foreign public official, with a new corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery committed by persons associated with the company.

‘The law is very broad,’ he added.

‘If you think you might be caught by the Bribery Act, then you’re probably right – technically. '