“Acting for corporates and individuals in matters covering the full gamut of business crime, BCL has earned ‘a profile that is entirely justified’.”
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In tandem with the increased activity by the UK criminal enforcement agencies in investigating and prosecuting particular instances of bribery and corruption, recent years have also seen a greater focus on implementing measures designed to minimize the risk that such offences are committed.
Taking aim at corrupt practices in corporate culture, the Bribery Act 2010 criminalises the failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery but provides a specific defence where those organisations can show they had in place “adequate” preventative procedures. The legislation avoids prescribing the steps which corporates must take to establish the adequacy of their procedures. Instead, the UK Government has issued guidance which promotes a risk-based and proportionate approach, tailoring preventative measures to the nature, size and complexity of each individual organisation, and requiring monitoring and review of the risks faced and preventative steps taken as businesses grow and develop.
Mirroring the non-prescriptive approach adopted by the Government’s “adequate procedures” guidance, the Financial Conduct Authority has also issued guidance for regulated firms, which includes the introduction of appropriate procedures designed to manage the risk of financial crimes such as bribery. Enforcement action may be taken by the regulator where firms are found to have inadequate systems and controls to combat such offences.
With many years’ experience of dealing with anti-bribery and corruption legislation, BCL provides compliance advice and assistance to SMEs, national and multi-national companies, as well as undertaking internal investigations and dealing with regulators and enforcement agencies on behalf of both witnesses and those under scrutiny by the authorities.