Author: Azizur Rahman
2 May 2012
2 min read
With the Bribery Act set to come into effect, it will have serious repercussions for any company within the UK found to have any links with any kind of bribery.
Leading fraud solicitor Aziz Rahman, of Rahman Ravelli Solicitors, is currently assisting companies to ensure they comply with the terms of the Act.
He has taken time out to give us a quick, ten-point guide to the Act:
Rahman Ravelli solicitors are currently acting for a number of companies and individuals under investigation for alleged offences of bribing overseas public officials; Aziz Rahman, the firm's principal says; "we are certainly seeing an increasing willingness on the part of the authorities to take on these sorts of cases. The worry is that with the new Act the trend will increase and will catch business people whose intentions were not to, for example, 'obtain or retain' a business or an 'advantage' but simply to maintain a business relationship with a foreign local official, rather than secure some specific concrete reward." What is of even more concern is the new offence of failing to prevent bribery under s7 of the Act. Aziz Rahman worries for his clients; "whilst the aim of the section is laudable the burden of proof in establishing the defence of having adequate anti-corruption procedures in place is on the company. This risks criminalising companies who are doing their best but their best is not seen as good enough for a jury who maybe unimpressed by arguments about proportionate responses to risk. Even if there is a good defence being dragged through the Courts may cause reputational damage that innocent companies simply cannot afford."
The Act is due to come into force next month and will be a reality for all businesses, large and small.
Aziz Rahman is Senior Partner at Rahman Ravelli and its founder. His ability to coordinate national, international and multi-agency defences has led to success in some of the most significant corporate crime cases of this century and top rankings in international legal guides. He is recognised worldwide as one of the most capable legal experts regarding top-level, high-value commercial and financial disputes.