To say that corruption is now under increasing scrutiny is a huge understatement.
Organisations tackling bribery and corruption in the UK and abroad are now working closer together than at any other time. They have the technology that makes it easier than ever before to investigate an individual, a company or organisation and then share their findings. They also have the Bribery Act.
Rahman Ravelli always puts together an expert, experienced defence team tailored to every client's needs, whether it is a company or individual. We believe that treating each corruption allegation individually is crucial to a client's chances of success – especially in this era of the Bribery Act and high technology.
Our experience and success in managing global corruption cases in recent years has made us the logical choice for those requiring representation in bribery investigations.
We have represented corporates and individuals in many high-profile corruption investigations and proceedings, both domestically and internationally. Rahman Ravelli was involved in the first prosecution under Section 7 of the Bribery Act; which relates to the failure of a commercial organisation to prevent bribery.
DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENTS
Rahman Ravelli’s lawyers also handle cases involving deferred prosecution agreements (DPA’s). A DPA leads to a company reporting, admitting and then paying a penalty for wrongdoing and subjecting itself to stringent conditions to prevent any further illegal activity. Our expertise in dealing with both the Serious Fraud Office and the National Crime Agency makes us a logical legal representative for a company looking to secure a DPA.
BRIBERY ACT 2010
The Act came into effect in July 2011. It is a far-reaching piece of legislation that covers the activities of UK companies and individuals all over the world. The Act is a strong deterrent to anyone thinking of turning to bribery – and a big incentive to ensure they comply with the law.
Under the Act, it is an offence to bribe someone, receive a bribe, bribe a foreign official or fail as a commercial organisation to prevent bribery. It applies to all UK-based organisations and individuals. But it also covers activities carried out anywhere in the world by them, agents acting for them, their trading partners and anyone else with an established connection to them.
The Act can make a firm’s senior staff personally liable for the bribery if they knew about it. Penalties can include jail sentences of up to 10 years, unlimited fines, seizure of assets and debarment from winning public contracts. Punishments will be heaviest if the bribery is either repeated or premeditated.
At Rahman Ravelli, we are skilled in using all avenues to establish the strongest possible defence to bribery allegations. The lack of Bribery Act cases coming to court so far means there is little precedent to work from. This makes it even more important that anyone under investigation has a legal team capable of using any or all aspects of the Act and an expertise in working practices to mount the strongest defence.
Expertise and Experience
At any given time, Rahman Ravelli is using its skilled legal teams and instructing expert counsel to defend clients in complex, multi-agency corruption cases; both here and across the world. Our International Regulatory and Corporate Crime Division specialises in bribery and corruption cases here and abroad. These cases may involve millions or billions of dollars, span countries, governments and agencies and involve various business sectors.
Rahman Ravelli's designated teams of lawyers and our worldwide network of colleagues are always ready to provide comprehensive advice and representation, from the initial corruption investigations and police station interviews through to charge and crown court trial. The worst possible scenario is that an innocent person or organisation is caught up in allegations of corruption. We do whatever it takes to help people show they have done their best to behave ethically and legally.
Preventative advice and Compliance
We also believe in taking action to reduce the potential for trouble. We are hired for our expertise by organisations who want to make sure the working procedures they have in place are sufficiently corruption-proof to prevent any accusations of bribery being made against them. See compliance under commercial services.
In such situations, we examine the existing procedures and make recommendations on what should be changed to make the organisation more resistant to corruption.
Our bribery and corruption solicitors believe the strongest defence against any possible accusation is pro-active action to devise and execute anti-bribery policies to prevent wrongdoing. Taking 'adequate measures' is the only defence under the Act. If that is not done there is always the risk of an investigation.