Reed Smith Client Alert

The UK Ministry of Justice ("MoJ") has announced the timetable for when the UK Bribery Act 2010 ("the Act") will come into force and for the preparation of the statutory guidance as to what constitutes "adequate procedures" for the purposes of the new corporate offence.

The MoJ announcement states that:

  • the Act will come into force in April 2011 (a year after it received royal assent); and
  • in September 2010 the Government will launch a short consultation exercise on the adequate procedures guidance. The final form of this guidance will be published early in 2011 to allow businesses time to implement changes to their procedures before the Act comes into force.

The Act creates a new corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery. It is a defence for a commercial organisation to show that it had in place adequate procedures designed to prevent bribery. It will be crucial therefore for businesses that are covered by the Act to review their anti-corruption policies and procedures in the light of the new guidance and implement any changes before the Act comes into force.

More information about the Act can be found in our Client Briefing Note "The Bribery Act 2010".