UK Bribery Act 2010: Has a Revolution in Corporate Governance Begun?

Matteo Grassani, Legal Counsel, BG Italia Power, Italy

On 1st July 2011, the UK Bribery Act 2010 (“Bribery Act) has entered into force , thus paving the way for a new stage in the battle to bribery and corruption. Not only criminal offences already present in the old law have now been reinforced by enhancing sentencing powers for the courts and reaffirming an offence relating to bribery of a foreign public official, but a specific new offence relating to commercial bribery was introduced, in the form of corporate liability for commercial organizations. In particular, failure of a commercial organization to prevent bribery from being committed on its behalf is now a criminal offence, which may lead to a fine of an unlimited amount. If anyone, falling under the one-size-fits all definition of “associated person” with a commercial organization, bribes another person, then the commercial organization also commits a criminal offence, unless it can prove that it had in place “adequate procedures” designed to prevent the associated persons from committing bribery. In other words, under the Bribery Act, the company may be found guilty, even if no one within the company knew of the bribery.

Read full paper Subscribe to the IICJ
Italy Corporate Governance Energy November 2011 Vol. 5, No. 17, Autumn 2011

Matteo Grassani

More

Matteo Grassani is head of legal at BG Italia (gas and electricity), Milan, Italy. He previously worked as head of legal at Endesa Italia (gas and electricity) for three years. He spent nine years in private practice, including at Clifford Chance and Chiomenti Rome. He is an Italian qualified lawyer, specialized in energy, project finance and corporate finance. He wrote articles on energy matters and since 2010 he holds lectures at LUISS University of Rome.

BG Italia Power

More

Italy Corporate Governance Energy November 2011 Vol. 5, No. 17, Autumn 2011