UK Bribery Act - Recent Developments, Threats and Vulnerabilities and the Role of Leadership

Gavin Sinclair, MACCS, UK

As we approach the first anniversary of the UK Bribery Act (UKBA) this summer there will be tendency for busy corporate counsel to heave a huge sigh of relief that measures which were hyped as draconian in many quarters have been something of a damp squib. Senior executives have turned to other more pressing business priorities, reassured that the company code of conduct is in place and that compliance responsibilities have been allocated. The expected shock of numerous high profile enforcement actions has not materialised, (yet!), and much of the comment and debate has been about procedural matters, such as the merits of introducing US style deferred prosecution agreements. The midwife to the new act, Richard Alderman, has moved on and we wait to see how his successor as Director, David Green, will develop the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) – apparently we should expect greater emphasis on prosecutions. However, although it hasn’t exactly dominated the headlines, all has not been quiet on the enforcement front. In August last year a junior UK court official called Munir Patel had the dubious distinction of being the first prosecution under the UKBA and received a six year sentence – not exactly the blue chip denouement of corporate dirty dealings in foreign parts that were expected from the Act.

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United Kingdom Corporate Governance Consultant August 2012 Vol. 5, No. 20, Summer 2012

Gavin Sinclair

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Gavin Sinclair is a UK-based former corporate lawyer who now specialises in anti-corruption compliance. Before becoming an independent consultant, Gavin also spent three years with a US multinational as Vice President of Compliance. Gavin has practical experience of the design and implementation of ethics and compliance programs, including risk assessment, dealing with agents and joint ventures, delivering effective training, and reporting and investigation in many countries. Before specialising in anti-corruption compliance, Gavin worked for over 20 years as an international in house counsel gaining wide experience of cross border mergers and acquisitions, international joint ventures, contracting, litigation and dispute resolution. He has worked in Europe, the Former Soviet Union, Africa, the US, Latin America, India and the Far East. In light of the introduction of the UK Bribery Act and the ever increasing development and enforcement of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the need to keep ahead of regulatory change is more important than ever.

MACCS

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Menas Anti-Corruption Compliance Services (MACCS) is a joint venture between leading political risk consultancy Menas Associates and Gavin Sinclair. MACCS helps companies to assess their current policies and to create appropriate new policies and procedures in order to comply with the UK Bribery Act. With extensive experience of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and close involvement with the development of the UK Bribery Act, as well as expert knowledge of international operating environments in emerging markets where Western companies must ensure they are compliant, MACCS is ideally placed to assist you. We offer a wide range of risk-based compliance solutions to suit the needs and requirements of most foreign investors and international operators. We understand how challenging it is to deliver pro-active compliance while maximising efficiency, and we work closely with clients to tailor appropriate solutions and practical risk prevention strategies.

United Kingdom Corporate Governance Consultant August 2012 Vol. 5, No. 20, Summer 2012