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Bribery Solicitors.

 

What is Bribery? 

 

Bribery is defined as giving someone a financial or other advantage to encourage that person to perform their functions or activities improperly or to reward that person for having already done so. This is a brief guide, for full legal advice speak to our Bribery Solicitors on 01623 600645

 

There are 4 offences under the Bribery Act 2010 – 

 

– Bribing another person

– Requesting or agreeing to accept a bribe

– Bribing a foreign public official

– Failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery

 

Bribing another person.

 

This is covered under s1 of the Bribery Act  2010 – 

 

There are 2 scenarios – 

 

1. Where a person promises or gives a financial (or other advantage) to another person, with the intention to induce that person to improperly perform a relevant function or activity or to reward a person for having improperly performed a relevant function or activity. 

 

It does not matter whether the person to whom the advantage is offered, promised or given is the same person as the person who is to perform, or has performed, the function or activity concerned.

 

2.  Where a person offers, promises or gives a financial or other advantage to another person, and knows or believes that the acceptance of the advantage would itself constitute the improper performance of a relevant function or activity.

 

 In either case it does not matter whether the advantage is offered, promised or given directly or through a third party.

 

 

Requesting or agreeing to accept a bribe.

 

This is covered under s2 of the Bribery Act 2010.

 

You are guilty of an offence if you –

 

(a) request or agree to receive or accept a financial or other advantage intending that, in consequence, a relevant function or activity should be performed improperly. It does not matter whether it is performed by you or another person.

 

OR  (b) request, agree to receive or accept a financial or other advantage, and the request, agreement or acceptance itself constitutes the improper performance by you of a relevant function or activity.

 

OR (c)  request, agree to receive or accept a financial or other advantage as a reward for the improper performance (whether by you or another person) of a relevant function or activity.

 

OR (d) where, in anticipation of or in consequence of you requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting a financial or other advantage, a relevant function or activity is performed improperly by you, or by another person at your request or with your assent or acquiescence.

 

It does not matter whether you request, agree to receive or accept the advantage directly or through a third party. Nor does it matter whether the advantage is (or is to be) for the benefit of you or another person.

 

It does not matter whether you know or believe that the performance of the function or activity is improper. Where a person other than you is performing the function or activity, it also does not matter whether that person knows or believes that the performance of the function or activity is improper. 

 

Functions or activities to which the bribe relates.

 

It must relate to a function or activity covered by the Act namely –  

 

 – any function of a public nature, or

 – any activity connected with a business, or

 – any activity performed in the course of a person’s employment, or

 – any activity performed by or on behalf of a body of persons. 
 

AND  

 

The person performing the function or activity is expected to perform it in good faith or impartially, or the person performing the function or activity is in a position of trust by virtue of performing it. 

 

It covers activities outside of the UK and even where the function has no connection to the UK.  

 

Bribery of a foreign public official.

 

This is covered under s6 of the Bribery Act 2010.

 

You are guilty of an offence if you bribe a foreign public official if your intention is to influence that person in his capacity as a foreign public official.

 

However you must also intend to obtain or retain business, or an advantage in the conduct of business.

 

It is classed as a bribe if, and only if, directly or through a third party, you offer, promise or give any financial or other advantage to a foreign official, or to another person at the foreign officials request or with his assent or acquiescence. That foreign official must neither be permitted nor required by the written law applicable to him to be influenced in his capacity as a foreign public official by the offer, promise or gift. 

 

Foreign public official” means an individual who holds a legislative, administrative or judicial position of any kind, whether appointed or elected, of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom (or any subdivision of such a country or territory).

 

Or someone who exercises a public function for or on behalf of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom (or any subdivision of such a country or territory), or for any public agency or public enterprise of that country or territory (or subdivision),

 

Or is an official or agent of a public international organisation. 

 

Failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery.

 

This is covered under s7 of the Bribery Act 2010.

 

A relevant commercial organisation is guilty of an offence under this section if a person associated with the organisation bribes another person intending to obtain or retain business or to obtain or retain an advantage in the conduct of business for the organisation.

 

But it is a defence for the organisation to prove that it had in place adequate procedures designed to prevent persons associated with it from undertaking such conduct. 

 

A person is associated with a commercial organisation if he is a person who performs services for or on behalf of that organisation. The capacity in which he performs services for or on behalf of the organisation does not matter. This can include for example an organisations employee, agent or subsidiary.

 

Whether or not A is a person who performs services for or on behalf of C is to be determined by reference to all the relevant circumstances and not merely by reference to the nature of the relationship between A and C but if A is an employee of C, it is to be presumed unless the contrary is shown that A is a person who performs services for or on behalf of C. 

 

Penalties.

 

An individual guilty of Bribery under sections 1, 2 or 6 is liable to a fine or up to 10 years imprisonment. A company is liable to a fine.

 

Sentencing guidelines.

 

The court will take into account a number of factors when deciding how to sentence for a bribery offence. If it is a group activity they will look at the role you played in the offence, the more senior the role the more serious the sentence. They will also look at the nature of the offence and whether it was sophisticated or took place over a long period of time. If the person who was bribed was a senior public official or law enforcement officer this will make it more serious. The court will also look at the level of financial, commercial or political gain expected.

 

Factors that will make it less serious are where you were involved through coercion, intimidation or exploitation or where you are not motivated by personal gain. It will be deemed less serious if the court can be persuaded to see it as a one off, opportunistic offence with little planning or if it can be shown you had a peripheral role in the offence.

 

How we can help.

 

We know that most of our clients facing a bribery allegation have never come into contact with the police or courts before. We appreciate that this is a very stressful time and we will do all we can to reduce the stress involved. You will be allocated your own case worker who you will have access to throughout the day and after hours via their mobile. We know that it is not always easy to call during the day.

 

 

FOR FREE, CONFIDENTIAL ADVICE CALL US ON 01623 600645