Bribery and Corruption
If you or your business are facing allegations of bribery and corruption, it’s vital to get the expert advice of a specialist bribery lawyer as soon as possible. The team at Purcell Parker have a proven track record of defending what are often complex cases.
Bribery and corruption solicitors in Birmingham
Our location in central Birmingham means we’re ideally placed for our city-based clients. However, our business crime legal defence service extends beyond the West Midlands. Indeed, we are happy to meet you in a place of your choosing to discuss your case. Being accused of bribery is a sensitive and stressful situation to be in and we appreciate that you may feel more at ease discussing your case in a setting you feel comfortable in.
Wherever we meet, you can rest assured that our experienced white collar solicitors will use their non-judgemental and plain English approach to establish the best course of action for your individual circumstances. At all times, our aim is to resolve the situation in order to enable you to get on with your life with your professional reputation intact. Because of this, discretion will be at the forefront of our dealings with you at all times.
Financing your bribery defence
Legal aid is not usually an option for bribery and corruption cases. However in order to help you budget at an uncertain time, where possible we will provide you with a fixed-fee quote for defending your case.
As well as formal representation, we can also provide you with informal advice in situations where you are worried about a potential investigation at work. Seeking advice at the earliest possible stage is always advisable and should never be seen as a sign of wrongdoing.
What is bribery and corruption?
This can be defined as giving or receiving an award or incentive to influence someone’s decision-making process in order to lead to a favourable outcome. This type of act is often in the form of a ‘kickback’ where favourable treatment leads to an award, often but not always, in the form of money.
These kind of cases can happen on a minor scale in small businesses or on a large corporate scale, such as the 2017 case of Rolls-Royce. The company was ordered to pay £671 million in penalties after it came to light that the firm paid bribes in the form of a car and millions of pounds to middlemen in order to secure orders in six countries.
The most serious cases of bribery and corruption are both investigated and prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office (SF0). Bribery cases can also be pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Consequences of bribery
The Bribery Act 2010 was introduced to modernise and tighten bribery and corruption law in the UK. It defines bribery as committing bribery, accepting a bribe, bribery of foreign public officials and it also introduced the new crime of the failure of a commercial organisation to prevent bribery in its name. Facilitation payments where professional or officials are paid to undertake their routine professional duties are included as bribery under the Act.
The Act was designed to be tough and uncompromising, with some businesses complaining that it put them at a disadvantage against competitors from countries with less strict anti-bribery legislation. Punishments can include:
- Up to 10 years imprisonment
- An unlimited fine
- Confiscation of assets and property under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
- Disqualification of operating as a director under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986
‘Failure to prevent’ bribery offences
Under the Bribery Act 2010, if there is any chance that any of your business’ employees could come into contact with bribery in the course of their professional duties, you must have an anti-bribery policy in place.
The type of policy required will depend on the scale of the risk of bribery that your organisation could be exposed to, and it is necessary to assess the risk of potential issues such as contract negotiations, conflicts of interests and company rules regarding gifts, charity donations and hospitality. That said, corporate gifts and hospitality are not illegal and as long as they do not involve bribery, can form a perfectly legitimate part of your professional activities.
If your business could be exposed to bribery it is crucial to protect your company by having a policy in place. In circumstances where one of your employees is accused of bribery in the name of your organisation, your policy is a statutory defence for any resulting proceedings against you.
Defending your bribery and corruption case
Every bribery and corruption case is unique but in all cases, the white collar solicitors at Purcell Parker will examine all aspects of the circumstances, including the validity of the case against you in order to secure the best possible outcome. Where appropriate we will use the services of experts such as forensic accountants in order to build the case for your defence.
Bribery & corruption solicitors on your side
To find out more about how the team at Purcell Parker can help with the allegations against you, please call us on 0121 236 9781 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.