Kickbacks – does the Bribery Act deserve to be mired in controversy?
“Talk of golf days being banned and arrests at Wimbledon – that was all hype,” says Barry Vitou, Pinsent Masons partner and co-author of thebriberyact.com, discussing the much-touted anti-corruption legislation that will finally come into effect later this summer. And the implementation of the Bribery Act has certainly been noticed; arguably not since the Human Rights Act 1998 has a piece of primary legislation with wide implications for companies attracted such sustained political controversy. In the wake of a fierce lobbying campaign from business groups claiming, in one case, that the Act would be like equivalent US legislation “on acid” – leading to extreme claims that even basic corporate hospitality would be banned under the legislation – the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced in January that the Act’s implementation would be delayed from its target of April 2011.
The long-awaited Bribery Act is to be implemented this summer amid a storm of controversy. Georgina Stanley and Friederike Heine assess the legislation on every corporate’s mind
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