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The United Kingdom is to implement comprehensive “anti-bribery” legislation. Known as the Bribery Act 2010 and referred to here as the UK Act, it will take effect in April 2011. The legislation has far-reaching effects on any company with UK subsidiaries, operations or employees. It has wide extraterritorial jurisdiction and, in important respects, is broader than the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It applies, for example, to bribery in both the private and public sectors, and to facilitation payments. It contains specific offenses for senior company officials who consent to or ignore bribery; criminalizes bribery of foreign public officials; and renders a commercial entity’s failure to prevent bribery by a person performing services on its behalf a corporate offense. The latter offense is intended, in part, to ensure that organizations introduce and enforce effective anti-bribery policies, as they will be strictly liable for bribes paid on their behalf unless they can demonstrate that they had “adequate procedures” in place designed to prevent bribery.

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