So far, we’ve re-capped Alishan Naqvee’s introduction to anti-corruption laws, and Stuart Gerson’s comments on the US’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Following Stuart’s presentation, the group heard from Charles Wander of Fladgate LLP, who spoke about the new UK Bribery Act.
Charles began by saying that he would give a brief overview of what’s coming on July 1, 2011 in the UK. As he had mentioned during an earlier session, the firm has been doing some work on this with their clients, trying to understand what the issues might be. As Stuart had said, this is going to be applied on a worldwide basis, so it will be applied to anyone with any kind of tenuous connection with the UK.
The UK was not without anti-bribery legislation – through the end of June they would have a piece of legislation dating back to the 19th century. It was ultimately felt that this didn’t have sufficient teeth. The UK was criticized in 1997 by the OECD when the incoming Labour administration discontinued an investigation into alleged bribery by British Aerospace, as part of the Al Yamamah contracts in Saudi Arabia. This was heavily criticized as being a decision made for political reasons.