Introduction to the Bribery Act 2010

The UK Bribery Act 2010 

The Bribery Bill received Royal Assent on 8 April 2010 and the offences created by the Bribery Act 2010 (“the Act”) came into force on 1 July 2011. The Act consolidates and simplifies the old law offences (see our publication here) and, to some extent, increases the scope of the offences to enable easier prosecution. 

The penalties under the Act are severe – there is a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine for individuals. Corporates face an unlimited fine and automatic debarment from tendering for EU public contracts (although this penalty will be discretionary where the offence is the corporate offence under section 7). Other penalties under the Proceeds of Crime Act may also follow, including confiscation. Any bribe will invariably amount to money laundering and case-law indicates that where, for example, business has been obtained through bribery, the Courts will treat all revenues generated from that business as proceeds of crime liable to confiscation on conviction.

For more detail on the Act, please click here to view our publication: “The Bribery Act 2010: what you need to know”.