The United Kingdom's Bribery Act 2010: Implications for Companies on a Global Basis

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Bribery blights lives. Its immediate victims include firms that lose out unfairly. The wider victims are government and society, undermined by a weakened rule of law and damaged social and economic development. At stake is the principle of free and fair competition, which stands diminished by each bribe offered or accepted.

Ultimately, the Bribery Act matters for Britain because our existing legislation is out of date. In updating our rules, I say to our international partners that the UK wants to play a leading role in stamping out corruption and supporting trade-led international developments. But I would argue too that the Act is directly beneficial for business. That’s because it creates clarity and a level playing field, helping to align trading nations around decent standards.

Kenneth Clarke UK Secretary of State for Justice Preamble to UK Bribery Act Guidance March 2011

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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