Bribery Act 2010: Statutory Guidance Finally Issued


The UK Bribery Act 2010 (the Act) is scheduled to become effective on July 1, 2011.

Last month the UK Ministry of Justice published guidance on the operation and enforcement of the Act (the Guidance) that addressed some lingering issues. Affected businesses should now focus on implementing appropriate policies and procedures (including reporting structures) and training staff.


The new law will have broad and extraterritorial effects, applying to UK companies, UK citizens, UK-resident individuals and foreign companies doing business in the UK, regardless of whether the act or omission constituting bribery occurs in or outside the UK. However, the Ministry has chosen not to clarify exactly the range of entities covered by the Act. For instance, the Guidance states that a London stock market listing for a foreign company will not automatically require that the company comply with the Act. It will be left to the courts to decide whether a company falls under the jurisdiction of the Act, which is not ideal for businesses seeking certainty. Thus, this provision differs from its U.S. counterpart, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which applies to foreign companies listed on U.S. exchanges.

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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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