They Are Back, Although They Never Really Left, Guys

by Thomas Fox

Unlike that fabulous song-writing team of Lennon and McCartney, these two guys promised that they would be back and from what we have seen over the past few weeks, they have kept to their collective word. Yes, those two light-shiners on all things UK Bribery Act, guys have re-entered the blogging fray. While I will it to you to figure out which guy most closely corresponds to which song-writer, all I can say is it is hard to say where one’s contribution ends and the others begins. To celebrate their roaring return, I want to highlight some of the great posts that they collectively put up last month.

March 2 – Opinion: Don’t buy snake oil. Why a lack of Bribery Act prosecutions should not signal complacency. The guys begin their comeback last month with this post, which was their take on the status of some investigations and why there has yet to be a substantive prosecution. It is a good explanation of where things have been and where they might be headed. The guys end by noting, “In the meantime the chances of violations of the Bribery Act emerging are increasing with the passage of time. This is borne out in fact. We are aware that the SFO has a number of pre-investigation (or projects as the new Director of the SFO has dubbed them) in connection with the Bribery Act already. Whether these develop into Bribery Act enforcement cases remains to be seen. One thing is for sure. Bribery Act enforcement for corporate violations is inevitable. Those who would suggest otherwise are selling snake oil. Don’t buy it.”

March 3 – The Bribery Act, its material impact since 2011 & the Aston Martin analogyIn this post the guys take on Howard Sklar and everyone else who says it is time to bring an enforcement action under the Bribery Act. They put it as such, “For those seeking instant gratification then the Bribery Act, it turns out, is not Coca Cola. But we’ll stick with the Aston Martin analogy. Aston Martin took off with the arrival of a certain David Brown. The SFO now has David…Green… But on a serious note, the impact of the Bribery Act should not just be measured in enforcement (though that will happen). It’s ultimate purpose was to foster behaviourial change. The genie is out of the bottle, the Aston is out of the garage and 18 months in change is already happening.”

March 5 – Don’t mention the ‘war’? Scotching the myth that saying the ‘b’ word will freak out employees in high risk markets. This post speaks to that most classic of English traits, to apologize for everything English. The guys point out that it is actually OK to tell employees not be pay bribes or otherwise engage in corrupt behavior, you will not insult them by doing so. They properly note, “The sight of people from Head Office taking the trouble to visit the local office with strangers in tow asking lots of questions underscores the importance the business attaches to anti-bribery.  It sends a very clear message to those in the organisation who might seek to apply unfair pressure on others to engage in questionable practices. A clear directive that bribes will not be paid is likewise well received. Employees like to know that they will not be sacked for losing a sale as a result of not bending to improper requests and demands,” they then conclude with this universal truism, “And for the very tiny minority (in our experience) who don’t like it – you don’t want to employ them anyway.” As we might say here in the  south, the American south that is, “Amen, brother.”

March 14 – Parliament report calls for Bribery Act review: Our opinion – Junk in. Junk Out. With typical British tact, the guys skewer a claim presented in the House of Lords committee that the Bribery Act has met with “confusion and uncertainty.” The guys end by offering to help these forlorn Lords with a bit of education by saying, “There is plenty of free guidance out there on the application of the Bribery Act. We cannot think of a piece of legislation which has sparked much more commentary, advisory, much of it on line and completely free, including our own eponymous website. Complaints about a lack of information and desire for more guidance ring hollow – especially when a centerpiece propping up the claim is the concern that taking someone to dinner is a criminal offence. The calls for a review need to be seen in context. Junk in. Junk out. And, Tony from Alderly PLC, if you’re reading feel free to give us a call. We can help you.”

March 22 – (Contrarian) Opinion: Corporate crime in the UK. A shift in public perception? In this piece, the guys noted that “Notwithstanding the barrage of criticism which has been meted out to the SFO in recent months it appears the perception of the public in general may be changing about it, and the UK’s approach to dealing with corporate crime.” They ended this post with the following witty observation, “And, while it may not be politik to say it, (but then we like to be visionary contrarians like others we can think of…), perhaps criticism of the SFO today for historic conduct is just a bit harsh and opportunistic? Perish the thought….”

March 24 – The Met, City of London Police & SOCA spearheading additional £8 million crackdown on overseas corruption. In their final March post  the guys report on some very clear indications that the UK government is putting its money where its collective mouth is regarding its seriousness to combat bribery and corruption. The guys noted that “The UK government has reportedly earmarked a further £8 million in the fight against corruption to go to specialist anti-corruption teams in the Metropolitan and City of London Police, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) as well as additional support for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).”

So while it is true they never really left, because you know they do practice law for a living; it is good to see them back up on the site and providing their collective opinions and insights.

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.

© Thomas Fox, Compliance Evangelist | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Thomas Fox

Compliance Evangelist on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.