For businesses and individuals involved in sponsorship and other activities in London during the Olympics this summer be aware of the U.K Anti-Bribery Act that went into effect in July of 2011. Like so many laws in the global business sector your concern should be on how the law is interpreted. Also, as with other relatively freshly minted laws, there is little precedent for guidance. For an overview of the law you may find this recent article in Inside Counsel helpful.
The coverage in this U.K. Act is to government as well as commercial officials. How cautious should you be? A key determinant is certainly the occurrence act of some sort of exchange with a business advantage following. Richard Alderman, head of Britain’s Serious Fraud Office told the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, “If you take a client to the Olympics there’s nothing wrong with that,” the problem comes, he indicated, “if you fly over to London 40 family members of that client and give them half a million dollars in spending money…and then sign a contract.”
There is a lot of territory between those two extremes.