On 19 February 2016, Sweett Group PLC (Sweett), a construction and professional services company, was sentenced to pay a fine of £2.25 million following its conviction for the offence of failing to prevent bribery, contrary to Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010 (the first conviction of its kind for a corporate).

The conviction related to corrupt payments made by Sweett‘s United Arab Emirates subsidiary to secure a contract to build an Abu Dhabi hotel (as reported in Issue 16 of Volume 3 of this Newsletter).

In sentencing Sweett, His Honour Judge Beddoe emphasised the duty that Section 7 imposes on companies to supervise foreign subsidiaries. He commented that “rogue elements can only operate [corruptly and] for so longbecause of a failure properly to supervise [them].”