On 2 December 2015, the SFO announced that Sweett Group Plc (Sweett) had admitted an offence, under Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010 (the Bribery Act), of failing to prevent bribery.

The admission followed an internal investigation by Sweett, which ran parallel to an SFO investigation, and which identified two suspicious contracts relating to the company’s activities in the Middle East.

Sweett’s admission of a failure to prevent bribery is the third such admission in three months by a company, following the settlement reached in Scotland in September with Brand-Rex Limited and the deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) approved this month for ICBC Standard Bank Plc (as reported in Issues 14 and 15 of this newsletter). The three cases suggest some momentum is building in the authorities’ enforcement of the Bribery Act.