The Government has just announced that the Bribery Act 2010 will come into force on 1 July 2011. It has also published the long awaited Guidance for businesses in relation to putting in place adequate procedures to prevent bribery. The Bribery Act 2010 significantly reforms the law of bribery, replacing laws dating back to 1889. Importantly, it creates a new offence for any organisation failing to prevent bribes being paid on its behalf. The only defence to this charge is to have "adequate procedures" in place to prevent bribery. The Guidance is intended to clarify "adequate procedures" and explain how best to implement them.

The key points to consider in advance of the Act’s implementation are identifying areas of risk, updating anti-bribery, hospitality and gifts policies, reviewing contracts of employment and staff handbooks; and reviewing contracts with commercial partners and carrying out due diligence where appropriate. To view the Guidance, please click here