On April 8, 2010, British lawmakers passed a comprehensive Bribery Act 2010 (the Act). The Bribery Act is a major development, both in terms of what it does and who it affects. It reforms antiquated anti-bribery laws for a country that historically has had a tepid enforcement record, and extends the UK’s enforcement jurisdiction to include any entity that conducts business in the UK, regardless of where the bribery occurs. On July 20, 2010, the Ministry of Justice announced that the Bribery Act will come into force in April 2011. In September 2010, the Government will launch a short consultation exercise on the guidance about procedures which commercial organizations can put in place to prevent bribery on their behalf.1
The UK’s Bribery Act is far reaching in its extra-territorial scope, and its provisions are broader in some respects and yet distinct from those found in the FCPA. It is thus imperative that any corporation or partnership that conducts business, or part of a business, in the UK should study the Act’s provisions and take measures to protect against liability. Most important, a corporation should review its internal corporate ethics training program to ensure that every employee obtains the information and training they need, as having “adequate procedures” in place will provide a defense to the corporate charge of failing to prevent bribery under the UK Bribery Act.