House of Lords Select Committee determines Bribery Act 2010 is an "exemplary piece of legislation" and encourages the Government to consider extending the "failure to prevent" offence to other economic crimes
Today, Thursday 14 March 2019, the House of Lords Select Committee ("HLSC") published its post-legislative scrutiny report on the Bribery Act 2010 (the "Act") having held 23 oral evidence sessions and reviewed 61 written submissions (including from Fieldfisher). The Act brought in, along with offences of offering or giving and requesting or receiving bribes and the offence of bribing foreign public officials, a strict liability corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery by a company's "associated persons". The only defence available for the failure to prevent offence is to have in place "adequate procedures" designed to prevent associated persons paying bribes on the corporate's behalf.
On 28 February 2019 the Serious Fraud Office updated its guidance on dealing with requests for lawyers to accompany individuals interviewed under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act. Previously an interviewee could be accompanied by one lawyer only. The guidance has been updated to allow an additional legal representative to attend the interview for the sole purpose of taking notes. This does not permit the recording or transcribing of the interview.
The Criminal Finances Act 2017, which came into force on 30 September 2017, makes certain corporate entities (referred to as "relevant bodies") criminally liable where they fail to prevent persons associated with them from criminally facilitating tax evasion, whether the tax evaded is owed in the UK or overseas. A person is “associated” with a relevant body if they are an employee, agent, intermediary or other person who performs services for or on behalf of the relevant body. The definition is intended to be wide