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coming soon……….. The Bribery Act 2010 guidance

21 March 2011

We understand that the long awaited Ministry of Justice guidance on the Bribery Act 2010 may finally be released as early as next week. However a draft of the guidance appears to suggest that foreign companies listed on the UK stock market but with no other presence in the UK may have little to fear.

It is suggested that these foreign companies may gain an advantage – some would say unfair – over UK companies as the guidance suggests that they may not be liable for prosecution under the Act. The change in treatment of these companies comes after pressure from the London Stock Exchange and investment banks which generate millions from foreign listings. Some might think it ironic that the government should consider reining back the scope of the Bribery Act for a financial gain!

Nevertheless, this highlights the competitive pressure that has compelled the Government to review the Act before implementation.

Firms will have 3 months from the date of the release of the guidance to prepare for the full force of the Act but they should not delay in their preparation.

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