0370 270 6000

Government anti-corruption drive to target UK corporations

12 May 2016
The Prime Minister today announced plans to introduce new offences targeting corporations who fail to prevent fraud and money-laundering, removing the need to prove that a ‘controlling mind’ within the company is directly linked to the offending.

Details of the proposals are not yet available but these new offences are likely to follow the examples of the Bribery Act 2010 and the proposed new offences of failing to prevent tax evasion, currently under consultation.

If that is the case then, when any employee, contractor or other associated person commits a fraud or money-laundering offence, the prosecution will not be required to prove any failings on behalf of the corporation. Instead, companies will be required to show that they had in place all reasonable prevention procedures.

The existing offences and proposals also target UK corporations that fail to prevent illegal acts abroad and, given the Prime Ministers call for a global approach to tackling corruption, it is likely that these new offences also will. This will require careful consideration by UK companies who employee contractors in other countries, where monitoring their activities can be challenging.

Whilst bribery and tax evasion offences are likely to affect only a small proportion of UK corporations, and generally larger or specialist financial institutions, the potential for fraud or money-laundering in almost any business means that today’s announcement may have much wider ramifications for business.

These proposed new offences come alongside government plans to require greater transparency in corporate property ownership including a consultation on requiring companies to prove that legitimate funds were used in the purchase or face assets being seized.

Today’s announcement is another example of the government’s aim to clamp down on illegal financial activity by placing greater responsibilities on corporations to detect and prevent such behaviour.

Training and events


Claims Club London office

We are pleased to invite you to join us for our popular Claims Club, which will take place in-person in our London office. With a focus on risk in the public sector, as well as discussion on the topics outlined below we are hoping there will be time for Mr Jonathan Cook to don his sparkly jacket for a short festive quiz! Following the session there will be an opportunity for an informal catch up for those who can stay on.

View event

Focus on...


Good governance essential to avoid falling foul of the ESFA

There’s been little evidence of interventions or financial management reviews this year and it appears the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has re-focussed on financial delivery. It’s also telling that there were no discernible changes to the reporting of financial irregularities in the Academies Trust Handbook 2022.


Press releases

Browne Jacobson helps launch new innovative council company network with Wiltshire Council and Christ Church Business School

Law firm Browne Jacobson has collaborated with Wiltshire Council and Christ Church Business School on the launch event of The Council Company Best Practice and Innovation Network, a platform which brings together academic experts and senior local authority leaders, allowing them to share best practice in relation to council companies.


The UK's green agenda - the outcomes of COP27 and actions since COP26

Just over a year ago world leaders, policymakers, scientists and environmental activists gathered in Glasgow for COP26. Now many of those same people have also travelled to Egypt to attend this year's summit for what has been billed as “A moment of truth for the international community”.


Legal updates

Public Matters - November 2022

Updates include COP27, The end of drop in applications, Settlement agreements, Investment zones and Assaults on school staff.


The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up