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UK Bribery Act and other Anti-Corruption Enforcement

UK Bribery Act and other Anti-Corruption Enforcement

Officially enacted on 1 July 2011, the UK Bribery Act "amends and reforms the UK criminal law and provides a modern legal framework to combat bribery in the UK and internationally." Arguably even more aggressive in its jurisdictional scope than the FCPA in the US, the Bribery Act carries a broad extraterritorial reach that places significant obligations on companies' directors and employees around the world. The penalty for violations of the Act includes unlimited fines and imprisonment for up to 10 years.

There is currently no international anti-corruption law or standard, and the relevant laws in different jurisdictions are complex and diverse. Although the focus, liability exposure, and penalties vary dramatically, the trend continues to be toward more aggressive enforcement. The UK Bribery Act is the most notable new law, but there have also been recent changes in Russia, Spain, and Ukraine.

The expected aggressive enforcement of the Bribery Act and other anti-corruption laws will place increased importance on gaining a clear understanding of the effect an alleged bribe has on profits, and to carefully establish what the but-for profits would have been without the bribe. Rigorous economic analysis sheds light on how to evaluate the effect of a bribe and what the appropriate fines, if any, should be.

With a global team of experts operating out of more than 20 offices in Europe, North America, and Asia, NERA has developed one of the largest in-house teams of economists in the economic consulting world, serving clients in more than 120 countries. Our London-based team can assist in Bribery Act matters by using economic analysis to apply great precision to the financial benefits of bribery in order to evaluate the effect of the bribe, and therefore the appropriate fines.