David S. Lorello on the UK Bribery Act 2010 and the Broader UK Anti-Corruption Legal Framework -- A Comparative Roadmap for the FCPA Practitioner

By David S. Lorello

The UK Bribery Act 2010 ("the Bribery Act") came into force on 1 July 2011, and represents a comprehensive revision of United Kingdom's anti-bribery laws. The Act is the product of a long period of UK government deliberation and consultation with public stakeholders, and has attracted substantial attention from legal commentators and government enforcement authorities. On the whole, the Bribery Act does not represent a dramatic departure from other international foreign bribery laws, but it does have some notable differences and also represents, in a number of important respects, a major departure from previous UK anti-corruption laws.

The purpose of this article is to measure the Act against other leading anti-bribery regimes. For this purpose, we choose as our counterpoint the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA"), which is likely to be the most well understood anti-bribery law to readers of this article, and the most significant non-UK anti-bribery law for companies who face potential dual exposure under the Bribery Act (given the broad extra-territorial application of the FCPA, and the extensive bi-lateral trade relationship between the U.S. and the UK). This article thus presents an assessment of the Bribery Act for those with FCPA experience, but who may not be as familiar with the UK anti-corruption legal framework.

This article also provides an overview of other important UK anti-corruption laws that have been the subject of less public commentary than the Bribery Act, but are in some respects broader than the Act and will continue to serve as significant enforcement tools for UK prosecutors.

About the Author:

David S. Lorello is a Partner in the London office of Steptoe & Johnson. Mr. Lorello is a member of the firm's International Department, and assists clients in a wide range of legal issues concerning international trade, legal and regulatory compliance, and dispute resolution. He is recognized in the 2011 edition of the UK Legal 500 for his expertise on international anti-corruption and economic sanctions compliance matters. Mr. Lorello regularly assists clients in investigating issues arising under the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the UK Bribery Act and related US, UK and European anti-corruption laws, and developing anti-corruption compliance programs.

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