26th September 2014

If you haven’t got around to that bribery policy, then read on…

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26th September 2014

If you haven’t got around to that bribery policy, then read on…


The Sentencing Council’s new sentencing guidelines fraud, bribery and money laundering offences apply to individuals and organisations sentenced on or after 1 October 2014 (regardless of the date of the offence).
Points of interest for businesses in relation to bribery offences include:

  • Most cases are likely to be dealt with in the Crown Court, rather than the Magistrates’ Court
  • The court should start the sentencing decision making process by reference to:
    • culpability, as demonstrated by the business’s role and motivation; and
    • harm, which is represented by a financial sum, normally calculated for bribery to be the gross profit from the contract obtained, retained or sought as a result of the offending, or for the corporate bribery offence, the likely cost avoided by failing to put in place appropriate measures to avoid bribery. Where the court is in difficulty establishing the amount likely to have been gained, a figure representing 10 – 20{ba3215b0bf35eaeb06be458b3396ffbfc50bb9db10c9ff1594dfc3875e90ea48} of “relevant revenue” (an example given is worldwide revenue from the product or business area to which the offence relates for the period of the offending) may be relevant.
  • Factors increasing the seriousness of the offence include previous relevant convictions or previous relevant civil or regulatory enforcement action, and attempts to conceal the offence.