A reminder that Vivian Robinson QC, General Counsel of the Serious Fraud Office, is taking part in a webinar on the implications of the UK Bribery Act 2010 on 13 January.
I have already put up a page of resources about the Bribery Act. If you want a single update source in the run-up to the Act’s implementation in April, thebriberyact.com is the place to go, with a good flow of useful tweets at @thebriberyact.
Iron Mountain have invited me to take part in a breakfast session about the Bribery Act with Barry Vitou in February – details to follow. The main focus for corporations is the defence that the company had “adequate procedures” in place to prevent bribery. There is an obvious crossover here with the requirement in civil litigation that companies should at least know what sources of documents and data they have and should have a plan or process for digging it out urgently (and cost-effectively) when it is needed.
So far as I can see, the act has attracted much more legal interest abroad (in the US, in Asia and in the EU in particular) than amongst UK lawyers. I raised it last week with the organisers of InnoXcell’s forthcoming Hong Kong ediscovery conference (21 to 23 June) as something they really must have in their programme. It is already included, they said, at the request of other proposed participants.
The big London firms, generally speaking, have been organising their in-house training for some time but I do not have much sense that anyone else has done so. This is not just a matter of being able to disguise your ignorance when the client rings you up about it. There is missionary-like work to be done making sure the clients know about the implications of the act – it can take a while to plan and implement the requisite level of “adequate procedures”, starting with an assessment of what “adequate” means client by client. What is adequate for one will be pitifully lax for another and well over the top for a third.
Vivian Robinson is eloquent and better informed than anyone as to what the implications are for companies and their lawyers. Listening to this free webinar will give you a good start in understanding what it is about.