Bribery & Corruption

 

Practices


Bribery & Corruption
Civil Recovery
Company Commercial
Copyright Infringement
Corporate Fraud Investigations
Fraud & Economic Crime
Insolvency
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Regulatory
NCA & Police Investigations
Tax Tribunal Appeals
Lawyers at Morgan Rose have been acting for clients subject to Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigations since 2000 and since then have been involved in a number of its high profile cases.  Our acquired experience of the methodology of serious fraud investigation, cross-border enquiries, electronic searches, Civil Recovery and the special powers exercised by the SFO allows us to lever all of this knowledge and experience when delivering legal services to those that have to make the judgment call of self-reporting fraud or corruption.

For directors, officers or audit committees that have suspicions of serious fraud or bribery within the company, or after a whistle-blower event, the organisation should be considering whether a self-report to the SFO should be made with a view to negotiated settlement.  There is inevitably Board uncertainty at this time with the risk of corporate and individual prosecution, director disqualifications, falling share price, disgorgement of profits from the organisation, shareholders and investors and the cost of the investigation, fine and future monitoring. 

The introduction of the Bribery Act 2010 replaced outdated UK anti-corruption legislation and created the new section 7 offence of failure by a relevant commercial organisation to prevent bribery.  This includes a body, or a partnership which carries on a business or part of a business in the UK, irrespective of the place of incorporation.  It is a defence to this charge for the organisation to prove (on a balance of probabilities) that it had adequate procedures in place to prevent persons associated with it from bribing. 

 

Preventive Measures

Commercial organisations must have adequate procedures in place to mitigate bribery risks and to demonstrate top level commitment to their policy of anti-bribery.  We will advise on policies and procedures that articulate the organisations' anti-bribery stance and advise and assist with risk assessments to identify appropriate measures to take depending upon the size and profile of the organisation. 

Commercial organisations of all sizes need to have appropriate risk assessments to identify external risks defined in these five key areas: country, sectoral, transaction, business partnership and business opportunity risks.   We can help with due diligence, risk assessment, evaluation and monitoring of the changing environment for organisations of all profiles.  We are also able to advise on practical steps that can significantly mitigate the impact on business in the event of an investigation or a raid.  This may seem an event so unlikely to occur in any organisation that consideration is not given to data retention, separation of electronic data to facilitate later identification of communications and records that may be directly relevant to an investigation (external or internal).  
 

Phone Hacking 
 

Hacking into voicemail messages on mobile phones is covered by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000. This makes it an offence for anyone to intercept calls, with the exception of members of the police or security services acting with a Secretary of State’s warrant.

Phone hacking hit the headlines following widespread allegations of voicemail messages being intercepted by journalists and investigators working for media organisations.


Mark Jones is currently advising senior editors, journalists and other news staff in connection with police investigations into phone hacking (Operation Weeting) and illicit payments from journalists to public officials (Operation Elveden).
 

Mark Jones is currently advising a senior news desk editor in relation to allegations of phone hacking over a prolonged period of time. The allegations concern over 800 people in the public eye.
 

Mark Jones is currently advising a senior journalist in relation to allegation of payments to public officials. It is alleged sensitive and confidential information was given in return for payment, and that information then featured in stories in the press.
 


 
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Mark Jones



 
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