United Kingdom

Topic: Anti-corruption and business and human rights

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U.S. Strategy on Countering Corruption: Key points for international companies

On 6 December 2021, the Biden Administration released its strategy on countering corruption (the Strategy) along with an accompanying fact sheet, building on President Biden’s earlier announcement that he viewed the fight against corruption as one of the core U.S. national security priorities.  The five-point strategy places particular focus on a coordinated international approach to … Continue Reading

ABC Compliance Survey 2021: five key areas to consider enhancements

Since the UK Bribery Act 2010 came into force in July 2011, standards and scope of anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) compliance programmes have evolved significantly in many jurisdictions. Norton Rose Fulbright recently carried out a global survey to assess how companies’ ABC compliance programmes compare against current global best practice expectations, as documented in guidance … Continue Reading

UK vs US Enforcement Approaches: A comparison

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have recently reiterated their focus on fighting corporate crime (see here and here our more detailed articles on these developments). In particular, the US authorities have: renewed their focus on holding individuals accountable for corporate crime (as well as companies); committed to … Continue Reading

NCA: Bribery and corruption risk to rise

On 25 May 2021, the National Crime Agency (NCA) published its national strategic assessment of serious and organised crime. Compared to 2020, the NCA concludes that the threat to the UK in respect of bribery and corruption has increased dramatically. Reasons for this include both the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit. Key takeaways from the report … Continue Reading

UK FRC enhances fraud-spotting standards for auditors

On 27 May 2021, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) published a revised version of its auditing standard on the responsibilities of auditors in relation to fraud. The revisions set out more stringent requirements to identify and assess the risk of material misstatement because of fraud and the procedures to respond to those risks. Such amendments … Continue Reading

EBA consults on draft guidelines on cooperation and information exchange between prudential supervisors, AML/CFT supervisors and financial intelligence units under the CRD IV

On 27 May 2021, the European Banking Authority (EBA) issued a consultation paper regarding draft guidelines that set out how prudential supervisors, AML/CFT supervisors and financial intelligence units should cooperate and exchange information in relation to AML/CFT, in line with Article 117(5) of the CRD IV. The draft guidelines set out general provisions and practical … Continue Reading

Making it count: Transparency International’s key recommendations on measuring the effectiveness of an ABC compliance programme

On 4 May 2021, Transparency International published its “Making it count” report on measuring the effectiveness of anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) programmes (the TI Report). Authorities globally are focused on the practical effectiveness of companies’ ABC programmes. As the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Resource Guide puts it, authorities’ primary … Continue Reading

Coalition for Integrity report: AI a useful tool in ABC compliance for larger organisations

The Coalition for Integrity has published a report summarising how machine learning (or AI) can be used in anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) compliance programmes (the Report). The Report provides companies with key points to consider in determining whether (and if so how) they should consider developing or using machine learning solutions for their ABC programmes. … Continue Reading

SFO publishes Serco Statement of Facts

On 28 April 2021, the SFO published the statement of facts relating to the DPA that it agreed with Serco Geografix Limited (SGL) back in July 2019. The publication was made possible as a result of the ending of the trial of two former Serco directors, which collapsed this week as a result of issues … Continue Reading

UK launches new anti-corruption sanctions regime

On 26 April 2021, the UK government announced a number of designations under its new global anti-corruption sanctions regime, which is designed to stop “those involved in serious corruption from entering and channelling money through the UK” (see press release). Under the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021 (SI 2021 No. 488) the UK government has … Continue Reading

OFSI’s revised guidance on the imposition of monetary penalties may signal a more aggressive approach to sanctions enforcement – Five takeaways

On 10 March 2021, the UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) published its revised guidance on Monetary Penalties for Breaches of Financial Sanctions (Guidance), which replaces the prior 2018 version and comes into force on 1 April 2021. From this date, the new Guidance will apply to all cases where OFSI becomes aware of … Continue Reading

UK Government launches online registry for modern slavery statements

On 11 March 2021, the Home Office launched an online registry for slavery and human trafficking (SHT) statements. This follows the Government’s response in September 2020 to a 2019 public consultation on potential options for strengthening section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the MSA), which requires certain commercial organisations to publish an SHT statement … Continue Reading

Risk assessments and the expectations of global authorities – what this means for businesses

On 18 March 2021, we will be holding the first of our global webinars on putting into practice authorities’ expectations in relation to each of the components of an ABC programme. In this first session we will examine global expectations in relation to risk assessments – the starting point of an effective ABC programme. We … Continue Reading

Immunity for criminal conduct in undercover investigations to be granted to a wide range of UK authorities

The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act 2021 (the Act) received royal assent on 1 March 2021 but is yet to come into force. It will enable criminal conduct by a covert human intelligence source (a CHIS) in the course of covert intelligence gathering to be authorised (a Criminal Conduct Authorisation or CCA) by … Continue Reading

SFO recovers £1.2 million from London property connected with Brazilian bribery

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced that it has secured almost £1.2 million from Julio Faerman, owner of a luxury London flat which the SFO suspected to have been partly purchased with the proceeds of his criminal conduct in Brazil. According to the SFO’s press release, during ‘Operation Car Wash’, the investigation by Brazilian … Continue Reading

First steps taken towards a mandatory human rights due diligence law

On 26 October 2020, the European Commission (the Commission) launched a public consultation[1] on sustainable corporate governance (the Consultation), soliciting responses from stakeholders on a possible EU sustainable corporate governance initiative with the aim of ensuring “that environmental and social interests are embedded in business strategies”. The Consultation will, according to the Commission, complement the … Continue Reading

Bribery and money laundering considerations for joint ventures

Introduction Whatever the legal form of a joint venture, the collaboration and joint participation in the JV’s business objectives can present an enhanced corruption risk. This is because in some circumstances, a company entering into a JV could be criminally liable for the corrupt actions of its JV partner, the JV itself, or third parties … Continue Reading

New briefing note: UK Government proposals to strengthen the Modern Slavery Act

On 22 September 2020, the UK Government published its response to a 2019 consultation on potential options for strengthening section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the MSA), which requires certain commercial organisations to publish a slavery and human trafficking (SHT) statement on an annual basis. Of most interest to businesses will be the … Continue Reading

Managing corruption risks when making charitable donations: key questions for Compliance and Legal teams to ask

Many companies have made significant donations of funds, goods and services as part of international relief efforts. These efforts are of course to be applauded, but it is important to be mindful of the bribery and corruption risks presented by charitable donations, particularly in emerging markets, and to take proactive steps to manage legal and … Continue Reading
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