Bribery Act 2010

The Bribery Act was given Royal Assent in April 2010 and came fully into force on 1 July 2011.

It makes it an offence for a United Kingdom (UK) citizen or resident to pay or receive a bribe, either directly or indirectly. It provides for transactions that take place in the UK and abroad, and both in the public and private sectors.

Companies and partnerships can also commit an offence where a bribe has been paid on their behalf by an associate. Associates include employees, agents and other persons providing services on behalf of the corporate entity. However, it’s a defence to have adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery.

This practice note explains in more detail the provisions of the Bribery Act and provides information on the procedures that firms can put in place to prevent bribery being carried out on their behalf and to avail themselves of the statutory defence.

This practice note is the Law Society’s view of good practice in this area, and is not legal advice. For more information see the legal status.