Corporate Punishment

6th Oct 2015

The recent announcement by the government not to move ahead with plans to introduce an offence of ‘failure to prevent economic crime’ ( Law Society Gazette 30th September 2015 ) has provoked divided opinions.

The offence was to be modelled around section 7 Bribery Act 2010, which created a strict liability offence for a company to fail to stop bribery on its behalf. The offence is committed if bribery is carried out by an employee, subsidiary, agent or third party unless the company can prove it had adequate safeguarding provisions in place to prevent bribery. Companies convicted would face an unlimited fine.

The new legislation would have been aimed at dealing with the kind of activity which surfaced in the Libor rigging scandal, for example.

However, it seems that a lack of section 7 prosecutions under the 2010 Act has influenced the current U-turn, although suggestions that the Serious Fraud Office has insufficient resources to bring them have also been raised.

This might be one less concern for now, but it is worth bearing in mind that there is already a multitude of offences at the disposal of the various prosecuting authorities of which unwary business owners could fall foul.

If your business is subject to any form of investigation or prosecution contact us for advice without delay on 0161 928 3848 or at

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