U.K. Bribery Bill, if Enacted, Will Impact U.S. Companies Doing Business in the U.K.
I. Historical and factual overview
Bribery law in the U.K. traces its roots to the Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889-1916 and the common law. In response to criticism that the current laws are outdated, the U.K.'s Ministry of Justice has proposed The Bribery Act 2010, a comprehensive overhaul of the country's criminal bribery law. The bill has passed the House of Lords and is expected to pass the House of Commons and receive Royal Assent by the end of the year. If enacted, the Act would make it easier for the criminal justice system to hold companies criminally liable for bribery committed on their behalf anywhere in the world. It would also extend liability for such bribery to corporate officers and directors with British citizenship or residency.