Friday, December 3, 2010

A U.K. Friday Roundup

With all the focus on the Senate's FCPA hearing earlier this week, let's take a break and go across the pond for the Friday roundup.

Debarment and the Bribery Act, BAE's upcoming sentencing hearing, and Royal interest in the SFO's BAE investigation, its all here.

Debarment and the U.K. Bribery Act

Pass a new Bribery Act that creates a new offense for corporate bribery and it is bound to intersect with other laws.

So the U.K. Ministry of Justice is learning, specifically as to the European Union's debarment directive which provides that companies found guilty of bribery offenses shall be debarred from public contracts.

According to this article in the U.K. Telegraph, the Ministry of Justice is "considering how the regulations implementing the 2004 EU Procurement Directives should be amended to reflect the new Bribery Act and we intend to clarify this point before commencement of the Act" - scheduled for April 2011.

European Union Directive 2004/18/EC (here) was a specific factor the DOJ considered in its resolutions of the Siemens, BAE, and Daimler enforcement actions.

See here for the DOJ's sentencing memo in Siemens (p. 11), here for the DOJ's sentencing memo in BAE (p. 15), and here for the DOJ's sentencing memo in Daimler (p. 12).

If the DOJ would have prosecuted these companies with the charge best fitting the facts (an FCPA anti-bribery violation) the companies would have been at risk of being debarred from certain EU public contracts - not to mention U.S. government contracts pursuant to 48 CFR 9.406.

BAE Hearing Scheduled

BAE's sentencing hearing in connection with the U.K. portion of the case is scheduled for Dec. 20th in London (see here for more). The U.S. portion of the case concluded in March (see here).

The last time a U.K. Serious Fraud Office ("SFO") plea agreement in a bribery case was before a court (in the Innospec matter), the SFO received several lashings (see here).

Prince Andrew's Keen Interest in the BAE Case

The U.K. Guardian (here) reports that Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, took a keen interest in the SFO's investigation of the BAE matter, specifically the al-Yamana deal with Saudi Arabia. According to the Guardian, Prince Andrew demanded a special meeting with the SFO, the SFO thought the request was out of order, but SFO Director Richard Alderman was ultimately summoned to Buckingham Palace in May 2008 for a meeting. The Guardian quotes the SFO as saying that "no confidential details" were discussed during the meeting.


A good weekend to all.

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