Tuesday, January 18, 2011

U.K. Developments

A Bribery Act review, high profile departures from the Serious Fraud Office - the agency gearing up to enforce the Bribery Act - but wait, will the Serious Fraud Office even be the agency to enforce the Bribery Act?

Bribery Act

As widely reported last week (see here and here), the U.K. Bribery Act, set for implementation in April 2011, is to undergo a review ordered by Prime Minister David Cameron's office.

Richard Alderman, Director of the U.K. Serious Fraud Office, stated as follows in an e-mail.

"It is for the UK Government and Parliament to consider implementation of the Bribery Act. The SFO is well placed to provide assistance to any review because of our experience in this area particularly following the many discussions we have had with business and professional advisers in the UK and the US."

Barry Vitou and Richard Kovalevsky have a good overview of recent events here at briberyact.com.

SFO Departures

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office is gearing up to enforce the Bribery Act, but it has recently lost two senior officials instrumental in Bribery Act preparation and guidance development.

Robert Amaee (SFO Head of Anti-Corruption) is joining Covington & Burling's London office. See here for Covington's release which states as follows: "[Amaee's] leading government role in anti-bribery and anti-money laundering issues will add an important new dimension to our global practice in this critical area of law. We see our clients focusing increasingly on these matters, and Robert will be a tremendous asset to our clients not only in the UK but across all of our offices.”

Charlie Monteith (SFO Head of Assurance) is joining White & Case's London office. See here for the firm's release which states as follows: "When it comes into force in April 2011, the UK's new Bribery Act will change the risk landscape for any company which carries out business in the UK, wherever it's located ... having [Monteith] onboard is going to be an enormous asset to clients in helping them understand and comply with this seismic piece of legislation."

See here for the Bloomberg article regarding the SFO departures.

Which Agency Will Enforce the Bribery Act?

While the SFO is gearing up to enforce the Bribery Act, efforts are afoot to reorganize how white collar crime is investigated and enforced in the U.K. See here for more.

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