Corruption and bribery are currently prohibited under at least 12 different Acts of Parliament, some going back to 1889.
Essentially bribery is the offering or giving of any benefits such as cash or gifts to any public servant or office holder or to a director or employee of a private business in order to induce that person to give inappropriate help in breach of their duty to the government or organisation which has employed or appointed them.
Under the Anti Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 UK companies and individuals can now also be prosecuted in the UK for acts of bribery which occur overseas. The government has now gone further with fresh legislation under The Bribery Act 2010 putting more and more individuals at risk of prosecutions for involving themselves in what they think is perfectly legitimate business practice. The powers of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to compel companies to hand over documents are also likely to be extended.
More and more individuals are likely to be accused of behaving contrary to the bribery and corruption legislation and any accusation can be a frightening experience.
Our firm has experience of dealing with individuals and companies accused of bribery at the most minor level to the gravest of allegations. We appreciate that any such allegations be life changing.
As the law continues to develop in this area please feel free to call us if you have any concerns that your business practices may cross the line.
Cunninghams are regularly asked by clients to take over their case from Solicitors that they have previously instructed. This can happen at any stage of an investigation or prosecution.
There can be many reasons for this. Their existing solicitor may feel that for professional reasons they can no longer continue to represent their client, they may no longer feel that they have the necessary expertise or they may no longer be allowed to represent their client in respect of a particularly serious case because they are not members of the VHCC panel. In some cases, a client’s relationship with their solicitor has simply broken down, or they have lost complete confidence in their solicitor’s ability to represent them properly. Some clients feel that transferring representation will be an awkward, embarrassing or difficult process, and for cases which are publicly funded there are strict criteria which must be present before a case is transferred to another solicitor.
At Cunninghams we are used to dealing with such enquiries and can reassure clients that any transfer of their case will be smooth, free of embarrassment and always in their best interests.