Bribery & Corruption
Fraud & Tax Investigations
Cartwright King has longstanding expertise in defending allegations of Bribery & Corruption both within the UK and abroad. We have acted, and continue to act, in some of the most complex and high profile criminal investigations of allegations of Bribery and Corruption by the Serious Fraud Office and other UK agencies such as the NCA and the City of London Police.
Although the landscape of the UK’s anti bribery and corruption law was profoundly altered in 2011 when the Bribery Act came into force, it is our experience that investigations commenced even in recent years have deep roots; the conduct complained of will often, at least in part, pre-date the Bribery Act and thus requires in depth knowledge of the pre Bribery Act regime including the common law offence of Bribery together with the old statutes dealing with Corruption such as the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889, the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 and the Prevention of Corruption Act 1916.
We have a wealth of experience advising in investigations and prosecutions relating to Bribery and Corruption both pre and post the enactment of the Bribery Act.
Our lawyers have amongst other matters:
- Represented the Managing Director of an engineering company accused of offering bribes to a senior Exxon engineer in what was said to be one of the most important Serious Fraud Office investigations of the 1990s, relating to an “extraordinary network of corruption in the engineering industry.”
- Represented a defendant in R v Rybak & Ors, (2012) a Serious Fraud Office Prosecution of 5 defendants centred around allegations of corruption relating to high value engineering contracts in the oil and gas industry in Iran, Egypt, Russia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.
- Successfully represented a defendant interviewed under caution but not subsequently charged in the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into and prosecution of Alstom PLC.
- Successfully represented a Vice President of BAE in the Serious Fraud Office investigation into allegations of corruption relating to the sale of radar equipment in Tanzania.
- Represented a defendant in the Serious Fraud Office’s Innospec prosecution; this matter related to corrupt payments to governments in Indonesia and Iraq, to ensure that sales of a harmful chemical fuel additive Tetraethyl Lead would continue.
- Rolls Royce: We represent a senior former employee of Rolls Royce in this ongoing Serious Fraud Office investigation into allegations of corruption overseas.
- Operation Remzacco: We also represent the Finance Director of a major UK engineering company in relation to a City of London Police investigation into alleged corrupt payments to secure contracts.
Cartwright King is a national firm with a team of lawyers possessing unrivalled expertise in this area.
We can assist with:
- Businesses and Corporate bodies who wish to be advised on whether they have “adequate procedures” in place to prevent Bribery and Corruption by employees or persons associated with them.
- Businesses and Corporate bodies who believe that their employees or persons associated with them may have been involved in Bribery and Corruption and wish to carry out internal investigations.
- Businesses and Corporate bodies who believe that persons associated with them have been involved in Bribery and Corruption who wish to consider “self reporting” to the SFO with the aim of negotiating a Deferred Prosecution Agreement.
- Individuals who are subject to internal disciplinary investigation by their employer and who are concerned about potential criminal consequences.
- Individuals or businesses in receipt of notices under s2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 to deliver documentation to the Serious Fraud Office or to attend for interview under compulsion.
- Individuals who have been approached to act as prosecution witnesses in large scale Bribery and Corruption proceedings.
- Individuals and businesses under formal criminal investigation by authorities and subject to:
- Dawn raids and the execution of search warrants at home or business premises.
- Arrest and Interview under caution.
- Prosecution and trial.
Finding a team of lawyers with this experience is rare, but at Cartwright King we have a team on hand with the expertise to defend your rights and to assist you wherever you may be based in the UK or abroad.
Initial telephone Consultation
In any matter where specialist advice is needed, speed is of the essence. The sooner our lawyers can advise you, the better we can protect your position and that of your business. We offer a no obligation, initial consultation so that you can have access to expert advice without fear of the cost. For more information, please contact us today.
If you have been arrested or believe that you may be under investigation and are at risk of arrest for corruption or bribery offences call us immediately.
Increasingly individuals at risk of criminal prosecution for bribery offences are first subject to an internal disciplinary process conducted by their employer. Any information provided to the employer during that investigation may later be passed to criminal investigators and thus employees subject to such internal investigations should take advice as to the potential long term consequences of co-operation.
What is Bribery and Corruption?
The Bribery Act 2010 created general bribery offences of both offering and accepting bribes, defined as a “financial or other advantage” to or from another individual in exchange for “improperly” performing a “relevant function or activity”
This applies to activity in both the private and public sectors, and includes activity performed outside the UK.
The Act also specifically criminalized the bribery of foreign public officials under s6 where, distinct from the “general” bribery offences it is not necessary for the prosecutor to show that the foreign public official acted or agreed to act improperly as a result.
Importantly, the Act also created (at s7) a corporate offence of failure to prevent bribery. This offence is committed by commercial organisations where bribery is carried out by persons associated with that commercial organisation and the organisation cannot show that it can rely on the statutory defence that there were adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery by persons associated with it.
Why Choose Cartwright King
We are one of the largest criminal defence firms in the country. We can represent you no matter where you are based in England & Wales and the experience that we have in-house is unrivalled. Where a case demands it we also have access to a network of expert counsel and other specialist professionals.
Large Bribery and Corruption investigations are invariably complex and highly technical in nature. In many instances they involve conduct that takes place outside of England & Wales and thus require knowledge of multi-jurisdictional issues such as Extradition law and the process by which Mutual legal assistance can be claimed. You must only instruct expert solicitors who possess the requisite knowledge to conduct your case. Cartwright King possess vast experience in defending all types of criminal cases, including the biggest and most complex fraud and corruption matters prosecuted in the UK; our team has the forensic skills and experience needed to defend difficult cases aggressively and successfully.
We’ll explain everything to you in straightforward language and advise you in relation to the law and the facts so that you will be empowered to make informed decisions about the progression of your case.
How to make contact
If you are an individual who has been arrested and interviewed, are on bail or have been charged or believe that you may be under suspicion you should seek expert advice at the earliest opportunity. Criminal Investigations can crystallise at any time, and often through surprise “dawn raids” at a client’s home or place of work. That is why our team are available to defend your interests 24 hours a day, anywhere in the UK or abroad.
Each case must be considered on its’ merits, but we can offer a range of financial options from competitive hourly rates to an appropriate fixed fee arrangement.
Should a case proceed to charge, Legal Aid may be available to individuals. If appropriate we will apply for Legal Aid on your behalf and explain the process to you.