Bribery and Corruption

Bribery corruption
Legally reviewed by: Laura Smith

Cartwright King has longstanding expertise in defending allegations of Bribery and Corruption both within the UK and abroad, including cases involving Bribery Act 2010 Offences. 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 2010 when the Bribery Act 2010 came into force, it is our experience that investigations commenced even in recent years have deep roots; the conduct under scrutiny will often, at least in part, pre-date the Bribery Act. Therefore, the case 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.

Our solicitors are experts in guiding you through investigations and prosecutions relating to bribery and corruption both pre and post the enactment of the Bribery Act.

What is Bribery and Corruption?

The Bribery Act 2010 established laws against bribery, encompassing both the act of offering and accepting bribes. Bribery, in this context, involves providing or receiving a ‘financial or other advantage’ in exchange for someone improperly carrying out a ‘relevant function or activity’.

For example, this might include offering money to a public official to expedite a bureaucratic process or accepting gifts in exchange for awarding a contract. The act aims to promote transparency and integrity in business and public dealings by holding individuals and organisations accountable for corrupt practices.

This applies to activity in both the private and public sectors, and includes activity performed outside the UK.

Additionally, the Act made it illegal to bribe foreign public officials under section 6. Unlike the general bribery offences, in this case, prosecutors aren’t required to prove that the foreign official acted improperly or agreed to do so.

Furthermore, under section 7, the Act introduced a corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery. This offence applies to commercial organisations when individuals associated with the organisation engage in bribery, and the organisation fails to demonstrate that it had adequate procedures in place to prevent such conduct.

In essence, these provisions expand the scope of the Bribery Act to address bribery involving foreign officials and hold organisations accountable for preventing bribery within their teams.

Examples of Bribery and Corruption Cases

Our bribery and corruption solicitors have a wealth of experience regarding acting on behalf of our clients in complex and high profile criminal cases such as:

  • 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 solicitors possessing unrivalled expertise in this area.

How Can Cartwright King Help?

Our corporate and financial solicitors offer comprehensive legal support for businesses and individuals facing various aspects of bribery and corruption allegations such as:

  • 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.

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.

Why Choose Cartwright King?

Cartwright King has one of the largest criminal defence firms in the country. We can represent you no matter where you are based in England and Wales. Where a case demands it we also have access to a network of expert counsel and other specialist professionals.

Often bribery and corruption investigations are invariably complex and highly technical in nature. In many instances they involve conduct that takes place outside of England and Wales and thus require knowledge of multi-jurisdictional issues such as extradition law and the process by which mutual legal assistance can be claimed. Cartwright King are experienced 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 successfully defend difficult cases.

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 take place 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.

Get in touch here or call our team on 03458 941 622.

For 24/7 emergency advice you can get in touch here.

Initial Telephone Consultation

In any matter where specialist advice is needed, speed is of the essence. The sooner our solicitors 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.

Often 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. Therefore, it’s in the best interest of employees to take legal advice regarding long term consequences of co-operation.

Legal Fees

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.

We're here for you.

What our clients are saying about us

See our reviews at Review Solicitors
  • Amazing Solicitors 

    Such a professional, supportive and responsive solicitors. They have been extremely helpful and understanding of the requirements. Very polite and helpful staff. I wouldn't use anyone else should the need ... Read more Amazing Solicitors
    Kate Soanes, (April 2024)
  • Great Service 

    Visa application was straightforward and I could not have asked for a nicer solicitor. Thanks Cartwright King team.
    Aarav, (April 2024)
  • SGO application 

    Jonathan was very informative and led us in everything we needed - there was no fuss and we felt that he had our best interests at the forefront. Would recommend ... Read more SGO application
    Anne Loughlin, (April 2024)
  • Great 

    Thank you to Shakela and team and thank you for all you did in helping me get to see my children again.
    Danielle Holt, (March 2024)
  • High Standard 

    Nisha work was to a very high standard from start to finish nisha responded to emails and phone calls very quickly fantastic service I got the the result I wanted ... Read more High Standard
    Nabila Nabi, (March 2024)
  • Excellent service! 

    Nisha assisted me in applying for my indefinite leave to remain, and I am so glad she did! Nisha was extremely responsive, thorough, reassuring, and very patient with my numerous ... Read more Excellent service!
    Kate S, (March 2024)
  • Brilliant 

    Very polite, professional, easy to talk to explains everything step-by-step Can Paul leave messages and always get a reply back as soon as possible and keep you up-to-date with everything ... Read more Brilliant
    Hardimatu Jenab, Review Solicitors (March 2024)
  • Excellent service! 

    Nisha assisted me in applying for my indefinite leave to remain, and I am so glad she did! Nisha was extremely responsive, thorough, reassuring, and very patient with my numerous ... Read more Excellent service!
    Kate S, Review Solicitors (March 2024)
  • Excellent Service by Sherena! 

    I was really lucky to have Sherena assist me on my Spouse Visa case. From the start, Sherena demonstrated a deep understanding of the immigration process; she provided a clear ... Read more Excellent Service by Sherena!
    Qistina, Review Solicitors (March 2024)