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International

Self Report Guidance in Scotland extended to 30 June 2015

By Tom Stocker, Partner Pinsent Masons

Anyone dealing with a bribery matter which touches upon Scotland may have noticed that the self-reporting guidance published by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service expired on 30 June 2014.

We are able to confirm that the guidance and the approach to considering a civil settlement for a self-reporting company has been extended until 30 June 2015.  The guidance simply has not been updated. We speculate that the reason the guidance has not been formally updated is that consideration is being given to a kilted form of Deferred Prosecution Agreement, which could simply entail extending the self-reporting guidance to cover all economic crimes by companies.  Scotland's self-reporting regime is currently very narrow in its application as it is restricted to corporate bribery offences only. It should be noted that the self-reporting process in Scotland differs from that in the rest of ...

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Sectors

Richard Bistrong: “Countering Small Bribes.” A Personal Perspective on the Guidance by Transparency International

I bribed foreign officials, I cooperated with international law enforcement,  and I went to prison. So reads the opening line to Richard Bistong's bio from his own blog. Today we are posting a guest article by Richard Bistrong about the importance of cracking down on small bribes or facilitation payments.  They are, in our view, the thin end of the wedge. Richard knows about bribery.  From the front line and that makes his opinion count.  You may not agree with everything Richard says.  But if you are serious about preventing bribery you should listen to what Richard says.  We are honoured that Richard has agreed that we may post this article on our site.  You should add Richard's own blog to your list of daily reads. Richard, over to you: First, whenever I read a paper, book or guidance about “how to pay a bribe,” or  “how to avoid a bribe,” etc., it is always ...

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News & what’s on

5 top tips on how to handle the SFO from Alun Milford…GC of the SFO

"...do not expect us not to pursue lines of enquiry around how an internal investigation has been conducted, particularly if it cuts across our investigation and appears designed to do so. Do not expect the rewards of co-operation if you offer none.  Do not tell others that you are co-operating if you are not." stern stuff from Alun Milford , SFO General Counsel, speaking recently at the Global Investigations Summit. But not unreasonable. The speech went over a fair amount of old ground (though it's worth a read if you haven't already).  We've distilled it into 5 top tips from the SFO: Self Reports must accept the company did wrong, tell the SFO something they don't already know or would not have found out anyway The SFO may trust, but it WILL verify Co-operation, co-operation, co-operation Do not take steps (for example by churning up the evidence) which the SFO will consider will frustrate their investigation Some stuff ...

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Bribery Act & Proceeds of Crime

BREAKING: OPINION: SFO faces disastrous new closure threat from Theresa May at the Home Office

The Financial Times reports that Theresa May MP Home Office minister is mounting a fresh campaign to close down the UK Serious Fraud Office and have serious fraud the responsibility of the National Crime Agency.  Present SFO employees would, under the plans, be scattered around various existing government departments. Some have questioned the motives of seeking to close down the SFO. The Director of the SFO David Green arrived just over two years ago with a four year remit to sort out the SFO after a series of high profile mistakes.  It is generally considered that he has done a good job in cleaning up previous mistakes and that this year marked a turnaround in the agency's fortunes. When he arrived it was widely understood that there would be a reconsideration of the agency's performance based on the results achieved during Mr. Green's stewardship at the end of his four year term. In recent months the ...

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Your Questions: Answered

The recipe for a compliant summer internship program

Dear Barry & Richard, My company runs a summer internship program and applications to participate close in the Spring. Every year I typically receive extra requests outside the program, in July and August, to provide a week or two vacation placement work experience for kids who are the children of people who know colleagues of mine. When I tell my colleagues in the business that the deadline for applications has been missed I am met with pleas to make an exception in this or that case, told that the commitment has already been made or that I'm just not being very commercial. On the other side of the coin though I have read that an internship could be a bribe and so I don't know what to do. Should I cancel the internship program? Barry and Richard Answer Don't cancel the internship program. You are not alone in dealing with these challenges. Back in the day when an internship ...

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