News & what's on - Written by Barry & Richard on Saturday, May 14, 2011 1:50 - 2 Comments
How to win friends and influence people (legally). Review *****
In the Pinsent Masons shiny new worldwide London headquarters on Thursday we presented to a packed audience (in fact so packed that we have added an extra date to our schedule in London to accommodate all those that want to attend – for details of the additional presentation please click here and/or email firstname.lastname@example.org to attend.
The session opened with Guy Lougher who looked at similarities and differences between competition and UK Anti-corruption laws.
We dealt with risk (breaking it out into sector and country risk), posed (and answered) the question “what is a bribe?”, looked at the law and importantly the defence. Then came a panel with Barry Vitou presiding.
The session sparked a series of questions from the audience on the practicality of getting to the bottom of the activities of your agents and the cost of compliance along with the old chestnut of UK PLC being hampered when competing on the international stage. It was clear that there is still much to do and interestingly still many questions about corporate hospitality. We had thought that question was now dead and buried.
Richard Kovalevsky predicted that early prosecutions would focus on the failing to prevent bribery offence and highlighted conversations Richard (and Barry) have had with the SFO which warn of real, not imagined, enforcement of the new law.
Chris Dale highlighted the importance of document management.
What. Document management?
Yes. Document management.
If you are ever unlucky enough to have the regulator crawling through your books you don’t want them knowing more than you do about what’s in them.
Last, but certainly not least, the shrinking violet that is Howard Sklar (you really should check out Howard’s blog if you haven’t already – its pure gold) shared his experiences of FCPA compliance, the practical difficulties and cost ramifications of the new law. Howard drew the parallel that the new Bribery Act is an Aston Martin in comparison to the taxi cab anti-corruption laws in force in the UK today.
Howard questioned whether the UK would take it’s new Aston Martin for a spin.
We don’t have to wait long to find out.
We expect to see Richard Alderman driving his new Aston Martin soon (and not necessarily one bought from the proceeds of a pay deal with a US law firm…).
Vivian’s on the other hand may be.