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The New British Invasion: Will the UK Bribery Act of 2010 Eclipse the FCPA?
By Jon May
On July 1, 2010, the U.K. Bribery Act of 2010 became effective. This law subjects any U.S. corporation or individual doing business in the United Kingdom to harsh criminal penalties if found guilty of bribery. Unlike the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the U.K. Bribery Act of 2010 applies to commercial bribery. Potentially, therefore, a U.S. company headquartered in Kansas City that sells ethanol in Manchester, England, could be prosecuted for bribing an employee of an oil company in Saudi Arabia. The Bribery Act is that broad.
The Bribery Act follows upon U.S. efforts to combat corruption worldwide. Over the last five years the Department of Justice (DOJ) has made enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act a major priority. In 2003, there were nine investigations of foreign and domestic corporations for violations of the FCPA.1 By 2010, the number had increased to 120.2 In 2007, nine individuals were prosecuted for FCPA violations. In 2010, that number had r
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