The UK’s Bribery Act, which makes corruption a civil and criminal offence, was finally given the green light on March 30 after months of uncertainty as to whether or not the country's government would bring it onto the statute books at all.
More than a year after the act was finalised, the UK Ministry of Justice announced the act would come into force on July 1. It also delivered the act’s ‘guidance’ – accompanying notes intended to clarify some of the more tricky issues raised by the new offence of bribery.
One of the more difficult areas was whether or not corporate hospitality would be permitted or whether it would be considered a bribe. The guidance demonstrates that some level of client entertainment will be allowed as long as it is proportionate, such as taking a foreign client to a sporting event “as part of a public relations exercise”.