FCPA: Doomsayers Proven Wrong Yet Again-Gifts and Entertainment Under the Bribery Act

‘We are not interested in that sort of case. We are interested in hearing that a large company has mysteriously come second in bidding for a big contract. The sort of bribery we would be investigating would not be tickets to Wimbledon or bottles of champagne. We are not the “serious champagne office”.’

today’s Daily Mail quotes the Director of the Serious Fraud Office as saying. It is helpful stuff.

We have said time and time again that the SFO is unlikely to be bringing a stand alone Bribery Act prosecution over corporate hospitality. Scare stories published about Olympic corporate hospitality levels and pictures of empty seats led to reports that the Bribery Act was to blame.

Many of the empty seats were not in fact empty corporate boxes but instead seats belonging to Olympic officials who did not bother to turn up to early qualifiers. But why let the facts get in the way of a good story.

That said, we are aware of instances where corporates had Olympic corporate hospitality rejected because of the Bribery Act.

Hopefully the latest comments from the new SFO Director will kill off some of the scaremongering that has gone before among the media and some legal advisers.

In an excellent post our friend Howard Sklar recently exposed some legal advice given by one lawyer about the Bribery Act who advised:

“The limit should be zero dollars. That will keep you safe”

B******s.

Howard, known for his tempered approach commented:

“Really? Zero?

Let’s just talk about how advice likes this harms not just the giver, but the receiver too. First, the giver. The person who gives this advice will give it to one of two types of people: people who know what they’re talking about, or people who don’t ...

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