WASHINGTON, DC, October 10, 2011 — The head of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, the agency responsible for enforcing the UK Bribery Act, warned corporations last week that the SFO is actively pursuing cases in which foreign corporations have undercut UK companies through corrupt actions in other countries.
“What we are actively looking for is a case where a foreign corporation, with a UK business presence, has disadvantaged a good ethical UK company by using corruption in another country,” said Richard Alderman, director of the SFO, at Covington & Burling’s 2011 Anti-Corruption Summit, held in Washington, DC on October 5. “This is likely to have had a detrimental impact on the UK company with a possible loss of jobs in the UK. There is therefore a very strong UK public interest in an investigation in those circumstances.”
Mr. Alderman’s comments came during a wide-ranging keynote address regarding enforcement of the UK Bribery Act to the representatives of leading international companies attending the Covington summit.
“Mr. Alderman’s comments provide some much-needed clarity for companies on the direction that the SFO will take in enforcing the recently enacted UK Bribery Act,” said Steven Fagell, co-chair of Covington’s global anti-corruption practice.
Attendees also heard throughout the day from Covington attorneys and in-house experts on a variety of anti-corruption compliance issues and enforcement developments.
Covington’s global anti-corruption and white collar crime practices are widely recognized for their excellence, including rankings in Chambers USA, Chambers UK, Legal 500 US and Legal 500 UK.