We specialise in defending businesses and individuals when facing fraud allegations including allegations of bribery and corruption. Corruption offences have been brought against individuals for a long time now but the recent Bribery Act 2010 created new criminal offences that can include corporations. Our experience of defending businesses and individuals gives us the edge over our competitors when it comes to defending this type of allegation.
The expectation was that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) would pursue these offences vigorously when the Act finally came into force, the reality is that they haven’t yet brought many charges but are still actively investigating a number of cases. There have been other cases brought by other prosecuting authorities though such as the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
We have experience of large, sensitive cases with individuals charged with corruption. These cases always require an acknowledgement of the potential for destroying the reputation of those individuals. It is vitally important that a specialist solicitor is instructed at an early stage to limit any potential damage and to vigorously challenge the allegations.
Anti-corruption and bribery offences will affect all individuals in the UK and all UK businesses. The Act will also affect those overseas businesses conducting part of their business in the UK. An offence would be tried in the UK regardless of where in the world the bribery act took place if the business is a UK business or conducts some business in the UK.
The Bribery Act 2010 will create 4 offences:
The penalties for an individual and be imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a fine. In respect of a corporation there can be an unlimited fine.
It is important to note that a corporation will be liable if an individual commits any of the first three offences with the consent or involvement of a senior officer. That senior officer will also be personally liable. The corporation becomes criminally liable for the acts of their employees, subsidiaries and agents. This would be the case even if that individual were not tried for the offence.
It is a statutory defence to the corporate offence for a corporation to show that they had in place adequate procedures to prevent offences of bribery. There is no definition of ‘adequate procedures’ and as such it is important that businesses take great care to record every step they have taken to address this issue. There needs to be policies to address this issue and businesses need to ensure that employees are trained to recognise what is and is not acceptable.
Nick Freeman is quite possibly the most famous criminal solicitor practising in the Country today. Dubbed by the media as “Mr Loophole” his reputation rose as an expert road traffic lawyer through his client list of famous sports personalities and celebrities.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg for Nick and his team of highly experienced criminal solicitors. Freeman & Co. have successfully represented people charged with a wide range of criminal offences ranging from assault to fraud, from rape to theft.
Nick has a singular mind to all his cases and challenging the details of every case is an ethos that pervades Freeman & Co. as a whole.
From the first police station interview to fighting your case through the courts, Freeman & Co. provide seamless representation and dedicated client care that is second to none.
Being charged with a criminal offence of any kind will be a daunting experience. Freeman & Co. are a specialist from of criminal solicitors who understand their clients’ needs and the overwhelming need to get the best possible result in all the circumstances.
If you are, a family member to friend have been charged with a criminal offence you can call Freeman & Co. today on 0161 236 7007. You can also send us a confidential email by clicking here.
We look forward to hearing from you.