January 13, 2011 4.16 pm This story is over 158 months old

Solicitors prepare firms for new bribery act

Bribing: Free seminar will answer whether, under new laws, a bottle of whiskey for a client considered acceptable.

A city solicitors firm will host a free seminar to help local businesses prepare for new legislation regarding bribing due to come into force in April.

The Bribery Act will make it an offence for businesses to offer, promise, or accept anything considered to be a bribe.

The new law raises questions for businesses of all sizes across Lincolnshire about what exactly constitutes a bribe.

Helen Bell (pictured), a corporate and commercial solicitor at Langleys, will be on the expert panel at the February 16 seminar in Lincoln.

She will advise on whether businesses will need to change commercial contracts or contracts of employment.

The event will respond to questions like “Is a bottle of whiskey for a client considered acceptable but a luxury hamper excessive?”

Bell said: “The Bribery Act is one of the most far-reaching pieces of new legislation affecting UK businesses in recent years.

“If not prepared, the penalties of committing an offence under the Act range from an unlimited fine to imprisonment of up to ten years, or both.”

Joining Bell on the expert panel will be Mark Thompson, formerly with the Serious Fraud Office and currently the Forensic Investigations Director at Duncan & Toplis.

Thompson is set to explain the processes and impact a fraud allegation will have on businesses.

Also joining the panel is Simon Hoare, director of the Wilson Organisation, who will discuss the potential liability of directors under the new legislation.

The free seminar takes places on Wednesday, February 16, at the Olympic House on Doddington Road (LN6 3SE).

To book your free place call Lauren Howley, Langleys, 01904 683075.