The new UK Bribery Act: consequences for companies in Belgium (conference)

Leon KuundersInternationaal, Symposium

The United Kingdom has, after a long period of hesitation, finally updated, under strong pressure from the OECD, its anti-corruption provisions. With one single and strong step, it has gone from its (out dated) Victorian legislation to the most stringent, ambitious and modern Act.

There are now strict rules on individual and corporate liability and on the liability “for failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery”. Facilitation payments will not be allowed and possibly prosecuted.

Is the UK going to be stricter than the US and will the Bribery Act 2010 be a stronger anti-bribery tool than the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?Many questions remain unanswered though. When will the Act enter into force? What resources will the U.K. Government make available for active enforcement and prevention? What will the “extra-territorial” effect of the Act be? Will Belgian companies, having (even a minor) business activity in the United Kingdom, be considered liable on the basis of the new Act for corruption outside the UK? What are the “adequate procedures”, which will constitute an efficient defence?

No better than Mr. Richard Alderman (CV), the Director of the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) can answer those questions.

Transparency International Belgium offers the unique opportunity on March 3, 2011 to enter the debate in the prestigious setting of the Egmont Palace, and to keep abreast of the latest anti-corruption developments in one of our country’s most important trading partners.

The conference will be introduced by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and development Cooperation,   as a co-sponsor of the event. The other speakers and members of the panel will be:

Robert Barrington (CV) – Director of External Affairs at Transparency International United Kingdom: “Adequate procedures: what does it mean?”

Roger Best (CV) – Partner at Clifford Chance’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice in London, head of the Regulatory, Fraud and Investigations group: “Why foreign companies need to prepare for the UK Bribery Act”

Johan Denolf (CV) – Director of the department Economic and Financial Criminality (DJF) of the Belgian Federal Police: “Experiences about corruption”

Practical information

·         Thursday 3 March 2011

·         The event starts at 2 pm and ends at 6.30 pm. Doors open at 1.30 pm

·         The conference lasts until 5 p.m. and will be followed by a reception

·         Simultaneous interpretation into French and Dutch

·         Address: Arenberg Room, Egmont Palace, Kleine Zavel 11, 1000 Brussels

·         Participation fee: 125 € to be paid in advance into bank account 310-0858211-41 of Transparency International Belgium, IBAN Number BE88 3100 8582 1141, SWIFT-BIC Code BBRUBEBB.

·         Reduced fee: 75 €. This workshop is part of the TI-B Corporate Package. Members benefit from a 40% reduction on all activities under the TI-B Corporate Package. Sponsors with gifts of the same amount as the membership fee also benefit from a 40% reduction. Membership fees and gifts tax deductible. Information on membership and sponsoring can be obtained here.

·         This conference is recognized by the Belgian bar associations (OBFG and OVB) for 4 professional training points.

·         Corporate Package and further workshops: click here for information

·         Contact: Annemie Valgaeren, telephone +32-(0)2-509.00.31 or info(at)transparencybelgium.be

·         Click here for registration