Linklaters Insights: Anti-bribery and corruption law and enforcement across the globe

Anti-bribery & AML Risk & Compliance

Understanding the global reach of regulation

An understanding of the global reach of anti-bribery and corruption regulation, as well as the application of it within a specific jurisdiction, is key to managing risk for today’s international businesses. As enforcement agencies increasingly cooperate to tackle financial crime across jurisdictions, we have seen an uptick in large-scale investigations and correspondingly large penalties imposed on companies engaging in unlawful behaviour.

Linklaters’ review of anti-bribery and corruption law and enforcement across the globe will be of particular interest to businesses with international operations. For each of 22 jurisdictions, it provides at-a-glance answers to eight questions: 

  • Under what legislation are bribery and corruption unlawful in that jurisdiction? 
  • What activities are prohibited? 
  • In order to be unlawful, need the corrupt activities occur in whole or in part within that jurisdiction? 
  • To whom do the rules apply? 
  • What are the fines/penalties? 
  • What approach is taken to enforcement in practice? 
  • Are there any legal restrictions on dealing with financial proceeds suspected to have been procured by corruption?
  • What future developments are anticipated in this area? 

This review is intended to highlight issues rather than to provide comprehensive advice. If you have any particular questions about bribery, corruption or foreign corrupt practices, please contact the Allens lawyers with whom you work.

Explore the Insight here.

Key themes

Expanding regulation and harsher penalties

Tackling bribery and corruption remains high on the agenda of governments across the globe.

But stringent legislation doesn’t always result in effective enforcement

There remain jurisdictions where, despite comprehensive legislation, few or no prosecutions for foreign bribery have been brought in recent years.

Increased emphasis on self-regulation and corporate compliance

There is increasing awareness across the globe that governments cannot tackle widespread corruption on their own. This has resulted in greater emphasis on requiring business organisations to shoulder the burden.

Extending use of DPAs and other settlement options

Deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs), once the preserve of the US legal system, have been recognised across the globe as an effective way to resolve allegations of bribery and corruption.

Increased recognition for whistleblowers

The importance of whistleblowers in providing intelligence to agencies tackling corruption is increasingly being recognised, as is the need to protect individuals who come forward with disclosures of criminal conduct.

The impact of the Covid pandemic

It is widely feared that the pandemic will result in increased financial crime globally, including bribery and corruption where commercial entities have been hit by disrupted supply chains and the monitoring and surveillance of employee activities has reduced.