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Bribery Act is source of most frequently asked questions from risk managers

Miller Insurance Services LLP (Miller), the specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, will be hosting a workshop at the AIRMIC conference highlighting the concerns of companies around fraud and the UK’s Bribery Act. Despite being spoilt for choice when it comes to the legislative and regulatory issues that could keep corporate officers awake at night, the most frequently asked questions are all around the Bribery Act.

Richard Watts, a D&O specialist at Miller, who is hosting the workshop, comments; “Nearly a year on from the Act becoming law – and with no major prosecution so far – directors and officers are still very concerned that they are operating in a changed environment, where the burden is being placed on boards to prove that no wrongdoing has occurred.

“What really concerns them is the lack of clarity around the definition of a bribe – despite the guidance notes which have been issued. While some are clear cut, many others fall into a grey area that could broadly be described as “doing day-to-day business” – the most significant category of which is undoubtedly corporate hospitality. And, if an allegation is made, the cost of defending it is also unknown territory – with no cases to use for reference. The closest comparison is probably fraud cases, which may not be very comforting as the costs there can be millions of pounds.

“Broadly, businesses that do all they can to stay on the right side of the law should have less to fear from this legislation. Where there may be more concern, given the extra-territorial reach of the Act, is around subsidiaries and individuals which are outside the UK – and possibly in countries where the cultural norms and business practices are different.”

‘Fraud, and the Bribery Act – what is your position? ’will take place on Wednesday,13 June from 11.45-1pm.

Other panellists include Ben Luddington, a director in Grant Thornton’s forensic and investigation services department and Giles Searby, partner and head of commercial litigation at Hill Dickinson.

The discussion will be interactive and help risks mangers to:

• determine the key procedures that need to be in place to prevent fraud and the role of the risk manager

• assess the risks posed by the Bribery Act 2010

• understand the insurance solutions that can work as part of an integrated strategy

• review their own programme for potential gaps.