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Serious Fraud Office may go farther in investigating BAE systems (*Oil-for-Arms corruption scandal involving Shell)

Times Online
The Times
January 8, 2009

Backhander

Lovells is launching its cross-border group focused on bribery and corruption today. It is symptomatic of the way that, in the post-credit-crunch era, fraud has become the hot area of legal practice. What is more, according to Jeremy Cole, the coordinator of the Lovells group, the UK authorities are on the verge of starting to take bribery seriously. A bribery Bill is likely this year, he says, and there is even a chance that the Serious Fraud Office may go farther in investigating BAE systems.

Whatever the UK may do, however, it is clear, Cole says, that the US is not letting up on its global mission to track down international corruption (especially if American businesses are missing out as a result). In the light of this, Lovells is emphasising the need for a new compliance culture to develop in British companies. Dealing with Bribery and Corruption is the Lovells task force’s first publication. It may be worth reading if you want to avoid that shackled “perp’s walk” into public ignominy.

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*Headline comment in brackets added by John Donovan

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