Anti-bribery law comes into force

The long-awaited Bribery Act has finally come into force. The legislation, which was bitterly opposed by many exporting businesses, means that any company that carries on a business in the UK can incur liability for the corrupt actions of rogue employees or associated third parties – even if the company's management knew nothing about the bribery.

The act covers the overseas operations of companies that do business in the UK.

Police must now report all Bribery Act cases to the Crown Office's Serious and Organised Crime Division. Scotland's Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, said the Act would "encourage firms to proactively report wrongdoing", bribery and corruption.