Rolls-Royce inquiry into Chinese bribery claims

  • @BawdenTom

Rolls-Royce has named Lord Gold, the City lawyer investigating the cash-for-access scandal in the Tory party, to investigate its compliance practices after the company last month revealed possible corruption in China and Indonesia.

David Gold, a Conservative life peer who spent 37 years at the law firm Herbert Smith, is part of Rolls-Royce's quest to repair a reputation tarnished by the first allegations of corruption and bribery in its 106-year history.

Rolls-Royce said that staff and the company itself could face prosecution after handing the Serious Fraud Office details of an investigation it said "identified matters of concern" over the methods which were used by intermediaries in China, Indonesia and other overseas markets in the pursuit of lucrative contracts.

Lord Gold worked in several roles at Herbert Smith, including head of litigation and senior partner. Last year, he set up the David Gold Strategic litigation advisory firm.

He is best known for his appointment by David Cameron to look into Tory fundraising after the then Conservative party co-treasurer, Peter Cruddas, was secretly filmed apparently offering access to the prime minister in return for political donations.

When the allegations about Rolls-Royce were first made public its chief executive, John Rishton, said he "wants to make it crystal clear that neither I nor the board will tolerate improper business conduct of any sort and will take all necessary action".