A recent Dow Jones compliance symposium discussed the issue of self-reporting by companies suspected of bribery. While regulators are encouraging self-reporting to limit penalties, some in the legal industry are taking issue with that advice.
Charlie Monteith of White & Case, who was previously involved in drafting the Bribery Act when at the Serious Fraud Office, said that a first step a company should take is to obtain expert legal advice, then decide its course of action.
“First get the facts straight. There were two examples while I was at the SFO that show the perils of acting too quickly without taking legal advice first.
In one scenario, a company approached the SFO and suspected its employees had paid brides, but an investigation then found it had not. In a second case, a company approached the SFO to say it didn’t think employees had paid bribes but the subsequent investigation found that bribes have been paid.”