A recent High Court decision has underlined the importance of getting your consumer contracts right.
As you are probably aware, Rolls-Royce has been asked by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to provide information regarding allegations of malpractice by its intermediaries in Indonesia and China.
The allegations are against Rolls-Royce’s intermediaries rather than the company itself but Rolls-Royce could still be liable. This is because, under the Bribery Act 2010, a commercial organisation commits an offence if a person associated with it bribes someone on its behalf. Such organisations do, however, have a defence if they can show that they had adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery.
In its response to the allegations, Rolls-Royce says that it has strengthened its procedures in recent years, for example by introducing a new ethics code. This case could demonstrate the importance of businesses having adequate policies and procedures in place.