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Corporate Gifts and the Bribery Act of 2010

The Bribery Act of 2010 which came into force in July 2010 can be found here.

In my opinion it was utterly blown out of proportion and largely misinterpreted judging from the scare stories to be found on the internet. Its intention is clear - to prevent bribery, not corporate cakes. Bribery, in relation to the act, can be loosely defined as an act that intends to yield an improper action, e.g. a ‘gift’ to obtain a contract. The act in section 1 offers a more comprehensive definition, as follows:

“Offences of bribing another person

(1) A person (“P”) is guilty of an offence if either of the following cases applies.

(2) Case 1 is where—

(a) P offers, promises or gives a financial or other advantage to another person, and

(b) P intends the advantage—

(i)to induce a person to perform improperly a relevant function or activity, or

(ii)to reward a person for the improper performance of such a function or activity.

(3) Case 2 is where—

(a) P offers, promises or gives a financial or other advantage to another person, and

(b) P knows or believes that the acceptance of the advantage would itself constitute the improper performance of a relevant function or activity.”


Kenneth Clarke, Secretary of State for Justice in his March 2011 statement truthfully states it is “directed at making life difficult for the mavericks responsible for corruption, not unduly burdening the vast majority of decent, law-abiding firms.” He goes on to say something I think very pertinent, “the Act is directly beneficial for business. That’s because it creates clarity and a level playing field, helping to align trading nations around decent standards.” If anyone has experienced losing a contract under dubious circumstances when they know they are better than the competition, I am sure they will agree with this.


In my humble opinion you should ask yourself the question, “am I trying to gain an unfair advantage by gifting a gift.” If you are not and the present is a genuine gift you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You may want to take a look at a previous blog post I wrote, When to give a Corporate Gift to read some genuine examples. Perhaps one important consideration to remember when giving a corporate gift is that it should be proportional and not excessive as it may be viewed badly. And if you are concerned, perishable items like our Macaroons are a safe bet!


Corporate Gift box of Macarons 

And to view our corporate range, please click here.  

Until next time.

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