Section 12 of the Act provides that the courts in England and Wales will have jurisdiction over sections 1, 24 or 6 offences committed in the UK, but they will also have jurisdiction over offences committed outside the UK where the person committing them has a close connection with the UK by virtue of being

  • a British national or ordinarily resident in the UK,
  • a body incorporated in the UK or
  • a Scottish partnership. 

However, as regards section 7, the requirement of a close connection with the UK does not apply. Section 7(3) makes clear that a commercial organisation can be liable for conduct amounting to a section 1 or 6 offence on the part of a person who is neither a UK national or resident in the UK, nor a body incorporated or formed in the UK.

In addition, section 12(5) provides that it does not matter whether the acts or omissions which form part of the section 7 offence take part in the UK or elsewhere. So, provided the organisation is incorporated or formed in the UK, or that the organisation carries on a business or part of a business in the UK (wherever in the world it may be incorporated or formed) then UK courts will have jurisdiction.

There are many multi-national companies incorporated abroad that could be caught out if they operate under the regime in the USA as that is not as strict as the UK law. We await consequences if the UK picks on a large USA corporation.

Clarke Kiernan, Bribery Solicitors,

1 Lamberts Yard, Tonbridge, TN9 1ER

Phone: 01732360999, Fax : 01732353835,, Map