Nick Johnson QC acts in Skansen bribery case involving the UK’s first s.7 Bribery Act trial
April 24, 2018
One of Exchange Chambers’ silks and fraud specialists Nick Johnson QC acted for the Managing Director of Skansen Interiors Ltd, a London based fit-out and refurbishment contractor, in proceedings which concluded at Southwark Crown Court yesterday. The company itself and two individuals faced charges under the Bribery Act 2010, relating to securing contracts for two London office refurbishments worth about £6m.
The case was a legal first in UK in that Skansen, having carried out an internal investigation and self-reported to the National Crime Agency, then faced a s.7 prosecution in the Crown Court, where a company can itself be guilty of a criminal offence if it failed to put in place adequate procedures to prevent bribery occurring within its organisation, even where company directors might be unaware of those bribes.
Commenting on the case, Nick said “this case is the clearest example of the need for companies to have in place effective anti-bribery measures in order to protect employees and the company itself, whether in the construction or other sectors where risks of improper payments arise. Even where a company is compliant with a criminal investigation, if its internal procedures were poor, it may not secure a Deferred Prosecution Agreement for itself and could well end up in a criminal dock.”