Bribery and Corruption

Chambers has been at the vanguard of London and England and Wales legal service providers in advising individuals and companies and representing defendants charged with bribery since the coming into force of the Bribery Act 2010.

Four members of Chambers (Mark Wyeth QC, Denis Barry, Ben Douglas-Jones and Michael Attenborough) represented defendants in the Conference League football corruption trial - the first trial under the Bribery Act 2010.

Mark Wyeth QC and Ben Douglas-Jones represented the footballer Hakeem Adelakun, the first person to be acquitted of bribery under the 2010 Act.

Chambers provides due diligence and compliance training in bribery and corruption. Members of Chambers have been head-hunted by London Corporate as Complex Risk and Regulatory Consultants to advise companies on compliance issues including bribery. They frequently advise companies in relation to internal bribery compliance.

Ben Douglas-Jones and Jonathan Rees represented the commercial solicitor and financial director of Celtic Energy Ltd in Serious Fraud Office v Evans. This “blockbuster “ SFO case collapsed in the face of legal argument. It concerned alleged bribery in which a commercial QC was alleged to have been paid £250,000 to provide a Counsel’s Opinion in which he changed his mind as to the legal effect of a deal. The Opinion was alleged to have prompted a corrupt deal to transfer £170 million worth of restoration liabilities relating to opencast mining sites to BVI companies. The SFO’s later attempts to resurrect the case through a voluntary bill of indictment failed and the SFO was ordered to pay the defendant’s private costs.

Ben Douglas-Jones represented the SFO in the case of SFO v Hall in which a cooperation agreement was drawn up, prompting Bruce Hall, the aluminium magnate, to plead guilty to offences of bribery.