The two were speaking at a seminar titled “UK Bribery Act: New challenges for business in Russia”, organized by the Russo British Chamber of Commerce and hosted by Baker & Mackenzie, the law firm. Sunny Mann a London partner and Paul Melling the veteran of 31 years in Russia since he founded the practice there also spoke at the seminar.
Mr Mann advises clients’ on compliance with respect to international trade, anti-bribery and competition rules. He said the act introduced a new corporate offence of failure to prevent bribery and introduced the key phrase “relevant commercial organization” (RCO) which he said includes Uk corporate and any other corporate carrying on a business or part of a business in the UK.
Mr. Melling warned of dangers inherent in the Russian business culture which he said was built around “taking shortcuts” and “cheating the system”. However, he said that Russia’s anti-bribery initiatives were acquiring teeth with recent legislation which categorizes the giver and recipient of bribes as both committing a criminal offence.
He pointed that in 2011 the fines were increased so that bribes greater than 20 million rubles were liable to a fine 100 times the amount of the bribe but not less than 100 million rubles.
Ms de Lozey said that “people involved in corruption have ingenious methods of making the payments”. The SFO have identified a number of questionable practices within various sectors dubbed “corruption indicators”
She made a broad-based pitch for people who came across questionable practices that do not seem to add up to “bring it to the attention of your manager, or better still, tell us about it.".