Speaking at an HBAA UK Bribery Act seminar this morning (1 July), Norton Rose partner Sam Eastwood told delegates that if a venue finder service is not acting in its client’s best interests when sourcing a venue, then the client itself could be guilty of bribery under the new law, which came into force today.
"A booking agent should not recommend venues that are less suitable for its client’s needs because it received an incentive from that venue. A reputable venue finding company should have a procedure in place to ensure no incentives are given to individuals unless they are approved by directors," he added.
During the seminar, Eastwood also told delegates that if a staff member and their family accepts an offer to stay at a venue to assess it, this could fall foul of the law if the stay was offered at a commercially sensitive time or if the hospitality is too lavish.
"Ultimately, a company should ask itself whether it would be happy to see all the details of its business dealings splashed across page three of the Daily Mail. If you have some apprehension, then you should reconsider," he added.
Eastwood also said that larger companies need to spend extra care drawing up their internal bribery policy.