Talking Trade Finance

Sullivan Monthly Breakfast Seminar, January 2019 — Trade, Export and Project Finance Compliance Refresher

Posted by Amanda Montano on Feb 6, 2019 9:31:02 AM

by Amanda Montano and Judith Abanto

Kicking off the monthly Breakfast Seminar series for 2019, Sullivan’s London partner Mark Norris gave a presentation on the key compliance risks faced by trade and project finance practitioners.

Putting the need for compliance in context, he reported that the World Bank and the OECD estimate that bribery, tax evasion and corruption are responsible for revenue losses in the billions, particularly in poorer economies.

The UK is internationally renowned for having a robust compliance regime. The Bribery Act 2010 (the BA 2010) and the Criminal Finances Act 2017 (the CFA 2017) are among the strictest legislation on bribery and tax evasion worldwide. Each has an extra-territorial reach beyond the UK, further underscoring their practical impact on both domestic and international businesses. 

Highlights of Mark’s presentation include:

  • a high-level overview of what constitutes bribery and the prime offences under the BA 2010;
  • the Section 7 strict liability offence under the BA 2010, which places the burden of proof on companies to demonstrate that they have adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery;
  • what lessons can be gleaned from R v Skansen Interiors Limited (2018)[1] as a case study for the first contested conviction for a Section 7 offence;
  • the Serious Fraud Office’s approach to facilitation payments under the BA 2010;
  • the new Section 45 and 46 strict liability offences under the CFA 2017, which will see companies being held accountable for failing to prevent those who act for or on their behalf from criminally facilitating tax evasion;
  • six guiding principles for establishing adequate procedures to prevent tax evasion; and
  • practical examples of tax evasion offences and the implications for drafting.

Please click here for a link to a video of the seminar to get your refresher on Trade, Export and Project Finance compliance.

For further information on how the Bribery Act 2010 and the Criminal Finances Act 2017 impact your business please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Geoff Wynne or your usual contact at the firm.

[1] Regina v Skansen Interiors Limited, Southwark Crown Court, Case Number: T20170224, 21 February 2018

Amanda Montanto is an associate and Judith Abanto is a trainee solicitor at Sullivan & Worcester UK LLP.

Topics: Trade Finance, R v Skansen Interiors Ltd, Bribery Act 2010, Criminal Finances Act 2017

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About the Blog

Talking Trade Finance is here to provide you with all of the latest updates in the Trade & Export Finance Industry.

The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it. Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.

Meet the Editor


Simon Cook is a partner in the Trade & Export Finance Group in Sullivan & Worcester’s London office. He has experience in a wide variety of banking and finance transactions, including structured trade and commodity finance, project finance, warehouse finance, supply chain finance, ECA finance and borrowing-base facilities. He advises on transactions across emerging markets for both lenders and borrowers notably in the oil, telecoms, soft commodities and metals sectors in Africa and the Middle East, where he was based for four years. Simon also acts for industry bodies and is a member of ITFA’s Africa Regional Committee.


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