In the case of CH Offshore v Internaves Moulder J found that a ‘secret commission’ did not amount to a bribe because the intermediary agent was not a fiduciary of the principal in the strict sense. In the more recent case of Kings Security Systems v King the Court rejected an argument to the effect that section 175 of the Companies Act 2006 had codified the law of bribery in the case of a company director, such that the involvement of another company director in the arrangement did not provide a defence to the claim of bribery under s.175(3). The tort of bribery might appear to be straightforward, but its precise boundaries remain unclear ad can give rise to some difficult legal points.
The Quadcast team looked at the recent cases on bribery and question whether a fiduciary relationship is or ought to be a necessary ingredient in the tort. They also looked forward to anticipated decisions in the higher courts and other expected developments in civil procedure.