Corporates as well other business concerns are becoming more conscious of the ethical implications of their operations, even as regulators around the world, including in Uganda, become increasingly aggressive and cooperative in investigating and enforcing anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws and related economic crimes. As the global economy becomes increasingly integrated, investigators, regulators and prosecutors have become more stringent in their enforcement measures. Consequently, apart from being subject to Ugandan anti-bribery and corruption legislation, Ugandan companies and directors (or companies doing business in Uganda) must understand legislation in other jurisdictions. The United States and the United Kingdom have enacted particularly onerous provisions -which are coupled with strong cultures of enforcement and prosecution.
At Cymbell Advocates, we have developed huge experience and expertise in the field of anti-bribery and anticorruption. Our team regularly advises and consults for corporations and individuals in respect of allegations of complex fraud, bribery, corruption, money laundering, tax evasion, falsified accounting, insider dealing, abuse of office, extradition proceedings as well as anti-trust and consumer protection related criminal proceedings. Should these matters turn litigious our team is additionally equipped to defend Clients against allegations in such complex and high profile cases.
The Anti-Corruption Act, 2009 as well as the Anti- Money Laundering Act 2013 govern the conduct of companies (both public and private) as well individuals in respect of actions described as corrupt and related corrupt practices such as facilitation payments, treatment and improper business or hospitality expenses.
The Anti-Corruption Act, 2009 has far-reaching effects and the stiffest penalties. For instance, those found guilty of bribery or corruption, inter alia, face unlimited fines, confiscation of any property acquired through such unlawful means and imprisonment for individuals.
Our team is well versed in providing compliance advisories as well as excellent strategic advice, aimed at preventing exposure to adverse action as well as offering representation, which often results in cases being discontinued or in not-guilty verdicts at trial. We regularly act for corporates and individuals subject to investigations and prosecutions; some of which involve assisting in engaging with a slew of investigative bodies. We also help corporates and individuals deal with internal investigations relating to bribery and corrupt practices as well as managing the relationship with enforcement agencies.
In assisting our Clients comply with the Act, we also advise on preventative issues relating to drafting and review of apt Anticorruption and Anti-Bribery Policies, self-reporting, compliance checks; conducting gaps analysis as well as legal and compliance audits as well representing clients in challenging civil proceedings on restraint of user and confiscation proceedings by the Assets Recovery Agency. Where applicable, we also help clients negotiate and conclude plea bargaining agreement with the office of Director of Public Prosecution.
For corporates who are victims of bribery and corruption, we offer a wide range of services to recover assets, commercial litigation and assets tracing and recovery. We are also offer advice on enhancing and remediating and the corporate compliance programmes to mitigate the risk of further incidents of bribery and corruption within the organisation.