The trial of the three men lasted several weeks, and the principal prosecution witness, an undercover reporter, posing as a representative of a wealthy far eastern business, gave evidence of many meetings in 2016 at which one of the men boasted openly about how widespread corruption in English football really is. They asked for and were paid £5,000 by the undercover reporter with a promise of another £5,000 to come in return for preferential treatment to certain players.

English law provides that to offer or ask for a bribe is a criminal offence, regardless of whether it is actually paid, and one might ask how an undercover journalist might do so?

In most cases the answer lies in the intent in making the offer and/or payment. Whereas a person receiving a bribe who doesn’t know he is dealing with an undercover journalist would find it difficult to argue that he accepted the bribe other than for the reason it was given, a journalist is entitled to say that in offering the bribe, he or she did not intend the person receiving it to perform his or her duties corruptly; rather that his or her intention was to expose corruption where it is clearly in the public interest to do so.

Police officers acting undercover are frequently asked to engage in activity which might be considered criminal, but for their real intention to detect and investigate crime, and when they do so they are subject to strict regulations and guidelines.

Journalists too are answerable to a regulatory body in this regard, namely the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). The IPSO Code of Conduct for Editors permits misrepresentation and subterfuge (in this case posing as a legitimate business) where:

  • it is in the public interest;
  • the evidence cannot be obtained by other means; and
  • it is proportionate.

In this case, the undercover operation of the Telegraph was subject to legal challenge and scrutinised by the trial Judge, who found nothing untoward in the behaviour of the Telegraph’s undercover journalists, and the evidence gathered by them and handed over to the police immediately upon the conclusion of the investigation, was the foundation of the prosecution’s case.

RIAA Barker Gillette partner, Steven Barker, who has advised a number of national newspapers on criminal law issues, assisted the Telegraph in the development of its protocols and procedures for undercover operations and apparatus, and in dealing with its disclosure obligations to the prosecuting authorities before and during the trial.

Rachel Welsh, Head of Editorial Legal at the Telegraph, said:

“We are grateful to Steven for all his support and advice both before and during the case. Steven’s knowledge and experience in this field was invaluable.”

Steven is the author of our own protocols and procedures for preventing corruption and bribery and is available to assist in devising ways to prevent and, if necessary, investigate corruption should any business be concerned that it might exist in their organisation.

It is important to note that businesses and their managers can, in certain circumstances, themselves be prosecuted if a principal bribery offence is proven within their organisation or business and they do not have adequate policies and procedures in place to prevent it.

For further guidance and information, call Steven Barker today.

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Note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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RIAA Barker Gillette (UK) LLP,Legal Services,London,
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Corporate & Commercial: Veronica is very diligent and met the tight deadlines that were set for her to complete the liquidation which I realise were made harder by our late responses to her questions!

Deborah:
January 2019

Corporate & Commercial: Veronica has our complete trust. I can’t recommend Veronica more highly, she is a pleasure to work with.

Deborah:
January 2019

”Excellent firm. Brilliant people. Barker Gillette made me feel extremely well looked after and confident that I had the A team of legal representation looking out for my interests.”

Alexa:
October 2018

Debt Recovery: "...Daniel was very good at keeping expectations realistic, I always felt we had a good chance and thanks to Daniel we did the best we could, with a bad situation."
Guy -
September 2018

Commercial: "I would 100% recommend this firm for its quality, approachability, delivery of commitments and undoubted competency."

George -
August 2018

Probate: All personnel I dealt with were completely knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.

Engel:
August 2018

Employment Law: Customer Service and communication was brilliant there is nothing negative to say about the service.

Francios:
August 2018

Criminal Defence: “I can’t thank [Steven Barker] enough for his support and advice.”

Marc:
July 2018

Criminal Defence: “I had had no cause for a criminal solicitor ever before therefore was more than a little worried. With Steven’s help and guidance through the process I came out unscathed at the other end.”

Marc:
July 2018

Criminal Defence: “I would recommend Steven Barker to anyone caught up in criminal legal matters.”

Marc:
July 2018

Criminal Defence: “[Steven Barker was] Courteous and professional from start to finish.”

Marc:
July 2018

Employment: Karen Cole Just what you need: Overall, kind, courteous, understanding and efficient with excellent advise.

William:
April 2017

William

Wills, trust and probate - James McMullan "Efficient, approachable, understanding and affordable."

Ann
: March 2018

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Lease extensions: We have been very happy and satisfied with the level of service received and have not had any cause for concern or complaint in any of the dealings with Mr Jacobs or other members of the team.

Ash
: February 2018

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Employment: Karen Cole dealt with my case, she made the legal jargon very easy to understand, was patient, understanding but to the point.

Sheila: January 2018

Wills, tax and trusts: I became involved in an extremely contentious and complex legal issue concerning the trust fund of a minor, and the unwillingness of the trustees to disclose relevant information. The case was trying and laborious, but James and Alex were ...

Dispute Resolution: Daniel Downes’ ability to read the request, take a commercial view and give options is why I will continue to use. Saves hours of debate. He is a pleasure to instruct.

Jane Darkin:
December 2017

RIAA BG have been an outstanding support to our organisation for ten years since our inception. Not only in setting up processes and contractual documentation but steering us through trickier, unfamiliar legislative waters from time to time.

December 2017

Private Client: Pleased to say that I am completely satisfied with the service James McMullan provided. Thank you so much.

Muriel Goldstein:
October 2017

Professional Negligence: Qaiser Khanzada and Steven Barker went out on a limb for me 30+ years ago and I'll never forget that.

Zak Jaggard:
September 2017

Professional Negligence: Qaiser and Steve’s dedication and professionalism guided me safely through a legal minefield, and went well beyond a solicitor's remit. They care - and to this day I think of them as family.

Zak Jaggard:
September 2017

Employment: I found Karen Cole to not only be engaging but extremely helpful, knowledgeable and professional, I would use her again should the need arise.

August 2017

Employment: I spoke with Karen Cole regarding an issue I had with a client and payments. Karen came up with a solution very quickly and a resolution was concluded within 14 days.

Andy: August 2017

Family: As a novice in legal matters, Mr McMullan and his staff were always ready to help me in a complex case.

June 2017

Commercial: Ben Brownscombe provided me with excellent advice. He was easy to communicate with, he was able to explain the implication of each clause and very reliable.

May 2017

Employment Law : "Karen provided invaluable guidance and support throughout the process and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her services in this field."

May 2017

Private Client: I am very satisfied with [RBG's] services as I was in London for a very short visit but managed to arrange an appointment to see one of your partners who was able to help explain and complete the matter in question.

Eman Kassem:
April 2017

The advice and service that was given to us was invaluable to our business and [we] would use and recommend Karen Cole for her professional, clear and prompt service.

Sally Lusher, GO-Coach Hire Ltd:
January 2017

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Corporate: Extremely knowledgeable and able to convey this knowledge clearly and concisely. Would definitely recommend.

Stephan Buxton:
February 2017

Corporate: Excellent experience of working with Veronica and the team. Always friendly and approachable.

Stephan Buxton:
February 2017

Corporate: RIAA Barker Gillette made the company both investable to Business Angels and overall commercially viable.

Niall Haughian, CFA: Chief Operating Officer:
February 2017

Corporate: RIAA Barker Gillette has taken my start-up company that lacked structure and provided us with sound legal and business advice.

Niall Haughian, CFA: Chief Operating Officer:
February 2017

Corporate: Solaris Photonics is truly grateful for the tremendous professional effort undertaken by the RIAA Barker Gillette team.

Niall Haughian, CFA: Chief Operating Officer:
February 2017

Company Commercial: [Veronica] used her expertise to suggest crucial additions that gave additional benefits to my business interests, that I had not even considered.

S. Arnold:
February 2017

Company Commercial: Excellent service and I wouldn't hesitate to use Veronica again and recommend her.

S. Arnold:
February 2017

Company Commercial: The contracts my business required were complex. Veronica was efficient, friendly and took the time to ensure everything we needed was covered.

S. Arnold:
February 2017

Residential Property: Simon Levi is always helpful, clear and meticulous. I always feel that he has our best interests at heart.

M. Orteu:
January 2017

Dispute Resolution: Alex “really protects his clients to the best of his ability. I would not hesitate to recommend him. Excellent manner with clients and highly gifted.”

Morris Nourani, Hastings International:
December 2016

Dispute Resolution: Alex Deal is a “very bright, hardworking individual inside and outside working hours.”

Morris Nourani, Hastings International:
December 2016

Dispute Resolution: Alex Deal “attains a very sharp grasp of extremely complicated issues including cross border commercial matters.”

Morris Nourani, Hastings International:
December 2016

Dispute Resolution: Alex Deal “is, simply, in a class of his own. Focused, dedicated and genuinely caring about his clients, he excels in getting into every tiny detail quickly.”

Morris Nourani, Hastings International:
December 2016

Wills, tax and trusts: “We were always happy with the service from James McMullan.”

Josephine Sullivan:
December 2016

Steven Barker gave us his personal attention no matter how small the detail.

Mr J Patel:
December 2016

We are very thankful to Steven Barker for helping us out on our difficult times, and being there for us whenever he was required.

Mr J Patel:
December 2016

Laura St-Gallay, Dispute Resolution: “Fees have in all cases been very reasonable and I have very much appreciated the responsiveness of the team when I have needed advice at short notice.”

Peter Scholes:
October 2016

Laura St-Gallay, Dispute Resolution “The advice I received was helpful and timely, and a satisfactory settlement was reached quickly in large part due to the high quality of the advice given.”

Peter Scholes:
October 2016

Alex Deal, Dispute Resolution “I would not hesitate to recommend the Firm for any matters relating to litigation/dispute resolution or employee/partnership law matters (where Alex has previous provided valuable advice).”

Peter Scholes:
October 2016

Dispute Resolution: Alex Deal and Laura St-Gallay responded immediately to my request for assistance even though the amounts at stake were relatively small.

Peter Scholes:
October 2016

Stuart Jacobs, Property Litigation: “It was very important for us to feel confident and be cost efficient with our legal case.”

Loretta Martinelli:
October 2016

Laura St-Gallay, Property Litigation “The numerous changes were well understood and have been taken on board each time we changed our mind on our strategy.”

Loretta Martinelli:
October 2016

Laura St-Gallay, Property Litigation “The matter was dealt with in a very kind and calm manner while keeping us informed of the cost implications throughout.”

Loretta Martinelli:
October 2016

Stuart Jacobs, Property Litigation “The firm was very understanding and patient with our request and regular requirements for explanations and changes.”

Loretta Martinelli:
October 2016

Wills, trusts and tax: James went above and beyond in looking after the entire process.

Ian Cuthbertson:
July 2016

Criminal Defence: Carly Aitchison “I would not hesitate to recommend [RIAA Barker Gillette], I do not think I could have done any better, they have my eternal thanks and gratitude.”

Rob Meekcoms:
June 2016

Criminal Defence: “Steve and his team were absolutely brilliant, they supported me through the toughest times I have ever been through.”

Rob Meekcoms:
June 2016

Commercial Property - Simon Levi: "Very satisfied and happy with the results and professional communication of Mr Levi during the legal process. I will definitely use RBG again in the near future and will highly recommend Mr Levi to all my friends and relatives." 

 Eran Ezra, September 2016

“Vinay Verma demonstrated exceptional professionalism and sensitivity from start to finish.”

Mr I C and Ms N K

“I was extremely satisfied with all aspects of the service. Veronica was extremely personable and she made me feel very comfortable when dealing with an unfamiliar situation.”

Vanessa Lorenz

“Both Alex and Veronica have been extremely professional and easy to work with.They know how to listen to your needs and are helpful in giving advice.”

Susan Keese, Director

“Alex and Veronica talk things through with you (not at you like many solicitors!) in a language you can understand and ensure that your needs are fulfilled.”

Susan Keese, Director

“Veronica Hartley is a very capable solicitor who acted for me on an important and complex case which ultimately had a satisfactory conclusion.”

Stephen Deverell, Chairman

“Veronica Hartley was extremely friendly and informative. Complex legal terms were explained in an easy to understand manner.”

Peter Low

“I was left feeling comfortable that Veronica had my best interests at heart and a lot of stress and worry was taken away as soon as we began speaking to her.”

Peter Low

“I found Veronica to be professional, conscientious and able to maintain a healthy balance between following our commercial instructions with that of focused legal advisor.”

Gary Watts

“Not only is Veronica excellent at her job she is also very genuine and a pleasure to deal with.”

Deborah Haw, Director

“After several bad experiences with other solicitors it was such a pleasure to have Veronica look after our interests in the UK.”

Deborah Haw, Director

“Whatever questions and problems we put in front of Veronica she seems to resolve with ease. I cannot recommend her more highly.”

Deborah Haw, Director

“Relaxed and personable working.”

Damian Griffiths

“James was throughout very kind, calm and polite which makes him in my view the perfect divorce lawyer.”

Mrs A K

“James dealt with all my emails and phone calls extremely efficiently.”

Mrs A K

“James McMullan is a very professional lawyer and I always felt that he advised me very well and importantly very realistically. ”

Mrs A K

“James assisted me with my difficult divorce this year. He was professional and supportive at all times. I could not recommend him highly enough.”

Madeline Fleming

“Friendly and professional.”

Jonathan Pullum

“My solicitor is excellent. I have not really dealt with anyone else but calls to the office are fine.”

Jerry Morgan

“Patience, understanding, concern, compassion, expediency”

Jeffrey Lambert

Carly Aitchison Kept me informed all the time.

Ritagate Ltd

“We have the highest regard for the expertise and client commitment they demonstrate. They are responsive, conscientious and always go the ‘extra mile’.”

Stuart Leaman

“Alex's mind is skilled, brilliant and tactical in all of his dealings, especially if so required in court, his solution is pragmatic and commercial.”

Tony Muskat at AS MUSKAT

“As a client, I have always felt in safe hands and it has always been my pleasure to work with Alex.”

Tony Muskat at AS MUSKAT

“Alex provides sound, considered advice and has the ability to analyse and appraise the merits of any case, with the best interests of his client always in mind.”

Tony Muskat at AS MUSKAT

“I first used Alex's legal expertise in 1999 and was immediately impressed by his ability and have continued to rely on him for all my legal matters in the UK ever since.”

Tirapongse Pangsrivongse

“I have total confidence in the other members of the firm that Alex has introduced me to such as Veronica. I cannot recommend Alex more highly and have trust in all his advice.”

Tirapongse Pangrivongse, Chairman

“Alex Deal and his team have provided us with incisive and timely advice over a number of years. His help in employment matters has minimised our exposure.”

Robert Macdonald, Chairman

“Alex always bears commerciality in the forefront of his mind when giving direct and concise advice. We have been happy to recommend him widely.”

Robert Macdonald, Chairman

“For over 15 years, Alex is the first person I turn to with a legal problem.He is responsive, sharp and most importantly invariably right - about the sharpest legal mind.”

Kam Takhar

“Alex's rigorous legal advice has often helped our company avoid protracted legal disputes. Alex offers tremendous external support to our in-house legal and HR teams.”

Jose Miguel Echenagusia,
Vice President Legal Services

“Alex stands out for his sound business judgment, profound knowledge of the law and pragmatic approach to the resolution of disputes.”

Jose Miguel Echenagusia,
Vice President Legal Services

“Our company has used Barker Gillette for many years. Alex and his team have always acted in our best interests offering a prompt, effective and responsive service.”

Jose Miguel Echenagusia,
Vice President Legal Services

I have been a client of the firm for many years and have found them extremely supportive and kind in very difficult circumstances.

Vinayak,Chairman

“Looking at the best needs for the client and tailoring advice to that.”

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