Ireland: Let Me Entertain You: Corporate Hospitality & The Corruption Act

Last Updated: 6 September 2018
Article by Joanelle O’Cleirigh, Deirdre O'Mahony and Jillian Conefrey
Most Read Contributor in Ireland, July 2019

Can I bring my client to the All-Ireland Football Final to thank her for her business? Can I offer my supplier tickets to take her children to the pantomime? Can I 'wine and dine' someone I am trying to win business from?

The recent enactment of the Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Act 2018 has raised concerns that corporate hospitality might now be criminalised.

The Act does not expressly prohibit corporate hospitality, nor does it exempt it, however, something more than simply giving a business associate tickets to a match is needed to bring corporate hospitality into the criminal sphere.


Common examples of corporate hospitality such as meals, match tickets and other entertainment fall within the scope of "gift, consideration or advantage".

However, that does not mean that you cannot bring an important client to the All-Ireland final. The Act does not criminalise corporate hospitality that is offered simply to maintain good business relations.

For corporate hospitality to amount to an offence, it must be done corruptly, i.e. with an improper purpose personally or by influencing another person.

There is also a further 'inducement' element. The corporate hospitality must be offered as an inducement to, or reward for, doing an act in relation to one's employment, position or business (active and passive corruption) or to induce someone to exert an improper influence over an Irish or foreign official (active and passive trading in influence). So if you offer to bring a client to the All- Ireland in order to induce them to enter into a contract, that may amount to an offence under the Act.


When the Bribery Act was introduced in the UK in 2010, there were concerns that the provision of corporate hospitality would be prosecuted. The UK Ministry of Justice issued guidance to clarify the situation:

"bona fide hospitality and promotional, or other business expenditure which seeks to improve the image of a commercial organisation, better to present products and services, or establish cordial relations, is recognised as an established and important part of doing business and it is not the intention of the [UK Bribery Act] to criminalise such behaviour".

The UK Director of the Serious Fraud Office and the UK Director of Public Prosecutions further clarified that corporate hospitality is not criminal where it is proportionate, reasonable and made in good faith.

The Irish authorities have not yet issued any guidance on the Irish position, but the approach here is likely to mirror the common-sense approach in the UK.


However, that is not to say corporate hospitality may never amount to an offence or that it will not be prosecuted here if it crosses the line.

Particular care should be taken where hospitality is offered to a potential new client or during a tender process before or at the time a new contract is awarded. Factors that may be relevant when assessing whether corporate hospitality amounts to an offence include:

  • the context and timing of the provision of the corporate hospitality;
  • the level of hospitality offered;
  • the way in which it was provided;
  • the level of influence the person receiving it had on the making of business decisions;
  • whether the corporate hospitality was connected to a legitimate business activity; and
  • whether the corporate hospitality was provided openly and recorded in a register or whether it was concealed.


  • Put in place clear and comprehensive anti-corruption policies or review existing policies already in place.
  • Ensure all personnel receive training on these policies and on how to recognise and deal with suspected bribery.
  • Discuss and review the effectiveness of the policies and procedures at Board level. Remember, ultimate responsibility rests with the Board.
  • Appoint a compliance manager with day-to-day responsibility for implementing the policies, monitoring their use and effectiveness and updating them as necessary.
  • Keep a written record of any gifts/ advantages given or received.
  • Communicate your organisation's zero-tolerance approach on bribery to third party service providers, suppliers and other organisations with which you do business.


In 2015, a Scottish network cabling company, Brand-Rex Limited, paid a sum of £212,800 under an agreed civil settlement with the Scottish Crown Office, after it accepted that it had failed to prevent bribery conducted by a third party. Brand-Rex ran an incentive scheme for distributors and installers of its products whereby it gave rewards, such as foreign holidays, to those who met or exceeded sales targets. This scheme in itself was not unlawful.

However, an independent installer of Brand-Rex products offered tickets it received through the scheme to an employee of one of its customers in return for that customer purchasing Brand-Rex cabling. The employee who received the tickets was in a position to influence purchasing decisions in relation to cabling. This amounted to bribery and the company self-reported.

This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions