Our work

Spotlight on enforcement

What’s the issue?

Good laws are only as good as their enforcement. If the UK’s anti-corruption laws are going to stop companies and people from paying bribes, stop corrupt people from using the UK to laundering money, and stop corruption in UK politics, procurement and public bodies, they need to be pro-actively enforced.

Prosecution rates are low in the UK across the board for money laundering and corruption.

For example:

  • There were only 14 successful convictions under the Bribery Act between 2011 and 2017. This may be due to low detection rates, a decrease in bribery as a result of the Act, or the length of time it takes for evidence of bribery and corruption to emerge.

  • The Financial Action Task Force states that the UK has only had a limited number of prosecutions for high-end money laundering and keeps few statistics on this.

  • No one has been prosecuted under the Money Laundering Regulations 2017.

What does Spotlight on Corruption do?

We monitor the enforcement of the UK’s anti-corruption laws by focusing on:

  • Following court cases under the UK’s anti-corruption laws to see how these laws are working in practice and to identify gaps in the legal armoury against corruption.

  • Tracking enforcement rates by different enforcement bodies and monitoring their financial and human resource capacity.

  • Undertaking in-depth research into what works and what doesn’t.

  • Coming up with innovative policy solutions where enforcement isn’t working.

We use the findings of our research to advocate for better enforcement of the UK’s anti-corruption laws.

We focus primarily on cases involving bribes paid overseas by UK-based companies and individuals and laundering of corrupt money from overseas.

This is because the harm caused by this form of bribery and corruption can be devastating in the countries concerned. It increases poverty, hitting the most vulnerable people in the world the worst, and undermines democracy, governance and the rule of law.


Enforcement bodies








Deferred prosecution agreements