Rolls-Royce hires Lord Gold for bribery investigation

Posted on 10 Jan 2013

Engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has appointed solicitor Lord Gold to oversee its compliance with regulators investigating the company for bribery.

Lord Gold will review information handed over to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) by Rolls-Royce.

After working as a solicitor at Herbert Smith for 38 years, Lord Gold was senior partner between 2005 and 2010.

He will oversee allegations of bribery and corruption involving third party workers in overseas markets, including China and Indonesia. Lord Gold is on a rolling contract while investigations are carried out.

Internal investigations carried out by lawyers identified “matters of concern” in these markets and elsewhere.

Described as a “legal Rottweiler” by Chamber Magazine, Lord Gold will review the company’s compliance procedures  policies and controls within the company, despite Rolls-Royce stating it had “strengthened its compliance procedures in recent years” by implementing a new Global Ethics Code and Intermediaries Policy.

Lord Gold has instructed by the US Department of Justice as corporate monitor of UK defence group BAE Systems, which settled a corruption case alleging that the company made bribes to support sales in Saudi Arabia with a multi-million pound fine.

A spokesperson for Rolls-Royce told The Manufacturer that the allegations relate to staff working in sales and distribution, customer service and maintenance repair and overhaul.

The company stated that there are concerns around third party workers but fraudulent behaviour by permanent Rolls-Royce employees “couldn’t be ruled out” according to a spokesperson for the company.

“I nor the Board will tolerate improper business conduct of any sort,” said John Rishton, chief executive at Rolls-Royce, in a statement last month.