Anti-bribery and corruption
We have a zero tolerance approach to bribery and corruption, and comply with all relevant anti-corruption laws. No one should give or receive any gift or benefit or other advantage in connection with the firm’s business, unless it falls within specific permitted exceptions or appropriate approval has been obtained. We must cease to advise a client on any matter we know has been awarded as a result of a bribe or other advantage.
Combating financial crime
Breaches of financial crime laws such as sanctions, anti-money laundering or counter-terrorist financing (together “FC”) can lead to criminal liability for individuals and the firm. We should each be familiar with our FC obligations, including any reporting requirements; ensure that customer due diligence is conducted before starting work for new clients; understand the risk profile of our clients and matters; remain alert to key FC risks throughout the duration of our client relationships and matters; and be aware of the jurisdictions/sectors targeted by sanctions. If any of us comes across a FC issue, we should discuss this with the Risk team or with the partner responsible for FC compliance in the relevant jurisdiction.
Competition and avoiding anti-competitive behaviour
We are prohibited by law from being involved in anti-competitive agreements or conduct. Competition and antitrust laws impose severe penalties upon firms and, in some jurisdictions, impose criminal sanctions upon individuals who violate the laws. We should follow appropriate rules of engagement in discussions with other firms or third party suppliers. In particular, we should not discuss matters such as fees, liability caps and other terms of engagement, salaries or other terms of employment and suppliers’ terms such as pricing.
Complaints and claims against the firm
If a mistake has been made or a client notifies any of us of a potential negligence claim against the firm, we should immediately inform a partner (either the partner in charge of the matter or the local Risk Partner) or the Professional Indemnity (“PI”) team, who will advise on how to proceed.
Confidentiality and non-disclosure
We must not disclose or make use of any confidential client or Linklaters information inside or outside the firm other than in the proper performance of our work. Failure to adequately protect confidential information could lead to potential legal and regulatory claims. In some jurisdictions, a breach of professional secrecy rules may also amount to a criminal offence.
Conflicts and acceptance of new business
We should always clear conflicts for a new role (or a material change to an existing role) before accepting instructions or commencing work, by undertaking a conflicts check (and new client checks where appropriate).
Data protection and information security
We apply high standards to all personal information that we handle
and comply with applicable data protection legislation. We are
each responsible for the security of the information we handle
and must comply with the firm’s Information Security Policy.
We should ensure that we treat all personal data appropriately
and in accordance with our Privacy Policies.
Dealing in securities
We are obliged to keep all information about our clients and matters confidential, and not to exploit it for personal gain. Any individual who buys or sells listed securities whilst possessing inside information may commit a criminal offence. We and our family members (if we actively encourage or advise them to deal) must not buy or sell listed securities without specific prior approval.
Everyone must obtain prior approval if they wish to take on a role outside Linklaters which does not fall within one of the permitted exceptions (e.g. if an employee wants to provide any services to or become an employee of another organisation, including their own business) since these roles may lead to possible conflicts of interest or liabilities which may impact on the ability of our people properly to perform their roles within the firm.
The firm may commit a criminal offence if tax evasion (under either UK or local laws) has been enabled by a partner, employee or agent of Linklaters acting on its behalf. We must ensure that we follow billing guidelines and correctly apply VAT and withholding tax rules when invoicing clients.