The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced that the number of companies admitting to them that they have gone against the rules has almost doubled over the last year. This suggests that the new Bribery Act that came into being in July 2011 has been noticed by companies and taken seriously.The Bribery Act brought into operation a number of strong penalties that companies could face if they were thought to be carrying out sever bribes in order to encourage their clients as well as general wrong doings. As a result of this many companies have chosen to come forward themselves and self-report when they think they are in breach of the rules rather than run the risk of being caught out by the SFO. The penalties range from individuals running a risk of ten years in prison and companies run the risk of high penalties and being blacklisted from government contracts.While self reporting is being encouraged and the thoughts are that it may help save a company from the harshest of penalties, Mr Green, the SFO director, is keen to press that coming forward does not guarantee immunity from prosecution.The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with business law solicitors in Northampton and across the country.