Corruption is a crime involving the abuse of entrusted authority or position for financial or personal gain. It ranges from the actions of individuals to complex mechanisms operating at organizational or institutional levels. There are various forms of corruption, from simple bribes to complex corrupt arrangements at the corporate or state level.

Official corruption occurs when the person who is to accept a pecuniary or personal benefit or the promise thereof is an official of a Polish or foreign state (passive official bribery – Article 228 of the Polish Criminal Code and active official bribery – Article 229 of the Polish Criminal Code). Managerial corruption, on the other hand, is when a person who is to accept a benefit or its promise is to influence business activities. Here, too, the crime is both passive managerial bribery (Article 296 § 1 of the Polish Criminal Code) and active managerial bribery (Article 296a § 2 of the Polish Criminal Code).

As part of the fight against corruption, the legislator has provided for the possibility of avoiding punishment (non-punishment clause) for the perpetrator of official bribery (Article 229 § 6 of the Polish Criminal Code) and managerial bribery (Article 296a § 5 of the Polish Criminal Code), who has notified the body established for criminal prosecution of the bribed party’s acceptance of a material benefit or its promise and has disclosed all the relevant circumstances of the crime before the body became aware of it.

The penalties provided by the legislature for corruption are severe, in most cases the legislation provides for imprisonment in such cases. Managerial corruption involving property worth more than PLN 5,000,000 (EUR 1,250,000) is a felony: the perpetrator of such a crime may be punished by 3 to 20 years’ imprisonment, and in the case of property worth more than PLN 10,000,000 (EUR 2,500,000) – from 5 even to 25 years’ imprisonment. A conviction for bribery in an executive position automatically triggers a ban on serving as a member of a company’s board of directors, supervisory board, audit committee or liquidator. Poland has a Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA), which is a special service established to combat official and managerial corruption.

KKZ Law Firm within this service segment offers:

  • comprehensive training of managers and officials;
  • creation of a system of compliance procedures and internal codes;
  • internal audits;
  • representation in crisis situations (searches, interrogations, arrests, presentation of charges, detention on remand);
  • representation before law enforcement agencies, including the prosecutor’s office, police, CBA, and before the courts;
  • acting as defense counsel for suspects or defendants;
  • development of a litigation and communication strategy;
  • assistance in obtaining support from relevant organizations and institutions;
  • full support in protecting the company’s image, including cooperation with reputable PR agencies.

Our offer is addressed to:

  • representatives of state and local government authorities;
  • managerial staff;
  • entities harmed by corruption crimes;
  • persons accused of corruption;
  • companies struggling with an image crisis on the background of corruption.

How can
we help you?

the experts

Maciej Zaborowski

Advocate, Managing Partner

Paweł Gołębiewski

Attorney-at-law, Head of International Criminal Law Practice