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The unethical practice of an intermediary, for example an interior designer, who is paid to act for a client in the client's best interest to secure a good price for a decorative antique, and who is then, unbeknown to his client, paid a commission by the selling dealer ('a backhand'), looks to be outlawed under a new UK law next April. The principal change seems to be that such an arrangements will become criminal if it involves secrecy.

Such secret arrangements are not endemic in the UK architectural and garden antiques trade, and some in the trade may be shocked to know that it happens. Many dealers refuse to cooperate in such practices, probably to the detriment of their businesses, but many also do cooperate. Not for much longer.

Does the Bribery Act apply to concierge services which take groups of foreign buyers around certain UK dealers who then 'backhand' the concierge? Ask a lawyer. Transparency seems to be the key.

ID : (56833)
Date Created : 17 December 2010 11:35:26 AM
Date Modified : 17 December 2010 11:35:28 AM

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