In its judgment delivered on 16 July 2014, the Supreme Court decided in FHR European Ventures v Cedar Capital [2104] UKSC 45 that a bribe or secret commission accepted by an agent is held on trust for his principal, rather than the principal merely having a claim for equitable compensation equal to the value of the bribe, thereby upholding the Court of Appeal decision which we blogged on 4 February 2013 (see here).

In reaching its decision, the Supreme Court considered inconsistent judicial decisions over the past 200 years and decided that for practical and policy considerations, bribes and secret commissions belong to the principal, who is entitled to pursue its proprietary interest in the proceeds, including by way of tracing.