Rolls-Royce commissions Lord Gold review amid bribery allegations

Rolls-Royce, the aircraft engine maker, has appointed veteran lawyer Lord Gold to review its anti-corruption procedures in the wake of bribery allegations in China, Indonesia, and other overseas markets.

The FTSE 100 company has drafted in the Conservative peer and former senior partner at Herbert Smith to lead “a review of its compliance procedures”, reporting to the board’s ethics committee.

Lord Gold has not been given a specific deadline to complete the review.

In China, Rolls is alleged to have made payments to an executive involved in handling orders worth $2bn (£1.2bn) for engines it supplied to Air China in 2005 and China Eastern Airlines in 2010.

Chen Xin, an executive who worked for both airlines, was arrested in April 2011 by Chinese authorities investigating allegations he took bribes from intermediaries working for western companies.

Allegations about bribery and corruption involving Rolls in Indonesia were brought to light by Dick Taylor, a former employee turned whistleblower.

Mr Taylor claims the company gave $20m (£12.4m) and a Rolls-Royce car to the son of the former president of Indonesia to help win a contract to supply engines.

Rolls has declined to comment on specific allegations but has said it will fully co-operate fully with the SFO.