Anti-money laundering measures for lawyers: the 2007 rules

This note provides an overview of the money laundering regime that applies to lawyers pursuant to the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (2007 Regulations). The 2007 Regulations came into force on 15 December 2007 and replace the Money Laundering Regulations 2003 (2003 Regulations). They bring the 2005 Directive on money laundering into effect in the UK.

The 2007 Regulations introduce new requirements and vary requirements that were in the 2003 Regulations. In particular, the 2007 Regulations require that:

  • The lawyer is able to identify the beneficial owner of client trusts, companies and partnerships.
  • The lawyer applies customer due diligence measures and monitors client activities according to a risk-based approach, applying less stringent procedures for low risk situations and more stringent procedures in higher risk situations.
  • Training for staff is both regular and covers terrorist financing issues.
Lawyers are also to have regard to the Law Society's anti-money laundering practice note published on 6 October 2011, and the Solicitors Regulation Authority's warning cards on money laundering (April 2009), property fraud (April 2009) and bogus law firms and identity theft (March 2012).
 
Property lawyers should also take account of the joint Land Registry and Law Society practice note on property and registration fraud (September 2010), and the Law Society's note on mortgage fraud (October 2011).


 

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