From 1 July 2018 all law firms must comply with the requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML for short).
This is another reminder that we must now verify the identity of all our clients, and various other persons who may control the client or act on a client’s behalf.
While you may already be familiar with providing your driver’s licence as ID, we now need additional information such as a current bank statement, or rates demand, to verify the full name, date of birth and address of the client and others.
While in many cases it may be self-explanatory, we must also ask you about the nature and purpose of the proposed business relationship with us. We may also request information confirming the source of the funds for a transaction and/or the source of your wealth (eg: property you own).
The law applies to everyone and all transactions where money is received and/or paid through our trust account – for every new matter.
For our part, we must file regular reports with the appropriate authorities detailing the transactions we have dealt with and notifying them of any suspicious activity. Once these new requirements have been operating for some time we will all become familiar with them and it will then cause little inconvenience. However, it’s important to understand the reason for the legislation and why you will be asked for this additional information.
If you have any queries about AML, please don’t hesitate to contact us.