From the 1st July 2018 law firms will be subject to the Anti-Money Laundering and counter Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML). This law requires us to collect certain information about our clients. Please don't be offended when we ask for your personal details.
A lot of our clients will have already experienced providing more detail to their bank for the opening and operation of bank accounts. Banks have been complying with the AML legislation since 2013.
The new law states that we are unable to commence working for a client until we have received all of the required information.
VERIFY YOUR IDENTITY AND YOUR RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS
From the 1st July onwards as part of the AML customer due diligence (CDD) we will be required to verify the identity of all of our clients as well as their residential address. This will require us to obtain from you photo ID as well as a document showing your residential address.
Where there is a company, a trust or other type of entity such as a body corporate, we will be required to obtain information for all of the individuals associated with the entity such as directors, shareholders, trustees, beneficiaries and committee members.
There may be situations where we will be required to ask you about the nature and purpose of the proposed work you are asking us to do. We may also be required to obtain information that confirms the source of the funds for the transaction.
CHECKS REQUIRED FOR EVERY NEW MATTER
The AML law applies to both new and existing clients and also to all transactions where money is received and/or paid through our trust account.
The new law requires all lawyers to file regular reports with the appropriate authorities detailing all transactions we have dealt with and also notifying the authorities of any suspicious activity.
We expect that these new requirements will over time become familiar and will not inconvenience legitimate transactions. Before we start working for you, we will let you know what information we need and what documents you need to show us and let us photocopy.
Please do not hesitate to contact John Stirling, Turner Hopkins Compliance Officer, if you have any questions or concerns.
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Published: Thu, Jun 7th, 2018 by John Stirling