This guide is intended to assist solicitors by outlining a list of factors that should be considered when assessing the adequacy of their PII arrangements.
In the future, some in-house lawyers who offer advice to the public may not be able to do so unless the bodies they are employed by become special bodies.
Following our alert on this issue in August 2012, firms from around the world have been sharing further variations on this scam against lawyers.
The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has issued an updated warning about the vulnerability of law firms to advanced fee fraud.
Some lenders are rationalising their panels on an individual basis, others on a stricter criteria based on size or volume of work.
In response to the crime VHCC fee cuts scheduled for implementation on 2 December, barristers may seek to invoke the termination clauses in the standard LAA contracts where they are incorporated into their individual agreements with solicitors.
Criminal practitioners are reminded of the need to be familiar with the statutory defences to immigration-related offences when advising clients suspected or accused of these offences.
The Solicitor's Regulation Authority's (SRA) Handbook contains the authorisation requirements for those wishing to enter the profession, firms who wish to be regulated by the SRA and those wishing to hold a regulated role
Money laundering reporting officers (MLROs) have a pivotal role to play in ensuring that a firm is compliant with anti-money laundering obligations.
Rules regarding fixtures and chattels
The case of Armstrong DLW GMBH v Winnington Networks Ltd looks at who bears the loss when poor due diligence results in the trading of stolen carbon credits.
A new protocol designed to bring clarity to probate-related dealings between advisers and banks has been agreed.
Many high street firms who deal with UK-based clients could be forgiven for thinking that this act is of no relevance to their firm. However, conduct much closer to home is also under the spotlight.
The National House-Building Council will introduce a new online system in 2012 to provide instant Buildmark cover information
From 1 July, businesses may apply to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to challenge land use restrictions that limit competition against major supermarkets
When the new Land Registration Fee Order comes into force on Monday 17 March 2014, some Land Registry fees will be about 50 per cent lower if you submit the application online.
In this case, the House of Lords confirmed that the receiver's fees are to be paid out of the assets held in the receivership, whether the accused launderer is acquitted, not proceeded against or the receivership is successfully discharged.
An action plan that outlines steps to help address barriers to the profession
Results of several Law Society studies in order to understand the issues and barriers faced by some groups within the legal sector.
The Consumer Credit Act 1974 requires most businesses that lend money to consumers or offer goods or services on credit or engage in certain ancillary credit activities to be licensed.
From 28 January 2013, an address for service must be entered in the register in accordance with Royal Mail address formats.
From 1 April, the Office of the Public Guardian intends to make changes to the lasting power of attorney (LPA) registration process.
On 1 February 2013, the Legal Ombudsman changed its rules on time limits, who can make a complaint, compensation limits and case fees.
The Charity law bulletin is the Law Society's charity law update for legal professionals
An update to the Law Society's work on civil justice reforms, including conditional fee agreements, damages based agreements, and case management and costs budgeting.
The obligations on solicitors to act as an unpaid arm of crime prevention are a familiar and everyday part of professional practice.
Charities may be able to claim back overpaid stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on certain purchases following a Court of Appeal decision.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders will publish an amendment to their Handbook regarding the introduction of the Green Deal on Monday 8 July 2013.
The Law Society code for completion by post provides a procedure for postal completion of house sales which may be adopted by reference.
A code for promoting fairness in commercial leases
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) requires regulated practices to collect, report and publish data on the diversity of their workforce. Find out how the Law Society that can help you to fulfil your obligations.
The High Court has ruled that the government's decision to abolish lawyers' fees for committal proceedings was lawful.
In order to prevent and resolve complaints it is important to understand what generates them. The Legal Ombudsman has published data on the type of complaints they receive.
Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of COLPs and COFAs.
All recognised and licensed bodies must nominate a compliance officer for legal practice (COLP) and a compliance officer for finance and administration (COFA), who will start to fulfil their responsibilities from 31 October 2012.
New provisions allow a foreign national who admits committing a criminal offence to be offered a caution, with a condition that they agree to be removed from the UK and not return for a period of time.
The Money Laundering Regulations 2007 states that clients who do not meet the regulated professional in person pose a higher risk of money laundering.
Updated version of the form to be used for the release of Health Records under the Data Protection Act 1998.
The Law Society Conveyancing Protocol sets out the Society's preferred practice in residential conveyancing transactions of freehold and leasehold property
This case will interest practitioners advising on alleged terrorist financing
The Court of Appeal has upheld the decision in R v Geary and provided further clarification on what constitutes an arrangement for the purposes of section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
The basics of data protection and anti-money laundering
The Court of Appeal upheld four convictions for conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime, namely profits from drug trafficking
Amy Bell, Head of Risk and Compliance at QualitySolicitors, provides advice on what to do when you are dealing with an unrepresented party in a transaction.
Although the regulations state that an individual may apply to the director of legal aid casework for a review of a determination regarding controlled work, this function has been delegated to individual legal aid providers.
The outstanding achievements of the legal profession in England and Wales were celebrated at the Law Society Excellence Awards on Tuesday 22 October.
The work of the firm's focus groups forms the foundation upon which its diversity programme goes from strength to strength. Membership of the groups is fully inclusive, and anyone in the firm may join.
This short report highlights the diversity profile of solicitors.
The Green Deal is set to become part of the conveyancing process where the property being sold has a deal in place.
We have drafted a model retainer letter which you may wish to consider when engaging a professionial indemnity insurance broker.
Baljit Kaur, the Legal Ombudsman's equality and diversity manager, tells Aisha Dass what lawyers should take into account when delivering their service.
Equivalence is relevant for those in the regulated sector looking to rely on other regulated persons for client due diligence checks, or for taking advantage of simplified due diligence provisions
CMS Cameron McKenna uses information about equality and diversity policies and practices when evaluating competitive tenders
There is a growing and increasingly competitive market in 'compliance solutions' designed for the legal profession
We have recently had a discussion with officials at the Ministry of Justice about the issues arising from the new experts' fee rates.
Details of the assigned risks pool, a safety net for firms who cannot get qualifying insurance
This guidance is relevant for all UK trusts and trustees, whether or not they have any known US connections.
HMRC has released the final version of its annual tax on enveloped dwellings (ATED) return.
The government runs a number of finance schemes that may benefit law firms. If you are looking to take out or extend a loan or for new sources of funding as an alternative business structure there are several schemes aimed at helping firms.
The case of Fitzpatrick and Others v Metropolitan Police looks at what constitutes entering into an arrangement and considers the factors that police take into account before searching a solicitors' office or arresting a solicitor.
Satnam Tumani of Kirkland & Ellis examines the High Court's decision in Fletcher v Leicestershire Constabulary.
Read our practice and get the latest on flood risk insurance.
The Law Society library maintains an index of enquiries called Queries and Enquiries Database. These include results from enquiries to find forms, precedents and guidance.
The European Commission has released its proposals for a fourth money laundering directive.
Anti-money laundering policy officer Scott Devine provides a brief insight into the Fourth Directive as the legislative process enters its final stages.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is posting updates on its website about bogus law firms and email addresses that have been brought to its attention.
Information for authorised firms and licensed bodies required to appoint compliance officers for legal practice and financial affairs
These FAQs have been compiled to assist solicitors better understand the complex area of professional indemnity insurance (PII).
On 27 March the Law Society published its draft model conditional fee agreement (CFA), to be used to assist members of the profession in their work for clients on matters funded (or considered to be funded) on such a basis.
The general anti-abuse rule (GAAR) that came into force on 17 July 2013 applies to stamp duty land tax as well as other taxes.
The DECC has issued guidance for the property industry, including solicitors and licensed conveyancers, about the legal requirements in relation to properties with a Green Deal.
This advice is designed to raise solicitors' awareness of the importance of considering whether their insurer will be able to meet claims under their professional indemnity insurance (PII) policy.
Potential criminal sanctions for breaches of money laundering obligations can be seen as a useful headline to keep the attention of partners and fee earners in training.
There are significant criminal penalties under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and t he responsibility falls on your shoulders. So how can you feel comfortable in your new role?
Advice on the government's recently-launched Help to Buy scheme.
We look at what a money laundering reporting officer needs to consider before deciding that there are grounds to make a report to the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
Resources available to you, tips on how to manage fee earners' and management's expectations, and help you avoid some of the common pitfalls for newcomers
Alison Matthews, former Chair of the Money Laundering Task Force and formerly money laundering reporting officer (MLRO) at Irwin Mitchell LLP considers the challenges of making your first SAR.
In this month's feature, we look at how money laundering reporting officers (MLROs) can develop effective relationships with their legal practice's accounts team.
Many MLROs still find the verification of source of funds a contentious area, with fee earners and partners often making a number of incorrect assumptions about their obligations.
Training staff is a key part of your role as money laundering reporting officer (MLRO).
Enhanced due diligence should be applied in any situation that may present a higher risk of money laundering and terrorist financing.
HM Treasury has invited firms in the regulated sector to contribute to the UK government's 'National Risk Assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing' exercise (NRA).
HMRC's online services will close at 06:00 on Friday 11 October 2013 and re-open at 06:00 on Monday 14 October 2013.
HM Revenue and Customs has released new guidance on the stamp duty land tax rules for pre-completion transactions.
Information to help you find a professional indemnity insurance broker for the 2011/2 renewal period.
The Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) has released a typology report looking at the crimes of organised maritime piracy and related kidnapping for ransom.
We are now calling on the profession to follow the Law Society's lead in challenging HSBC's panel policy.
Latvian insurer Balva's license has been suspended as a result of regulatory 'deficiencies'.
Apro Management Limited, the manager of Berliner, has written to firms advising that it is uncertain whether that insurer will be able to write any solicitors' business in the 2013-14 renewal.
The Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority announced that it has withdrawn the operating licence issued to the European Risk Insurance Company (ERIC).
Solicitors with Quinn run-off policies can continue to notify claims via the claims notification procedure set out in their policy.
Tracey Calvert, director of Oakalls Consultancy Limited, and consultant with the Law Society's Risk and Compliance Service looks at the effect that the Legal Services Act has on in-house lawyers.
The Law Society has developed a suite of templates with standard text which practitioners can adopt or adapt for use when instructing experts in family proceedings.
The Court of Appeal considered whether the movement of fees from the client account to the office account would be a breach of a criminal restraint order
Diane Latter, property policy advisor at the Law Society, discusses the new practice note on joint ownership.
As part of the initiative to cut civil legal aid bill rejections the LAA has taken some practical steps to address problems.
The FSA have expressed concern about the rise in land banking schemes which are leaving investors out of pocket and in possession of land that has little or no chance of ever being built on.
Following royal assent of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Bill, the Legal Services Commission has published a list of FAQs about the legal aid changes, which will be implemented on 1 April 2013.
Advance fee fraudsters and sham litigants continue to prey on law firms. Understand their approach and how to protect your firm.
Criminals are seeking to exploit the litigation, as legal advice and litigation are not covered by the Money Laundering Regulations 2007
Details of the Law Society interest rate as referred to in the Standard Conditions of Sale.
New guidance issued to provide the first universal framework for banks and building societies to apply a consistent approach when helping relatives or carers who need to manage an account on behalf of another person.
Read our high-level summary of the most important things you need to know about the new regime.
List of consultants for supporting tender submissions and appeals.
Steps are being taken to try and minimise the potential disruption caused to firms in their bidding arrangements.
The Law Society provides further guidance to firms with claims outstanding on policies with insolvent insurer, Lemma.
Advice for solicitors or former solicitors who were principals in a firm that ceased to practise whilst being insured with Lemma Europe.
Advice for panel firms being asked by lenders for details of client accounts, professional indemnity insurers and copies of letterheads.
The Legal Services Commission (LSC) has outlined its key milestones and activities for 2013.
Read our update on the options and implications for practitioners following the Henthorn and Loomba appeal cases.
Whether you are making your first suspicious activity report (SAR) or you 100th, providing the correct information will ensure that it is processed quickly and can be used most effectively.
A recent High Court decision provides helpful guidance to firms about what constitutes a valid notification of a circumstance under the solicitors’ minimum terms and conditions PII policy.
Advice for defence lawyers who represent clients with mental health conditions and learning disabilities.
Alison Matthews reviews the decision of the ECJ in Michaud v France on whether the application of the anti-money laundering reporting requirements to lawyers are consistent with the right to privacy.
Second edition of the Law Society model planning agreement.
The Scottish Court of Appeal has ruled that property will be considered criminal property under POCA if the evidence of how it is handled 'gives rise to the irresistible inference' that it could only have been the product of crime.
It is possible that solicitors could be unwittingly involved in assisting immigration fraud and associated money laundering.
In 2002 and again in 2004 the Law Society's Money Laundering Taskforce warned criminal defence solicitors not to accept bail security monies into their client accounts due to the risk of money laundering
Whether you are a fee earner or a money laundering reporting officer (MLRO), recognising a money laundering sign when it walks through your office door is a continual challenge.
Asking yourself and your client this question is one of the most effective measures you can take to protect yourself from money laundering.
With media reports suggesting that the housing market may slowly be picking up and banks becoming willing to lend a little bit more, do solicitors still need to be on their guard for mortgage fraud?
The Ministry of Justice published the 65th amendment to the civil procedure rules (CPR) on 12 July.
The format of the CON29DW drainage and water search has changed.
Land Registry has published a new practice guide setting out the requirements for statements of truth used in support of Land Registry applications
The Law Society has launched a new form - LPE1 - for capturing information about a property held by landlords, management companies and managing agents.
From 1 April new rules on conditional fee agreements (CFAs) come into force. We have published a new model CFA and interim advice for use in personal injury claims.
New rules on permitted development allow larger extensions to be made without planning applications and enable change of use from office to residential.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has issued advice for those submitting SDLT1 returns
From 2 July 2012, a new version of the Land Transaction Return guidance notes (SDLT6) will come into effect.
Stamp Taxes Helpline and Orderline now have new 0300 telephone numbers.
Failure to comply with court rules on CPR is now likely to result in very serious consequences for solicitors and their clients.
How the new regulatory regime approaches conveyancing transactions
The Court of Appeal held that 'conformity to a common (or even universal) professional practice is not an automatic defence against liability.
This calculator is designed to assist solicitors to work out an indicative figure that should be saved each year as part of their retirement planning to prepare for the likely cost of run-off cover under their minimum terms and conditions (MTC) polic
To counter the risk posed to the UK's regulated sector from laundering foreign funds, firms must conduct enhanced due diligence on politically exposed persons (PEPs).
Richard Miller, Law Society head of legal aid, summarises some key messages from our legal aid roadshows.
With cuts in legal aid, criminal law practitioners are increasingly finding that clients have to find ways to pay for representation through private funds.
The proposed high speed rail link between London and the West Midlands (commonly referred to as 'HS2') has implications for practitioners working in residential conveyancing and commercial property.
Update on the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA).
The three regulatory bodies have issued a fourth and final consultation on the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA).
The Court of Appeal has decided that a conviction for money laundering against one defendant can stand, even when another defendant was acquitted for the substantive offence which had been said to generate the proceeds of crime to be laundered.
Entering into an arrangement to create criminal property does not amount to an offence under s.328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA)
The High Court in R v Hogan  EWHC (Admin) 978 had to consider the defence of adequate consideration to a section 329 POCA 2002 offence.
The Court of Criminal Appeal has issued a series of judgements clarifying the application of money laundering offences in mortgage fraud cases.
In R v Saik , the House of Lords considered the law of conspiracy with respect to the offence of money laundering, particularly where individuals suspected, rather than knew that the funds involved in a transaction were the proceeds of crime.
The Supreme Court looks at whether a person can still face confiscation proceedings even if they were given a conditional discharge for the underlying offence.
The Supreme Court held that in order to comply with A1P1 and s3(1) Human Rights Act 1998, Crown Court should not make disproportionate orders given the circumstances of an individual case.
A solicitor was cleared of six counts of money laundering in January of this year, after a judge ruled that a fair trial was impossible due to delays in bringing the prosecution.
These flowcharts are an easy reference guide to the outcomes and IBs on acting for buyer and seller and lender and borrower, which are outlined in chapter 3 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011
From 4 July 2011, the new SDLT1, SDLT3 and SDLT4 forms must be used and a unique identifier for the lead purchaser supplied to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
Increasingly, law enforcement agencies in England and Wales are seeking to use their powers to recover ill-gotten gains from criminals. At times this may mean that they will seek access to files held by solicitors.
In Rowe v R  EWCA Crim 635, a full bench of the Criminal Court of Appeal has clarified several issues over offences involving preparation for terrorist activities
Details and information about run-off cover
A number of categories of law will be coming out of scope of legal aid contracts in April 2013. Our article looks at the implications under professional rules of taking on cases now that are going out of scope next April.
The UK government imposes financial restrictions on persons and entities as part of its domestic counter-terrorism regime, as well as those persons proscribed by the United Nations and/or European Union.
You complete your client due diligence, exchange contracts and proceed to completion, but for some reason the bank holds up the transfer. Is there something you missed?
SOCA is concerned that firms are submitting a SAR for clients who simply have a similar name to someone on the sanctions list when they only need to seek permission from the Asset Freezing Unit.
Peter Rodd, senior partner, member of the CQS technical panel and chair of the Property Section, discuses how overheads can be reduced by embracing email.
Property lawyers are seeing housing deposits coming from wider savings clubs or committees. This process of fund raising has its challenges from an AML perspective.
With law firms under increasing pressure to minimise the exposure to risk for themselves and their clients, the argument for more detailed search due diligence is becoming ever more compelling, writes Paul Addison.
Jonathan Smithers, member of the CQS technical panel and chair of the Land Law and Conveyancing Committee discusses separate representation.
Common questions about alternative business structures, including who can become an ABS and details of the application process
Julia Adams of Slaughter and May provides seven key steps to ensure you fulfil your obligations when making a suspicious activity report under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The High Court has issued a decision dismissing civil claims from clients as a result of complying with reporting obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The Queen's Bench Division has dismissed Mr Shah's claims for damages against HSBC Private Bank (UK) Ltd (HSBC) for over US$300m.
Instead, use of e-DRS and information services will be subject to Land Registry's conditions of use.
An overview of the sections and chapters in the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2011
In many ways, client identification and verification is secondary in anti-money laundering compliance to understanding the source of funds and the purpose of a retainer.
International arbitration provides a very tempting proposition for organised criminals seeking an apparently legitimate cover for moving large amounts of criminally obtained money from one jurisdiction to another.
Details of the SRA Handbook, which replaces the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007 and underpins the regulation of solicitors, law firms and alternative business structures
Approved certificate of tititle documents are referenced in Chapter 3 of the new Solicitors' Code of Conduct
The SRA has issued a warning notice to anyone involved in the promotion or facilitation of schemes to avoid or reduce stamp duty land tax (SDLT)
A summary of the numerous reporting requirements on firms in the SRA's Handbook.
Calculators to help you work out stamp duty land tax payable on sale and transfers of land or property
Disadvantaged Area Relief is is being abolished for transactions with an effective date on or after 6 April 2013.
The contract incorporating the Standard Conditions of Sale (5th edition) is designed for use in residential conveyancing transactions.
The Law Society's Brussels Office provides up-to-date intelligence on EU developments.
Forms used in residential conveyancing and the suspended HIPs regime, and details of suppliers.
We have published explanatory notes to help sellers and buyers understand the information that is being requested in the TA6 property information form.
Daniel Winterfeldt and Stephen Ward, co-chairs of the InterLaw Diversity Forum discuss how targets can be a useful tool to encourage diversity.
Richard Miller, Law Society head of legal aid, looks at some of the key questions that firms will need to consider, following royal assent of the controversial Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.
Are there hidden dangers in opting for 'cheaper' quotations? Read Law Society advice on choosing an insurer.
Philip Santo, a chartered surveyor and director of Philip Santo & Co, considers some implications of the recent rush to install solar panels on the roofs of the nation's houses.
The Public Law Project (PLP), with help from the Law Society, is running a project to assist litigants with making exceptional funding applications and challenging refusals of exceptional funding where appropriate.
Key facts about the regulatory regime in England and Wales.
The basics when it comes to a risk-based approach to anti-money laundering
The Solicitor's Regulation Authority's (SRA) Handbook outlines ten mandatory principles which apply to everyone that the SRA regulates and to all aspects of practice.
As soon as the proceeds of crime become an issue, solicitors have to think carefully about what they can tell their clients. These scenarios aim to help you understand the issues around 'tipping off'.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has issued details of its plans to introduce price-competitive tendering (PCT) for criminal legal aid. The consultation also includes measures to cut a further £220m from the criminal and civil legal aid budget.
Jo Riddick, Macfarlanes LLP’s compliance officer for legal practice and money laundering reporting officer, considers the potential impact of a register for beneficial owners of trusts.
The decision in Royal Bank of Scotland v. Etridge on 11th October 2001 means all conveyancing lawyers should consider carefully their procedures when a third party provides security for another person's borrowing.
Stephen Jewell, of HM Revenue and Customs, explains the importance of quoting the correct reference number and bank details when paying Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).
Firms will be able to choose their own renewal dates for their professional indemnity insurance as of 1 October 2013. This is now set out in the SRA's Participating Insurers Agreement 2013.
In recent years, efforts to prevent mortgage fraud have focused on the risks posed by potential buyers. However, it appears that the vendor side of the transaction is not without its own risks.
After the public spat between the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority at the beginning of the month, peace seems to have broken out.
The practice framework rules allow in-house lawyers to act for clients other than employers in certain circumstances. Depending on the circumstances you may need to have professional indemnity insurance (PII) in place.
If you would not accept a bag full of cash from a client with respect to a transaction, why is it acceptable to provide them with your client account details so that they can deposit it there themselves?
When looking at money laundering warning signs, an instruction that is unusual for your firm is high on the list and should ring alarm bells.
The deadline for the SRA's diversity data collection exercise is 31 January 2014. Mehrunnisa Lalani, Director of Inclusion at the SRA explains what's involved and how regulated entities can comply with this requirement.
The case involved an application by the Attorney General of Zambia against the ex-president of Zambia, other former Zambian officials and two UK law firms for the return of public monies
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