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Anti-money laundering

Last updated: 22 October 2013

What's the issue?

Solicitors are key professionals in the business and financial world, facilitating vital transactions that underpin the UK economy. As such, they have a significant role to play in ensuring their services are not used to further a criminal purpose. As professionals, solicitors must act with integrity and uphold the law, and they must not engage in criminal activity.

Legal status

This practice note is to help you comply with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Terrorism Act 2000 and Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and all amending legislation up to October 2013. It also details good practice. The 2007 regulations entered force on 15 December 2007 and the TACT and POCA Amendment Regulations 2007 entered into force on 26 December 2007.

It has been updated following the replacement of SOCA by the National Crime Agency.

Terminology

Must - a specific requirement in the Solicitor's Code of Conduct or legislation. You must comply, unless there are specific exemptions or defences provided for in the code of conduct or relevant legislation.

Should - good practice for most situations in the Law Society's view. If you do not follow this, you must be able to justify to oversight bodies why this is appropriate, either for your practice, or in the particular retainer.

May - a non-exhaustive list of options for meeting your obligations. Which option you choose is determined by the risk profile of the individual practice, client or retainer. You must be able to justify why this was an appropriate option to oversight bodies.

The Law Society also provides a full glossary of other terms used throughout this practice note

Using this practice note 

Select a chapter heading in Contents (above) to navigate this practice note. 

We recommend that you refer to this online version to stay up to date with changes. The up to date version of the pdf below is for ease of printing only and as such some of the links may no longer redirect. For suspected money laundering occurring before 1 October 2012, refer to the relevant previous version of the practice note on the right hand side of the page.

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