Tipping off is a serious issue and the Law Society has produced a number of articles on this subject. Section 6.8.2 of the draft anti-money laundering guidance for the legal sector deals with tipping off offences (in the regulated sector) and the offence of prejudicing an investigation (in the non regulated sector). Section 9.3.7 deals with liaising with National Crime Agency (NCA) about the risks of tipping off and carrying out work while waiting for consent.
This information is available on our website.
It is important to include some information in your client care letter, for example:
'We are professionally and legally obliged to keep your affairs confidential. However, solicitors may be required by statute to make a disclosure to the National Crime Agency where they know or suspect that a transaction may involve money laundering or terrorist financing. If we make a disclosure in relation to your matter, we may not be able to tell you that a disclosure has been made. We may have to stop working on your matter for a period of time and may not be able to tell you why.'
For further information, please see the Law Society’s Practice Note on Client Care Information.
The following article may also be useful: ‘Tipping Off: A Practical Guide to what you can tell your client’.
Have you got a practice question? Call the Practice Advice Service on 020 7320 5675.
> See all of our helplines
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.