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Results of an intensive review of solicitors' anti-money laundering compliance welcomed by the Law Society

The Law Society of England and Wales welcomed a report from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) confirming that 'the overall picture is positive' for solicitors' anti-money laundering (AML) compliance, while agreeing that neither the SRA, nor the firms it regulates, can be complacent.

The Law Society is the named supervisory authority for solicitors in England and Wales in the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, but delegates part of its AML supervisory responsibility to SRA. The Law Society maintains responsibility for communicating obligations and providing assistance on compliance.

Initiatives undertaken by the Law Society to promote compliance have been cited internationally as an example of best practice in helping legal professionals comply with their anti-money laundering obligations.

Catherine Dixon, Law Society chief executive, said:

'The Law Society has put together a comprehensive package of practical support to assist solicitors in complying with UK AML legislation, and we are pleased that the regulator views the overall picture for compliance with AML as positive. The National Crime Agency has noted that the legal sector has made much more AML information available than other sectors. We are indebted to our volunteer members for the hours of work over many years that have contributed to the excellent quality of advice and support we offer.'

'Of course there is no room for complacency as the legal sector prepares for the implementation of the fourth EU Money Laundering Directive and the UK's forthcoming inspection of its AML regime by the Financial Action Task Force. The Law Society will continue to perform its longstanding role working alongside government, law enforcement and our profession in assisting continuously improving the UK's AML regime.'

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