Anti-money laundering

Solicitors must review their anti-money laundering policies as new guidance launches

A radical overhaul of the Legal Sector Affinity Group (LSAG) anti-money laundering (AML) guidance has today been launched to help the legal profession navigate complex AML risks and challenges.

The Legal Sector Affinity Group (LSAG) AML guidance is the definitive guide for the legal sector. It has undergone an extensive revision and redraft and replaces previous versions following the introduction of the fifth AML directive last year, which included changes to client due diligence and enhanced due diligence, as well as a duty to collect proof of registration for trusts and companies.

The guidance project has been led by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Law Society of Scotland, supported by the Law Society of England and Wales’s Money Laundering Taskforce.

Law Society president David Greene said: “The guidance includes fully revised and expanded guidance on risk assessments, expanded guidance on source of funds and source of wealth, an updated training section and a new section on how to effectively use AML-related technology to mitigate risk."

“In light of these changes, the legal profession should review their current AML governance, policies and procedures and update where appropriate."

“The Law Society will be on hand to support members in understanding and applying the guidance and we have a range of resources in place to support members including a series of webinars and our practice advice service.”

Notes to editors

Read the updated LSAG AML guidance

  • the AML guidance has been published in draft form and is pending approval by HM Treasury
  • the updated version builds on the previous AML guidance released after the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017
  • the guidance incorporates amendments implemented by the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019 and the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020
  • the Legal Sector Affinity Group (LSAG) is comprised of all of the UK’s AML legal sector supervisors. This includes the Law Society of Scotland, Law Society of Northern Ireland, Law Society of England and Wales, SRA, CILEX, Bar Standards Board, Bar Council, Council for Licensed Conveyancers, Society of Scrivener Notaries, Bar of Northern Ireland, Faculty of Advocates and the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury
  • the Money Laundering Taskforce (MLT) comprises legal practitioners with a range of backgrounds, specialist expertise and experience in AML/proceeds of crime matters

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact: Naomi Jeffreys | 020 8049 3928

Maximise your Law Society membership with My LS