Financial crime

Because of the key role solicitors play in facilitating transactions, you may be targeted by criminals and need to respond to law enforcement investigations.

This page will guide you to resources that can help you to be aware of your legal and professional duties around financial crime.

Anti-money laundering

The anti-money laundering (AML) guidance for the legal sector is approved by HM Treasury and takes into account the changes introduced by the Money Laundering Regulations 2017.

Read the AML guidance for the legal sector

We’ve also published a summary of changes to the regulations to help firms comply with the new requirements of the EU’s 5th Money Laundering Directive. This came into force on 10 January 2020.

Failure to prevent offences

Tax evasion

Our practice note on the Criminal Finances Act 2017 covers failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion, a corporate offence.

The guidance covers:

  • the offences
  • the definition of an associated person
  • risk assessments
  • communication, training, monitoring and reporting


Our practice note on the Bribery Act 2010 is for all solicitors and other staff in a law firm involved in compliance.

The act makes it an offence for a United Kingdom citizen or resident to pay or receive a bribe. Companies and partnerships can also commit an offence where a bribe has been paid on their behalf by an associate.

The guidance covers:

  • the provisions of the act
  • things firms can do to prevent bribery being carried out on their behalf


The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation deals with compliance with financial sanctions, making sure they are properly understood, implemented and enforced.

Use GOV.UK to find out about:

Responding to investigations

Responding to a financial crime investigation

Our practice note on responding to a financial crime investigation covers:

  • how to manage compliance with a criminal investigation and your duty to keep your client's information confidential
  • an overview of the main powers law enforcement can use when investigating financial crime
  • If you are the subject of a financial crime investigation, or are still unsure how to appropriately comply with a request from law enforcement, you should seek legal advice from a specialist criminal law solicitor

Raising concerns and whistleblowing

Our practice note on raising concerns and whistleblowing covers:

  • regulatory obligations on solicitors to raise concerns and report to the Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • advice for individuals on how to raise concerns about the actions of their firm or organisation

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