Can I accept my client’s £20,000 cash deposit?

My client is a buyer in a residential conveyancing matter. They brought their £20,000 cash deposit to the office. The money seems to be from their bank account but they won't pay the £30 fee for a banker’s draft. How much cash can I accept from my client?

Large payments made in actual cash may be a sign of money laundering.

It's good practice to establish a policy of not accepting cash payments above a certain limit either at your office or into your bank account.

We have steered clear of recommending limits because cash tolerance will be different for every firm depending on the type of work done.

Chapter 18 of the anti-money laundering guidance for the legal sector looks at the importance for solicitors of looking for warning signs.

It's a matter for you, when considering all the information at your disposal, whether you feel you have reasonable grounds for suspicion or knowledge of money laundering.

Cash in itself is legal tender and should not necessitate an automatic report to the National Crime Agency (NCA) but, depending on the circumstances, you may need to undertake further checks and customer due diligence, for example, by asking for evidence to support any statement provided.

Just because money comes from a bank account does not in itself indicate that the funds are clean.

View the anti-money laundering guidance for the legal sector


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.

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