An extract from the article*:
“Law firms are particularly vulnerable to being used to facilitate money laundering and terrorist financing because they can potentially provide legitimacy to ‘dirty’ funds by, for example, allowing use of their client accounts in transactional work and more generally by acting as regulated ‘professional enablers’. Law firms are most vulnerable to being used in this way when acting in certain high-risk areas—not least, for example, when offering trust and company services. Without robust AML policies and procedures being put into place—which provide law firms with the capability of preventing them being used to facilitate money laundering or terrorist financing serious regulatory disciplinary action and even criminal culpability may follow. Failure to properly implement robust AML policies and procedures is therefore capable of causing serious damage to the reputation of the legal sector as a whole.”
*This article was originally published by LexisNexis on 3rd June 2019.
About the Authors:
Shaul Brazil is a partner at BCL specialising in business crime and regulatory enforcement, acting for individuals and companies in complex cross-border matters. He has extensive experience advising on multi-jurisdictional corruption and fraud investigations, asset recovery proceedings (in the UK and overseas), and extradition proceedings (in particular, politically motivated requests). He has acted in numerous high-profile investigations and prosecutions brought by the SFO and many other UK and overseas enforcement authorities.
Caroline Mair is a BCL barrister specialising in financial crime investigations and anti-money laundering regulatory matters. She has a breadth of experience; notably since joining BCL in 2010 she has advised an individual implicated in a lengthy cross-border investigation concerning the alleged manipulation of LIBOR and has also assisted in defending two individuals charged with conspiracy to cheat HMRC in relation to a multi-million pound film investment scheme fraud – the first prosecution of its kind to be brought. Caroline has developed her regulatory practice in advising regulated persons in relation to their anti-money laundering obligations under the complex 2017 Money Laundering Regulations.