The Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (in force from 26 June 2017) and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 impose a number of obligations on law firms in the United Kingdom as part of the UK Government’s measures to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The combined effect of this legislation is to provide a stringent and comprehensive system of client identification procedures, record keeping and mandatory reporting.
When first taking your instructions we are required to identify both our client and (if relevant) the ultimate beneficial owner of our client, and to verify that identity in a number of ways. We may need your assistance to satisfy these requirements. Without compliance with these obligations we will not be able to act for you. Legislation in the UK and elsewhere may also place us under a legal obligation, in certain circumstances, to disclose confidential information we have about you and your affairs to law enforcement authorities.
Our obligations are not optional and we cannot override or avoid them. We will, of course, ensure that we only report information that we are obliged to report as a matter of law. We may not be able to inform you of the report we have made unless and until permitted to do so by the law enforcement authorities.