The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007
The Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (in force from 15 December 2007) 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. In certain circumstances, this may also apply to existing clients. We may need your assistance to satisfy these requirements.
In some circumstances we may decline to, or may not be permitted to, proceed to act until such procedures have been completed. In other circumstances we may agree to commence acting whilst these procedures are carried out. We reserve the right to decline to act or, if appropriate, cease to act should these procedures not be completed to our satisfaction. We may also be required to make detailed enquiries of any unusual transactions such as the transfer of large amounts of cash.
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.