Money Laundering

Solicitors are part of the regulated sector for the purposes of money laundering and counter terrorism legislation, when they conduct certain activities on behalf of their clients.  The Money Laundering Regulations 2017 impose on us an absolute duty, with criminal sanctions applied, to check the identity of all clients.  We have no discretion about this.  We also have a duty to report to the National Crime Agency (NCA), any suspicions of money laundering which include possible tax evasion, which come to our attention in the course of dealing with clients’ affairs.

Law firms are required to keep copies of all customer due diligence documents and supporting evidence for at least 5 years or in accordance with current legislation, after which the details will be destroyed or deleted unless you have given us permission to retain them longer.

The principal pieces of legislation which govern money laundering.

These are:

  • The Terrorism Act 2000
  • The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”)
  • The Money Laundering Regulations 2017
  • The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019

To that end, we will require proof of identity.  All funds to do with transactions we are dealing with should pass through our client account. We may also require information concerning the source of funds.

Ideally we need to see a current passport, or national identity document, which should preferably have a photograph and your signature.  We also need to see at least one of the following documents:

  • current utility bill,
  • bank statement,
  • council tax bill

These documents must be addressed to you at your current address and must have been issued in the last three months.

If you believe that you will have any difficulty in complying with these requirements please telephone to discuss.

Please note that we cannot accept cash receipts from any client during the course of any property/other transaction or litigious case in excess of £2,000.00 (two thousand pounds).  This is subject to a single payment or series of cash payments totalling £2,000.00.

All payments should be by way of cheque or bankers draft made payable to Hugh-Jones LLP.  If personal cheques are issued, six clear working days should be allowed for clearance.

In some cases bank to bank money transfers may be allowed but not from banks abroad without verification from the paying bank.

All clients are kindly requested to adhere to this rule.

We strongly advise clients to look at the Law Society practice note which can be found on the link below.