Anti Money Laundering and Identification
1. Professional regulations issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) govern how law practices can operate and all such practices need to comply with Anti Money Laundering legislation.
2. All clients of law firms need to be clearly identified and verified. The reason for this is that law firms can sometimes be used by criminals to launder proceeds of crime to make the proceeds seem legitimate.
3. We therefore must obtain evidence of a client’s identity, and to verify that identity, where we accept instructions to act (save for exceptional circumstances which do not apply in this case).
4. We are also required to check certain registers of named individuals where special caution is required.
5. Generally, we are not able to undertake any work on your case until we have obtained the identification evidence we need.
6. We will obtain some of the ID evidence we need electronically, via an online search through an approved provider. We may charge for each person searched against, which will be included within the next or final invoice delivered to you. This will save you having to produce original documents to us though we will still need copies of certain documents which will be advised to you.
7. For clients that are Foreign Nationals, or who live abroad further evidence may be required from online registers that we apply to, for which an additional charge is made.
8. For Companies, we will obtain an online search for the Company but in many cases will also need ID evidence in respect of Directors and/or Shareholders
9. For Trusts, the position is complex, but will usually involve obtaining ID from Trustees and some types of Beneficiary.
10. We will also need to assess, during our handling of the matter, whether further identification evidence is needed. This may arise, for example, where you move address, or where unexpected developments occur. If this happens we will let you know that further ID evidence is needed and will do our best to assist you in obtaining it.