Anti-money Laundering Compliance for Law Firms

Ensure you understand your obligations and remain compliant with anti-money laundering regulations.  

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With the proposed changes to AML rules and regulations released earlier this month, Managing Partner's new Anti-money Laundering Compliance for Law Firms report could not have come at a better time. 

This must-have guide for all MLROs, lawyers and law firm leaders presents the most up-to-date best practice advice to ensure you understand your obligations and remain compliant.  

Leading experts, Susanna Cogman, John Taylor and David McCluskey shed light on the key issues for law firms contained within the AML rules, and counter-terrorist financing sanctions regimes - and how to tackle them successfully to ensure you're firm is not caught-out. 

Topics covered include:

  • Solicitor's obligations in relation to money laundering and terrorist financing suspicions;
  • The forthcoming changes to the anti-money laundering regime; the European Commission's proposals for a fourth money laundering directive and the changes most likely to affect your firm;
  • Legal client privilege exemptions - Where they might apply and how to navigate this complex area;
  • How to identify early warning signs regarding suspicious client activity and due diligence; 
  • Procedures for dealing with politically exposed persons (PEPs);
  • The impact of the Bribery Act 2010 definition of 'adequate procedures' and how these equate to AML procedures established by law firms;
  • On-going monitoring of clients' circumstances; and 
  • How to develop a culture of ethics and compliance within your firm.  

'What not to do' - High profile, current case law examples of convicted lawyers and lessons learned from the financial services sector demonstrate how to avoid the enormous penalties handed out for non-compliance. 

Advice is also provided on dealing with the Serious Organised Crime Agency - The powers that can be exercised by investigators to obtain information under compulsion, and how you should respond. 

Don't be left behind when it comes to best practices in anti-money laundering compliance.


Chapter 1: Review of the current anti-money laundering landscape

Chapter 2: The revised FATF Recommendations and the proposed Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive

Chapter 3: Client due diligence – Identifying high risk clients and suspicious activity

Chapter 4: Navigating the counter-terrorist financing and sanctions regimes

Chapter 5: The complexities of legal professional privilege as it applies to money laundering and terrorist financing suspicions

Chapter 6: Lessons learned – Recent cases

Chapter 7: Law enforcement

Chapter 8: Developing a culture of compliance

Chapter 9: Politically exposed persons and client monitoring

Check our Executive Summary and full table of contents here


Susannah Cogman
Susannah is a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills and specialises in financial crime and related regulatory work. She advises corporates, financial institutions, and professional services firms in connection with anti-money laundering, corruption, sanctions and fraud issues, both contentious and non-contentious, and speaks widely on these areas. She has considerable experience of conducting internal investigations for clients, as well as advising on external investigations by the Serious Fraud Office, Financial Services Authority and others, and related disputes. Her extensive compliance experience includes advising on all aspects of the UK’s anti-money laundering regime, including in connection with the scope of the regime, identification, training, suspicious transaction reporting, civil liability issues, and tipping off. Ranked by Chambers UK, 2012 as a band one leading individual for corporate crime, clients describe Susannah as ‘excellent, technically superb and always available at short notice’. She is a consultant editor of the Lloyds Law Reports: Financial Crime series and publishes in a range of journals. She is a regular speaker at the British Bankers’ Association newly appointed MLRO induction workshops, anti-corruption workshops, and other events. Susannah can be contacted via email at Herbert Smith Freehills.
John R Taylor
Trained in Hull as a chartered accountant, John worked for many years in professional practice as an auditor, company advisor and financial investigator. After two years with PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Leeds, John left to become financial director of a public limited company involved in vocational training in the clothing industry, which taught him what it was like ‘on the other side of the fence’. After six years at the financial helm of the business, there were no worlds left to conquer professionally, so seeking a new challenge, John left the safe haven of full-time employment for the choppy waters of self-employment, working as a freelance trainer and developer of training programmes. The academic world beckoned and after a stint at Bradford College, teaching students from degree level to individuals with special needs, John joined Leeds Metropolitan University as a senior lecturer in accounting and finance. During this period, John developed a special interest in the causes of and remedies for dysfunctional behaviour in organisations. He contributed to research into how poor management practice and flawed decision making contributes to the development of unethical cultures in organisations and increases in corruption, fraud and other types of white collar crime. He is presently researching how systemic failures can result in flawed and inept decision making in organisations. John, a freelance lecturer and author, writes extensively on corporate culture, fraud and money laundering. He is the author of several books including Forensic Accounting (the only book on the topic written specifically for the UK), Auditing, an industry standard textbook on the topic and, most recently, Corporate Governance, Ethics and CSR (with Dr Justine Simpson) published in January 2013. John is available for contact via email.
David McCluskey
David is a partner in the Business Crime Department at Peters & Peters Solicitors, and joined the firm in 1998 after training and qualifying as an attorney in South Africa. David has considerable experience in acting for individual and corporate clients in a wide range of business crime and regulatory investigations. In particular, David advises clients on fraud investigations, money laundering, insider dealing/market abuse, sanctions, and other fraud and corruption matters in the UK and overseas. David is frequently ranked as a leading lawyer in his areas of expertise by the foremost UK legal directories. His high profile cases include: successfully representing a South African billionaire on an appeal against a cash seizure, and representing an Icelandic businessman in a successful challenge to an SFO search warrant. David writes and lectures regularly on risk management, particularly money laundering compliance and fraud prevention. Publications include Criminal Law Review, Solicitors’ Journal and Law Society Gazette and online. David was appointed as a member of the Law Society’s Money Laundering Task Force in March 2012.

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