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Money laundering regulations and compliance generally

Quick guide to the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 from the Law Society was issued on 11th July 2017. It provides a brief overview of the key issues firms will need to be aware of and the changes they will have to implement in order to comply with the regulations. The new regulations – The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (the regulations), which transpose the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive into UK law, were laid before parliament on 22 June and commenced on 26 June. Although the Fourth Directive was finalised in June 2015, a draft version of the regulations was only released in March 2017 and the regulations themselves were only laid before parliament one working day prior to commencement.

The Legal Compliance Association, was launched in 2014 following a resounding call for the Solicitors Regulation Authority to issue further guidance on outcomes focused regulation (OFR) and resolve unanswered questions. This new body is open to anyone with an interest in legal compliance, whether they are working for a traditional law firm, alternative business structure or an in-house legal department. The goal of the LCA is to promote year round networking, expertise and learning within member legal compliance functions. It includes optional quarterly online competence assessment for members’ audit trail plus access to a unique online secure material breaches forum.

192business (part of Experion) are experts in ID checking to prevent fraud, money laundering and ID theft, and also to detect underage customers, to screen employee backgrounds and to locate lost customers. They help organisations face these challenges and deliver not just the technology but also offer the expertise they have gained since they started trading in 1996. Their customers come from the legal market but also from ecommerce, egaming, financial services, money transfer, card issuing, insuring, and the public sector. 192business has been selected as Preferred Supplier for Identity & KYC Checking by the Law Society.

Legal Finance Professionals Limited (LFP) provides SRA accredited CPD training courses to the legal sector offering a full schedule of public courses throughout England & Wales or via in-house training. The courses cover a range of regulatory and compliance topics including SRA Accounts Rules, SRA Handbook, Acting as a Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration (COFA), Acting as a Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP), VAT for Solicitors and Money Laundering Regulations 2007. You can opt in to receive information about new courses as they become available. The company also offers advice and guidance to firms of solicitors on regulatory compliance issues ranging from a full SRA Compliance Health Check inspection to assisting firms or individuals who find themselves in difficulty with the SRA.

KYC360° is an online anti-money laundering community for AML professionals to share their experiences and to provide tools and resources that help them in their roles. Based in Jersey, the group has over 3,000 members in over 109 countries. Members come from financial services and also include regulators and financial intelligence units, prosecutors, trusts, banks, insurance firms, hedge funds, lawyers and accountants. The site includes articles, hot topics, news, videos and two free products. One of these is called RiskScreen which scours OFAC and HMT sanctions lists and then searches the internet using pre-defined keyterms looking for political and criminal connections. Users can select name manipulation which will add in known name variations and also look for a name in reverse order (this helps pin down entities who may appear on an Interpol list for example). Users can mark results as they browse and hold a record of the results at the end of their searches.

Legal Risk LLP (Solicitors) have a section on their site devoted to money laundering, including links to relevant case reports, a report on Money Laundering Compliance for Defendant Insurance Solicitors, information on a book called Money Laundering Reporting Officer’s Handbook: A Guide for Solicitors and a comprehensive set of links to organisations, guidance and resources related to money laundering. There are also some current cases relating to this topic.

LexisNexis offer anti-money laundering expertise including BSA information and compliance tools and methods. They offer analytics that increase a user’s ability to reduce exceptions and clearly understand risk in the customer base. They also provide solutions for enhanced due diligence that help identify priority of those risks. Their solutions integrate into the user’s own systems to provide these facilities.

Money Laundering Resource offers a very wide range of AML and compliance training materials relating to the UK and worldwide. There is interactive e-learning with automatically recorded assessments, and related printed booklets, to build into a firm’s own compliance training programmes. MLROs can demonstrate compliance via system records as lawyers complete AML, Data Security, Bribery Prevention and Equality & Diversity online training.

Socrates Training provides online training for all compliance needs including:
– Anti-money laundering
– Data protection, covering the GDPR
– SRA Code of Conduct
– Conflicts of interest
– Anti-bribery
– Equality and diversity
– SRA accounts rules
COLP & COFA service provides compliance partners with what they need to meet their obligations. Plus PSC elective online courses on nine subjects including commercial property, corporate, litigation, employment and contract. CPD accredited. Socrates has over 1000 loyal subscribers from large City of London firms, to sole practitioners.

The International Bar Association’s Anti-Money Laundering Forum website provides access to the most current versions of each EU member states anti-money laundering laws and regulations, direct links to national anti-money laundering authorities information websites and a large amount of related information. The Forum has already expanded the website to cover the 15 accession countries and is in the process of adding all significant jurisdictions around the world. The IBA’s main website is here.

The Institute of Money Laundering Prevention Officers (IMLPO) was set up in 2001 for the UK’s anti-money laundering community and is a broad, cross-representative forum of AML practitioners. It provides a safe environment in which members can share experiences of and opinions on the day-to-day business of combating money laundering. IMLPO has recently broadened its membership beyond financial institutions, to include practitioners from the whole anti-money laundering community. There are now over 160 members, not only from banks, insurance companies etc but also from the new “gatekeepers” such as law firms, gaming companies, accountancy firms and stockbrokers.

The Institute of Legal Finance and Management (previously the The Institute of Legal Cashiers and Administrators) provides information and courses, on this topic, although mainly for members only.

Anti money laundering systems

Instant Office is software developed for solicitors by solicitors – Scottish Solicitors Kirklands. In early 2008 with the help of The Law Society of Scotland they developed a paper based AML Blueprint that was adopted by over 200 legal firms throughout the UK. The Regulations have not changed since 2007 but they have updated the processes and procedures to reflect changes in AML best practice. Their new online AML Compliance module (accessed online as a “cloud” system) contains a complete package of processes, procedures, training, monitoring and peer review that enables AML Compliance while minimising costs.

Lawfusion and MLDirect from Select Legal provides one-click electronic identity confirmation as an integral part of the firm’s file set-up procedure. The software can be provided either as part of Select’s overall practice management system or as a component to upgrade any Microsoft Windows system. The service requires an “always on” internet connection and an annual subscription.

Solicitors Case Management Systems (SCAMS) was designed by former solicitor Terry Frost. One of the modules is comprehensive risk management software which includes many anti-money laundering features for High Street practitioners, to help comply with the new Regulations & the Law Society’s updated guidance. Features include:
* A helpful Client Identification Form to complete upon opening a matter file
* Timely warnings whenever money is paid into/out of client account
* A comprehensive, yet uncomplicated Internal Report form
* Quick & effective notification to your Money Laundering Reporting Officer
* Warnings to users during the SOCA notice period & moratorium period
* Automatic generation of the SOCA Disclosure Report Form
* Automatic storage of documents within a separate money laundering file
* Easy access to concise training notes.

Web4law provides a range of in-house training courses and webinars on compliance topics, including:
· Money laundering, terrorist financing and mortgage fraud
· Equality and diversity
· The Legal Services Act and the SRA Handbook
· Client care and complaints handling
· Data protection
The company provides a subscription based compliance updating service which incorporates advice on Lexcel applications and SRA compliance programmes. All training is CPD accredited by the SRA.

Outsourced legal accounts

The Law Factory LLP provides an outsourced legal accounts service to its clients who vary from high street or legally aided practices to large charities, corporate, commercial and niche practices. A tailored service and emphasis on compliance with the SRA Accounts Rules is why our clients choose us. As well as posting and reconciliation of all your accounts, we can check completion statements and estate accounts, set up bank payments for clients and suppliers, deal with your VAT, prepare budgets and cashflows, analyse your monthly reports and liaise with your auditors at Year End for HMRC and SRApurposes.