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Money Laundering Regulations 2017: SRA Regulation and Law Society Update

March 2018

With almost nine months having passed since the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 became law in the United Kingdom now is a good time to take stock of where we are from a regulatory perspective.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has recently undertaken a review of a selection of firms, both large and small, looking at the standard of compliance with the Money Laundering Regulations 2017. The outcome of the review was somewhat mixed. Almost one third of client matter files reviewed lacked evidence to indicate that the level of risk associated with the relevant matter had been assessed. Regarding two-thirds of the firms visited by the SRA, neither had they undertaken a firm-wide risk assessment, as required by the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, nor were they in the process of implementing one. So serious were the SRA's concerns about the processes and practices discovered in twelve percent of firms reviewed, that those firms are now subject to disciplinary processes by the SRA.

It is worth noting that in the last three years, in cases linked to potential improper money movements, the SRA have closed-down eight firms, with another fourteen having closed down voluntarily. In total, forty-nine solicitors and two firms have been referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) by the SRA during this period, resulting in twelve solicitors being struck off, thirteen solicitors suspended by the SDT and fines of more than £800,000 being issued against those concerned.

The Legal Affinity Sector Group‘s Anti-Money Laundering guidance document has finally received HM Treasury approval and was published on the Law Society’s website on 6th March 2018. Generally speaking, the changes made to the draft guidance are minimal, however, Section 5.3 - Obligations of Trustees, is one area where the guidance has been expanded on quite considerably.

To find out more about your anti-money laundering obligations under the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, SRA Code of Conduct 2011 and SRA Accounts Rules 2011, why not attend one of our forthcoming anti-money laundering training courses in Newcastle upon Tyne, Southampton, Cardiff, Exeter, Manchester and London?

This course will examine the new Money Laundering Regulations 2017, which became law at the end of June 2017, and introduced the changes to the UK anti-money laundering legislation necessary to comply with the European Union Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD). Whilst of relevance to all persons working in the regulated sector, it is particularly targeted towards the application of the anti-money laundering procedures in the legal sector and is ideal for those individuals acting as a nominated officer (or money laundering reporting officer).

If you are unable to attend one of our scheduled anti-money laundering public training courses, we will also be running this course as an online webinar on 23 April 2018. All of our webinars are ‘live’ webinars where delegates have the opportunity to ask questions as if they were in attendance at a classroom-based seminar. A recording of the webinar can be viewed for a period of fourteen days following the live webinar, allowing those unable to attend on the day the opportunity to watch the recording online at their leisure.

For further information about the content of this course please visit our anti-money laundering training page whilst details of the scheduled dates and locations including our ‘live’ webinars can be found by following this link.

We offer a discount of 15% when booking two or more delegates on any of our accredited CPD training courses.

If you would like to attend, please book your place using the link above or call us on 0330 223 5346 or e-mail us at

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