The Legal Sector Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Group (comprising legal sector regulators and representative bodies) has published guidance on:
- The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017;
- The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019;
- The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020;
- The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (High-Risk Countries) (Amendment) Regulations 2022; and
- The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2022.
The latest guidance is dated 28 March 2023 and replaces the 2021 version.
It reflects amendments to the Money Laundering Regulations in the following areas:
- Guidance on the new requirement to carry out proliferation financing risk assessments, either as part of your existing practice-wide risk assessment or as a standalone document.
- Changes to the duty to report discrepancies to company registries, which take effect from 1 April 2023.
It has been approved by HM Treasury.
You are not required to follow this guidance but doing so will make it easier to account to regulators and others for your actions.
We will consider whether a barrister or BSB entity has complied with this guidance when undertaking our role as a supervisory authority for the purposes of the Regulations. You may be asked to justify a decision to deviate from this guidance.
In accordance with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and Regulation 86(2)(b) of the Money Laundering Regulations, once approved, the court is required to consider compliance with this guidance in assessing whether a person committed an offence or took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the offence.
This status is explained more fully in the introduction to the guidance.
An addendum to the guidance has been prepared and is supplementary to the main guidance. The addendum is provided as an update and to illustrate how our attitude towards regulation is developing over time. Please note the changes set out in the addendum are currently pending approval by HM Treasury and, if accepted, will be integrated into the text of the main guidance.
How to use the guidance
The guidance is in two parts:
Part 2 Sector specific guidance:
Self-employed barristers and BSB entities who engage in work that is within scope of the Money Laundering Regulations should read the sector specific guidance in Part 2 in the first instance. It has been written specifically to reflect the type of work that barristers typically engage in and it contains a number of useful FAQs and case studies to assist interpretation. If you require further detail (for example in the area of conducting due diligence and in relation to Legal Professional Privilege) you should refer to Part 1.
The Legal Sector AML Group has also published guidance on
- Remote working, Client interaction and associated use of AML technology;
- Impacts of economic instability; and
- Chinese underground banking and funds from China.
Please contact us if you need this guidance to be made available in an alternative format.
Guidance for Employed barristers
Barristers who work in organisations such as financial institutions or law firms that are regulated by other supervisors under the Money Laundering Regulations (such as the Financial Conduct Authority or the Solicitors Regulation Authority) should refer to guidance published by the relevant regulator.
Further assistance in interpreting your obligations
The Bar Council provides a confidential Ethical Enquiries Service for the benefit and assistance of barristers and staff to assist them to identify, interpret and comply with their professional obligations.
For more information on our respective roles, please see our Protocol for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing with the Bar Council.