The Legal Sector Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Group (comprising legal sector regulators and representative bodies) has completed an extensive review of the guidance that we published after the implementation of The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017

The updated version builds upon the guidance previously published and incorporates amendments implemented via The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019 and The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020.

Status of the guidance

The new guidance replaces the previous version and has been published in draft form, pending approval 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.

This guidance has been submitted to HM Treasury for approval. 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.

How to use the guidance

The guidance is in two parts:

Part 1 Guidance for the legal sector

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) you should refer to Part 1.

The Legal Sector AML Group has also published guidance to manage risks arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Please contact us at aml@barstandardsboard.org.uk 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.