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Solicitors (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Regulations 2016

Posted 30/10/2016

Solicitors (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Regulations 2016
Under the provisions of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Acts 2010 and 2013 (the AML legislation), solicitors - as ‘designated persons’ for the purposes of this legislation - have statutory obligations to adopt policies and procedures to prevent and detect the commission of money laundering and terrorist financing (e.g. solicitors must apply Client Due Diligence procedures to their clients in specific circumstances).
The AML legislation also creates a reporting obligation for all designated persons under section 42(1) of the AML legislation. It requires designated persons (e.g. solicitors) to report to An Garda Síochána and the Revenue Commissioners any knowledge or suspicion they have that another person is engaged in money laundering or terrorist financing. In addition to imposing a legal obligation to make a report when there is a suspicion or actual knowledge, the legislation requires a report to be made when reasonable grounds exist for knowledge or suspicion. Designated persons will not be able to rely on an assertion of ignorance or naivety where this would not be reasonable to expect of a person with their training and position.
As the “Competent Authority”, the Law Society is statutorily required under Section 63(1) of the AML legislation to “...effectively monitor the designated persons for whom it is a competent authority and take measures that are reasonably necessary for the purpose of securing compliance by those designated persons” with their statutory AML obligations.
The Law Society has decided to introduce a statutory instrument in order to assist solicitors in understanding and clarifying their existing obligations as “designated persons”, and to set out how the Law Society monitors compliance with these obligations.
The statutory instrument does not impose any new obligations on solicitors with regard to their statutory AML obligations, nor does it confer any new powers on the Law Society regarding its statutory role as the competent authority for solicitors (in the context of monitoring and securing their compliance with AML obligations).

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