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Preventing money laundering in law firms

Paul Hodgson | March 5, 2018

“The strength of the United Kingdom’s legal and financial institutions has made it a centre of world commerce,” opens the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) review, Preventing Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism. Of course, that also makes it a centre of money laundering and terrorist financing. The National Crime Agency (NCA) has said that money laundering is likely to cost the United Kingdom more than £24 billion (U.S.$33bn) a year and is a major source of financing for criminal activity. 

In addition, law firms that help clients with large financial transactions, and that are seen as inherently “respectable,” are a major target of money launderers.

For example, in the last three years, in cases linked to potential improper money movements, the SRA closed down eight firms, with another 14 firms closing down voluntarily. It has also referred 49 individual solicitors and two other firms to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. These referrals...

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