Lawyers must comply with AML/CFT requirements. Lawyers must do a number of things to help combat money laundering and terrorist financing and to help police bring the criminals who do it to justice. The AML/CFT law does this because the services law firms and other professionals offer may be attractive to those involved in criminal activity.
The AML/CFT law says that law firms and other professionals must assess the risk they may face from the actions of money launderers and people who finance terrorism and must identify potentially suspicious activity.
To make that assessment lawyers must obtain and verify information from prospective and existing clients about a range of things. This is part of what the AML/CFT law calls “customer due diligence”.
If we are not able to obtain the required information from you, it is likely we will not be able to act for you. Because the law applies to everyone, we need to ask for the information even if you have been a client of ours for a long time.
Before we start working for you in respect of handling money on your behalf we will let you know what information we need and what original documents you need to show us so we may verify and copy for our AML/CFT records.