By Legal Futures Associate ILFM
Anti-money laundering (AML) checks and training for law firms and their legal accounts departments are vital for the safety and protection of client money and business reputation.
The Institute of Legal Finance & Management (ILFM) is delighted to announce that we have the leading AML and Compliance trainer, Amy Bell, partnering with us to provide our members and wider audience proficient training on this subject.
Amy Bell says,
“I am excited to be working with the ILFM on their training programme. Their members have always been among the most engaged audiences I’ve had, and given that they are often a critical line of defence in AML, I’m pleased to be able to deliver practical masterclass training for them.”
Along with advising firms, training and writing books on AML and compliance, Amy is also the Chair of the Law Society’s Money Laundering Task Force, where she represents the Solicitors profession at Government and in Europe.
You can review and book any of the ILFM’s training topics and dates throughout the year in our ILFM TRAINING. Our training is open to members and non-members, but members’ fees are heavily discounted.
Our AML training is targeted at law firm accounts’ department employees, law firm management, compliance officers, in particular the COFA, but also the legal secretaries and receptionists if they come into contact with new matters and new clients.
When it comes to risk management and client due diligence checks with strict processes in place in law firms (and across all the departments) it may have come as a shock that the SRA fined top Legal 500 firm, Mishcon de Reya £232,500 in January 2022 for a series of breaches. All firms can be affected.
With new fining powers, a small law firm in Oxfordshire, Ferguson Bricknell, was given a £20,000 fine in January 2023 by the SRA for failing to have anti-money laundering training and systems in place. The practice is only led by two partners, so the fine was hefty, and of course this will no doubt have an impact on their PII renewals too.
The SRA reviewed the firm’s files and it was confirmed that source of funds from third party checks were not either not carried out or not good enough. The fine might seem high but the firm was given previous warnings plus there’s a mountain of support and training at their fingertips, whether that’s ensuring their legal cashiers or finance professionals and compliance officers are members of the ILFM, or other routes.
ILFM AML Training Topics
The majority of the Institute of Legal Finance & Management’s training courses, including our AML Masterclass, are 3 hours long, online, live and interactive.
Our AML training session provides guidance on how to make sure you and your firm have effective policies, controls and procedures to manage your money laundering risks.
It will cover:
- The Money Laundering Offences in the Proceeds of Crime Act
- Terrorism Offences
- The implementation of the 2017 Money Laundering Regulations, including the amendments made by the 2019 Regulations
- The impact of the new Legal Sector Guidance
- How to make sure you are Regulator-ready
- Getting SARs right first time.
The session will also cover the basics of who, within the firm, is responsible for governing AML activities (such as the MLRO, COFAs etc), as well as who in the firm might be touching upon activity that may be subject to money laundering (it is best practice for all staff to have an awareness of money laundering, including legal cashiers, legal secretaries and receptionists, so not just those directly dealing with the matter).
Our next AML Masterclass is on 4 May from 9:30am to 12:30pm BST. You can book directly HERE.
A great testimonial from Amy’s January 2023 AML training with the ILFM:
“Great course – a must for all Legal finance professionals. Amy shoots straight from the hip and has lots of great anecdotes to illustrate her points. Highly recommend this course.”
As a note, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) website is useful for updates and sanctions. They are the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.